Women’s soccer Lions will battle for national crown starting today

The York University Lions women’s soccer team is set for the biggest weekend of the season as the squad is participating in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Women’s Soccer Championship at the University of Toronto. The Lions will open play against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds today at 3:30pm at Varsity Stadium.

All games at the national championship this weekend will be Web cast live on the Streaming Sports Network.

Above: York Lions player Amy Otaki in game action against the Queen’s University Gaels in the conference title game last weekend. Photo by Alex Pylyshyn.

Ranked No. 6 in the most recent coaches’ poll, York enters the contest as Ontario University Athletics (OUA) champions after a thrilling 1-0 shootout victory over the Queen’s University Gaels in the conference title game last weekend. Meanwhile, the No. 9 Thunderbirds are the Canada West finalists after falling to the Trinity Western University Spartans in the gold medal game. UBC qualified for the national championship after upsetting the No. 4 University of Victoria Vikes in the Canada West semis. In the regular season, the Lions finished with an 11-2-1 record and in first place in the OUA West while the Thunderbirds had an 8-2-4 record, good for third in the standings.

The Lions are making their fourth appearance at the event in the last five years, with their best result being a silver medal finish two years ago. The season before that, the team finished fourth, upsetting the Spartans along the way, and in their first appearance at the event the Lions ended up seventh. UBC holds the CIS record for most Gladys Bean Memorial Trophies at five, with the most recent one coming in 2006.

The winner of the quarter-final match will face either the No. 1-ranked University of Montreal Carabins, the Quebec Student Sport Federation champions, or the host University of Toronto Varsity Blues in the semifinals. In the other half of the draw, Queen’s will battle against the Atlantic University Sport champions, the St. Francis Xavier (StFX) University X-Women, while Trinity Western will face the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) Panthers.

The No. 2-ranked Spartans are looking to become the first repeat winners of the national championship since UBC won back-to-back Gladys Bean trophies in 2002 and 2003.

Championship schedule
All games will be Web cast at live on the Streaming Sports Network.

Thursday, Nov. 12

  • 11am – Quarter-final 1: Queen’s vs. StFX
  • 1:30pm – Quarter-final 2: Trinity Western vs. UPEI
  • 3:30pm – Quarter-final 3: York vs. UBC
  • 6:30pm – Quarter-final 4: Montreal vs. Toronto

Friday, Nov. 13

  • 1:30pm – Consolation 1: Loser QF 1 vs. loser QF 2
  • 3:30pm – Consolation 2: Loser QF 3 vs. loser QF 4

Saturday, Nov. 14

  • 1:30pm – Semifinal 1: Winner QF 1 vs. winner QF 2
  • 3:30pm – Semifinal 2: Winner QF 3 vs. winner QF 4
  • 6:30pm – Consolation final: 5th-place match

Sunday, Nov. 15

  • 2pm Bronze medal
  • 5pm Championship final

For all the information on the 2009 CIS Women’s Soccer Championship, visit the CIS Web site.