The York Lions men’s soccer team will welcome the top squads from around the province this weekend (Nov. 1-2) as it hosts the 2008 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Men’s Soccer Championship at York Stadium. The Lions are the defending OUA champions and are looking to win back-to-back men’s soccer provincial titles for the first time in school history.
The two-day event will see four teams battle on the pitch for provincial supremacy and a berth in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Men’s Soccer Championship, which will be held the following weekend (Nov. 6-9) in Ottawa. Joining the Lions this weekend are the Carleton Ravens, Laurier Golden Hawks and University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Each team has qualified for the OUA Championship with wins in their respective quarter-final contests. All four teams are ranked among the top 10 in the CIS coaches poll.
York earned home field advantage after finishing first in the OUA West division and then defeating the Brock Badgers 4-0 in the quarter-final contest last weekend. The Lions ended the regular season with four players among the top 12 OUA scoring leaders, the only school to have more than two men on the list. Leading the way for the Lions is third-year midfielder Francesco Bruno (Toronto), whose 10 goals are good enough for second place among all CIS players. He also tallied two in the win over Brock last Saturday. Rookie forward Adrian Pena (Woodbridge, Ont.) finished tied for fifth in the OUA with eight goals while Jarek Whiteman (Brampton, Ont.) scored seven and Douglas Sereti (Toronto) added another six.
The Lions’ opening game of the weekend is against cross-town rivals the Varsity Blues. Toronto finished in second place in the OUA East division with a 10-1-3 record and then edged the Laurentian Voyageurs 2-1 last weekend in the quarter-final round.
The other semifinal contest features the Ravens against the Golden Hawks. Carleton comes into the championship with the OUA’s best regular season record at 12-1-1 and as the OUA East’s top team. The Golden Hawks ended their season at 7-3-4 to finish just behind the Lions in the OUA West standings. In their quarter-final contests, the Ravens dominated the Ryerson Rams in a 4-0 victory while the Golden Hawks squeaked past the Western Mustangs on penalty kicks, winning 4-3.
Action gets underway on Saturday morning and the championship trophies will be handed out on Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of play. Please see below for a complete schedule and other important information.
- Saturday, Nov. 1
11am, Laurier vs. Carleton, OUA semifinal.
1:30pm, Toronto vs. York, OUA semifinal
- Sunday, Nov. 2
11:30am, Semifinal losers OUA bronze medal game
2pm, Semifinal winners OUA gold medal game
Fans wanting to view the games can purchase tickets at the gate. Ticket prices are $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors, while children 12 and under get in free. As this is an OUA championship, all York students will be subject to admission fees.
- Vans and Cars
Proceed to the Northwest Gate lot (#64 on the Keele Campus map) and pay at the Pay and Display Machine. The flat rate for parking is $5 per day. The parking machines in the lot only accept coins or credit cards.
Passes should be prearranged and paid for prior to the event and can be picked up from the Honour Court. To arrange for bus passes, contact Helen Hicks, supervisor, administration, parking & transportation services at 416-736-5591 (phone) or 416-736-5874 (fax).