Thousands of first-year students at York University will be in attendance at Alumni Field on Thursday night when the No. 4 nationally ranked York University Lions men’s soccer team hosts the rival McMaster University Marauders in its annual Frosh Frenzy game.
The game will feature free admission, the unveiling of the 2018 championship banner and lots of fun in the stands as new students will get their first taste of varsity sport. Kick-off is at 8:15 p.m.
A strong rivalry exists between the two teams and York and McMaster have played some thrilling games in recent years. The Lions have had the upper hand, however, and own a 13-0-3 record against their division rivals since 2013. They had won 10 in a row before the Marauders held the Lions to a pair of draws last year, but the Marauders are still looking for their first victory against the powerhouse Lions in six seasons.
The Lions have not lost a regular-season or playoff game to an Ontario University Athletics (OUA) opponent in more than two years, dating back to a 2-1 defeat to Guelph on Aug. 30, 2017. The run stretches 36 games and includes back-to-back OUA championships, with the 2018 title representing the team’s fifth in six years. They have finished atop the OUA West Division 12 straight times and are poised to make another run this season.
On paper, this team is one of the strongest head coach Carmine Isacco has fielded. The roster is packed with OUA all-stars, NCAA transfers and players with provincial and junior national team experience. Up front there is the team’s reigning scoring leader in Omar Marzouk and former OUA West most valuable player and U SPORTS all-Canadian Cristian Cavallini, the defence features all-stars Josh Kiselyov and Francesco Sinopoli and the starting goalkeeper is Mike Argyrides, who backstopped the Lions to an undefeated record last season.
The Lions have played just one game so far this year, a scoreless draw with Guelph on Saturday.
The Marauders are looking to get back to the Final Four Championships this season after an early exit from the playoffs last year. They are off to a good start to 2019 with a 2-0 win over Laurier and a 1-1 draw with Windsor in their first two contests.
Last year’s team leading scorer, Yunus Mollayev, has graduated but Dusan Kovacevic, who was second on the team and tied for 17th in the OUA, is back again, as is OUA first-team all-star midfielder Anand Sergeant.
These two teams will meet one more time in the regular season, on Wednesday, Oct. 2 in Hamilton, Ont.
After the Frosh Frenzy contest the Lions will head out on the road for the first time this season to face the Waterloo Warriors for a game on Sunday beginning at 3:15 p.m. Their next home game is Friday, Sept. 13 when the Western Mustangs visit Alumni Field.