Lions’ Smith named national soccer rookie of the year

Jamaal Smith became the first York men’s soccer player to be named Canadian Interuniversity Sport Rookie of the Year on Nov. 10 during award presentations at the National Championship at the University of Alberta.

Jamaal SmithSmith was recognized for his exceptional athletic abilities and contributions to the Lions during his rookie campaign. The 18-year-old Mississauga native had a standout season, starting in all of York’s 14 contests this fall. An aggressive defender, Smith was responsible for marking the opposition’s top striker. Known for using his immense speed, strong tackling and dominance in the air, Smith helped lead York to a 6-6-2 record this year.

Right: Jamaal Smith

“I’m absolutely delighted for Jamaal,” said York head coach Paul James. “To come into the OUA [Ontario University Athletics] and mark the league’s top strikers as an 18-year-old is phenomenal.”

Smith, who is majoring in math for commerce, was named OUA West Rookie of the Year last week. He is the second-consecutive York men’s soccer player to receive this honour. Smith was also named a first-team OUA All-Star.

Before coming to York, Smith won three Ontario Soccer League championships with his club team and the Ontario Indoor Cup last season.