Women's Soccer: UFV complete Canada West run, Queen's lose

OUA, Canada West, and RSEQ blurbs are below, but first, a little note for those who wonder about the skill level in CIS soccer:

Canada's senior women's national team will play Mexico tonight in the final of the CONCACAF women's Gold Cup (also Women's World Cup qualifying). On the team are two players who played in CIS last year: Desiree Scott (of University of Manitoba) and Josee Belanger (of Universite du Quebec a Sherbrooke). Both have started games in the competition and could see time tonight in the final.

The match can be watched online on the CBC at 8:50pm ET or on the local CBC at midnight.

Now onto CIS women's soccer play:

Queen's and UBC must have been fairly confident coming into their respective conference finals on the weekend against competent but weaker opposition in the UFV Cascades and Laurier Golden-Hawks, respectively.

Which is not to say Laurier and UFV are bad teams. Only that Queen's and UBC were favourites.

Either way, the favourites lost.

University of Fraser Valley took out UBC 2 - 0 in Edmonton. It was a victory that could be seen coming a ways off--UBC have had an up and down year and UFV are on the miracle run--but the Cascades are still a program that's only been around for five years and has been at best a playoff bubble team over those five years. This was UFV's first post-season run.

UBC, on the other hand, are loaded with CIS and FISU-experienced players.

The result is definitely a surprise: head coach Rob Giesbrecht has obviously done amazing things with this Cascades team.

UBC and UFV will both head to PEI, and it's always possible that deep down the Thunderbirds knew that coming into the final.

In the OUA, it should have been Queens' game, on paper, anyway.

The Gaels' line-up is loaded with offensive talent, especially, but the Golden-Hawk's back line held firm, giving them the 1 - 0 win.

Oddly, the result probably helps Queen's as much as UBC's result helps them: Queen's draw Cape Breton and the Thunderbirds get Laurier. While no one wants to play a hot team coming off a banner-winning weekend, both would probably rather not play each other in the quarterfinals. UBC and Queen's, due to the early exits of Trinity Western, Alberta, Toronto and maybe Dalhousie (I'm allowed a little home-town bias, right?) are now likely favourites to win nationals along with Montreal.

The Carabins have to be loving the weekend's results, as they're now the only "big" team coming into the tournament with a win and a banner, having beaten Sherbrooke 2 - 1 and Laval 2 - 0. They have the talent to win--they did last year, until they got what was coming to them by trying to play for penalties all tournament. If Montreal open up and use their skill, they could be one of the best teams to watch come Thursday.

Montreal also get possibly the easiest quarterfinal draw of the lot. UPEI looked downright awful all weekend in the AUS playoffs and should be an easy victim for the Carabins. The Panthers are a hard-working, gritty team. They're not fun to play against and might take a chuck out of Montreal, but it would be the shock of the year if they beat them.

CIS nationals this year will likely be just a tad less skillful than last year's tournament or even the 2008 event. The upsets mean that some of the memorable classic games between high-skilled opponents will disappear, at least until the later rounds. There should still be plenty of drama and plenty of entertaining games, though. There is still skill in the teams coming in, many have significant momentum, and there are also few real mismatches. Even UPEI could give Montreal a run if the Carabins don't play their best. There may be lots of close games, even controversial games. The question is how much skill there will be, and it's possible this tournament might suffer a bit in that department.
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


  1. I wouldn't disagree that UBC was the favourite against Fraser Valley but we should all remember that the Cascades finished with the same record as UBC and beat the Thunderbirds twice during the regular season, even in a 4-3 game that UBC dominated.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I can smell your bias all the way in Waterloo Dylan,

    Laurier has won the OUA 2 of the last 3 years, and made it to the final four last year, and 4 years ago.

    They have likely the BEST player in all of Canada in Alyssa Lagonia, they have rookies that have stepped their game way up and veterans who have provided invaluable leadership.

    They've proven they can win every way, they can go down to the wire and make the stop when it counts like against Western, they can get and hold a lead like against Ottawa, and they can absolutely crush weaker opposition like they did to Queen's who only mustered...wait for it...THREE shots on net in 90+ minutes...one shot on net every half an hour won't get you anywhere at Nationals except on flight home.

  4. Hi, Luke. I do so enjoy claims of bias--I received many of them, both excellent and varied, while reffing over the summer. I haven't had enough lately since the summer ended. I've been missing them.

    I should been more up front that I am from Halifax. I have only a very vague idea where Waterloo is, the same way you likely have a very vague idea where Antigonish is.

    I don't get much of a chance to see OUA or CW teams play. I tend to rely on past performances at nationals rather more heavily. I picked Queen's because they could easily have won the national title last year and have had a great season this year.

    I think Laurier have as good a chance at winning this as anyone. It's a bit up in the air after some very good teams lost last weekend. I saw UBC last year and that's why I give them the edge over UFV despite the similar records. The Cascades have had an amazing season. I can't take that away from them. They have some talent and could do quite well in PEI.

    Finally, Luke, a three-shot-on-net performance by Queen's indicates two things to me: Laurier played very conservatively (which a late goal in a 1-0 game suggests) or Queen's didn't show up. Both are possible, and one result does not a national contender make. Your claim that Queen's are "weaker opposition" who were "absolutely crush[ed]" by Laurier in a 1-0 game sounds just a tad fanciful and is, ultimately, what makes your claim of bias such a fun one.

    Thanks for sharing, you made my evening,