'Caps at College - Week 13
It was a championship weekend for Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency and women's alumni, as individual and team accolades have continued to flow in.
The UBC Thunderbirds men’s team – which featured several ‘Caps alums - clinched the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) men's soccer championship in Quebec at the weekend while the Trinity Western Spartans and their core group of Whitecaps FC products picked up the women’s CIS title.
There were also personal honours for a host of individual players both in the United States and Canada.
The T-Birds secured their 12th Sam Davidson Memorial Trophy after edging Cape Breton 1-0 in the final of the CIS men’s soccer championship in Quebec.
It was a successful tournament for UBC, who outscored their opponents 8-0 on their way to winning gold. ‘Caps alum Gagandeep Dosanjh – the Canada West Player of the Year – took home the championship MVP thanks to his four goals.
Besides Dosanjh (pictured left), UBC’s title-winning team also comprised fellow Whitecaps FC players Brandon Bonifacio, Devin Gunenc, Brandon Ho, William Hyde, Navid Mashinchi, Greg Smith, Reynold Stewart and Marco Visintin.
University of Alberta defender and member of this past summer's Whitecaps FC U-23 team, Niko Saler added another rookie honour to his name, this time picking up the Lou Bilek award for CIS Rookie of the Year. Saler recently won the Canada West Rookie of the Year award.
At the University of Victoria, second-year midfielder Cam Hundal was named to the Canada West second-team All-Star list after a consistent season.
Meanwhile in the United States, Freshman Declan Rodriguez from the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin was named to the All-Horizon League second team as well as the Horizon League All-Newcomer team. He started 16 of 17 games and scored two goals in his first two games for the Panthers.
Down in Florida, defender Daniel Stanese was named to the Atlantic Sun’s All-Tournament team after his Florida Gulf Coast University defeated Mercer 1-0 to win their second straight Atlantic Sun Championship.
The 2012 NCAA Division I men's soccer tournament starts this week, and Ben McKendry's New Mexico Lobos, Callum Irving's Kentucky Wildcats, and Daniel Stanese's Florida Gulf Coast Eagles will all be taking part.
McKendry will be flying into the tournament after being named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Newcomer of the Year with four goals on the season, three of which were game-winners.
In NCAA Division II action, Simon Fraser University - who have Alex Rowley and Jason van Blerk in their ranks - head to Phoenix to take on third-ranked Grand Canyon Antelopes on Thursday in the Sweet 16 after the Clan became the first ever non-American team to not only participate in, but win a game in an NCAA tournament when they beat Cal-State Stanislaus 2-1 on Saturday night.
The Trinity Western Spartans beat defending champions Queens Gaels 4-2 in a penalty shootout to win the CIS women’s soccer championship at the University of Victoria on Sunday. The match ended 0-0 prior to penalty kicks.
Whitecaps FC women's player Natalie Boyd scored the winning goal in the shootout to clinch the trophy while fellow Whitecaps FC women's alum, goalkeeper Kristen Funk (pictured right), made some big saves.
Aside from Boyd and Funk, the Spartans team also featured fellow ‘Caps players such as Jennifer Castillo, Jenna Di Nunzio, Vanessa Kovacs, Tessa Meyer, Lindsay Pulice, Alicia Tesan (who led Canada West in assists this year), and Nikki Wright.
Funk was named player of the match for the Spartans while third-year defender Castillo was named tournament MVP.
The Spartans also had plenty of tournament All-Stars in Funk, Castillo, midfield duo Boyd and Kovacs, as well as striker Tesan.
Several days before the final, Funk was named a CIS All-Canadian while Boyd earned Second Team honours, capping a memorable week for TWU’s soccer program.
In the same tournament, the University of Victoria won the bronze medal after defeating the Ottawa Gee-Gees on penalty kicks.
After both sides failed to score in 90 minutes of play, the Vikes proved to be the stronger team when it came to the nerve-wracking shootout.
‘Caps midfielder Jaclyn Sawicki – who was also named a tournament All-Star - converted her penalty kick to ensure UVic didn’t disappoint the home fans.
Staying in Canada, UBC women’s star Janine Frazao collected yet another award, this time a place on the All-Canadian First Team for the second year in a row. Frazao finished with 13 goals and 17 points in 2012, which culminated in her recently winning the Canada West Player of the Year crown.
Across the border, Amber Brooks scored her seventh goal of the season and her third game-winner in 2012 to lead 14th-ranked North Carolina to a 2-0 win over Radford in NCAA first round action. Brooks and fellow Tar Heel Ranee Premji next face Illinois on Friday.
In other NCAA first round action, No.1 seed Penn State University comfortably beat LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds 4-0, with goalkeeper Erin McNulty earning yet another shutout. The Nittany Lions will now welcome Boston College to Jeffrey Field later this week.
Over at Rutgers, Shannon Woeller started in defence and helped guide the Scarlet Knights to a 1-0 win over Colgate to also progress to the second round.
In Missouri, former Whitecaps FC women's goalkeeper Stephanie Panozzo and her University of Illinois Fighting Illini stopped fellow 'Caps alum Abi Raymer and her Missouri Tigers to advance to the second round.
Lastly, at Oregon State University, junior striker Jenna Richardson was named to the Pac-12’s All-Conference second team for the second consecutive year. Richardson scored seven goals for the Beavers in 2012.