Friday, 25 November 2011

University student-athlete recruiting in Canada

When you hear about athletes being recruited for colleges and universities, the first thing that generally comes to mind is high school basketball or football players in the US being recruited by large NCAA schools with an eye toward winning national championships. The whole process is tightly regimented and bound with complicated rules.

In Canada, things are a little bit different.

Well, more than a little bit really.

This first article in a series about the transition from high school to university athletics will introduce the basics of how the CIS recruiting system works.

Monday, 14 November 2011

CIS Championships - Finals

Sunday the thirteenth of November will be a day that a number of university athletes will long remember. Four teams played in the CIS Championship Final soccer games, games that would determine the university level champion of Canada in both men's and women's soccer. These games would also produce second place finishers.

The matchups for the 2011 edition of the Championships featured the host Victoria Vikes against the upstart Saint Mary's Huskies on the men's side and the defending champion Queen's Gaels up against the Montreal Carabins, looking for the first championship won by a Quebec team on the women's side.

Between the two games were featured a record-setting crowd, penalty drama, amazing defensive play, and some stunning goals. Who would lift the Gladys Bean Memorial Trophy for the women and the Sam Davidson Memorial Trophy for the men?

Saturday, 12 November 2011

CIS Men's Championship - Friday games

After Thursday's busy first day at the CIS men's soccer Championships, another busy day was to follow, with all eight teams seeing action again. The day began with the two consolation semi-finals and those led into the two semi-final matchups.

The consolation semi-finals featured the McGill Redman and the Toronto Varsity Blues in the first game and the McMaster Marauders and Montreal Carabins in the second. The semi-finals featured the Saint Mary's Huskies against the Alberta Golden Bears. That was followed up with the host Victoria Vikes playing against the Cape Breton Capers.

The winners of the consolation semi-finals will play in the 5th place game Saturday at 17:30ET, while the participants of the semi-final matchups play on Sunday in the Bronze and Gold medal matches.

CIS Women's Championship - Consolation Semi-Finals

After a busy first day at the CIS women's soccer Championships at McGill, the teams for the consolation bracket had been determined.

The first consolation semi-final featured the Alberta Pandas facing off against the Dalhousie Tigers. Both teams had been defeated by OUA teams in the opening games of the Championship, meaning that the best they could do would be fifth overall.

The second consolation final featured a matchup between the Laurier Golden Hawks and the Trinity Western Spartans, the number two team in the country. Both teams had been the better in their quarter-final matches, but both lost in kicks from the mark.

Friday, 11 November 2011

CIS Men's Championship - Quarter-Finals

Thursday featured all four quarter-final matches at the CIS Men's Championships being help at Centennial Stadium at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

The opening match of the day featured AUS Champion Saint Mary's matching up against the RSEQ finalist McGill Redmen. This was followed by the Canada West Champion Alberta Golden Bears against the OUA finalist Toronto Varsity Blues. Cape Breton Capers, the AUS regular season winners matched up against the OUA Champion McMaster Marauders in the third game of the day, setting the stage for the RSEQ Champion Montreal Carabins to face the host Victoria Vikes.

CIS Women's Championship - Quarter-Finals 3 and 4

Yesterday, the CIS Women's Championships began in Montreal at McGill University's Percival Molson Stadium. After the opening matches both finished in close games, the final two quarter-finals of the day were played.

The third match of the day featured the RSEQ Champion Montreal Carabins, top ranked in the country, against the OUA silver medal Laurier Golden Hawks. This was followed by the host McGill Martlets against the number two ranked and CW Champion Trinity Western Spartans.

The winners of these quarter-finals will be playing each other on Saturday afternoon at 16:30ET in the first semi-final, while the losers will face off Friday evening at 19:30ET.

Last weekend at the OUA Final Four, the Laurier Golden Hawks played the Queen's Gaels to a scoreless 120 minutes before dropping the game in kicks from the mark. Today, the Hawks played the top-ranked Carabins for another 120 minutes. Coming out of the starting gates, the Hawks were the stronger team, dominating the game with their offensively-minded lineup.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

CIS Women's Championship - Quarter-Finals 1 and 2

The 2011 CIS Championships began this morning in Montreal at McGill University's Percival Molson Stadium. The opening match featured the Dalhousie Tigers against the Ottawa Gee-Gees and that was followed up with the Queen's Gaels facing the Alberta Pandas.

The winners of these quarter-finals will be playing each other on Saturday afternoon at 13:30ET in the first semi-final, while the losers will face off Friday afternoon at 16:30ET.

Dalhousie came into the game as the Atlantic Champions and the fourth seed overall in the tournament. Ottawa came in as the third OUA team, and the opening minutes of the game showed that the two teams were relatively evenly matched. The play moved from end to end with no really good chances as the two teams felt each other out.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

CIS Championship Seedings Explained

Since the schedules and draws were released by the CIS/SIC for the men's and women's championships this year, there have been a number of questions raised as to why certain teams appear to get easier draws than others, despite their lower ranking or finish in conference playoffs.

After several readings of the relevant policies and a lot of time playing around on a white board, I think that I've managed to figure things out and felt that I should share with the rest of you, as I cannot be the only one out there who was confused at certain draws.

CIS Men's Championship - preview

The 2011 edition of the CIS men's soccer championship begins this Thursday in Victoria, British Columbia on the University of Victora campus. All of the games will be played at Centennial Stadium in a single-elimination tournament.

The 2011 edition features eight teams, two from each of the Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, and Canada West conferences. The teams are the Saint Mary's Huskies (AUS playoff champions), Cape Breton Capers (AUS season champions), Montreal Carabins (RSEQ champions), McGill Redmen (RSEQ finalists), McMaster Marauders (OUA champions), Toronto Varsity Blues (OUA finalists), Albert Golden Bears (CWUAA champions), and the host team, the UVic Vikes.

Today we will briefly preview all eight teams involved and show the path that the OUA teams would need to traverse to reach the championship final to lift the Sam Davidson memorial trophy.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

CIS Women's Championship - preview

The 2011 edition of the CIS women's soccer championship begins this Thursday in Montreal, Quebec on the McGill University campus. All of the games will be played at the Percival Molson Stadium in a single-elimination tournament.

The 2011 edition features eight teams, one from the Atlantic conference, two from Quebec (including the host team), three from Ontario, and two from the Canada West conference. The teams are the Dalhousie Tigers (AUS champions), Montreal Carabins (RSEQ champions), Queen's Gaels (OUA champions), Trinity Western (CWUAA champions), Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (OUA finalists), Alberta Pandas (CWUAA finalists), Ottawa Gee-Gees (OUA bronze medalists), and the host team, the McGill Martlets.

Today we will briefly preview all eight teams involved and show the path that the OUA teams would need to traverse to reach the championship final to lift the Gladys Bean memorial trophy.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Weekend roundup - Nov 5/6 - OUA Final Fours

This weekend featured both the men's and women's OUA Final Four playoffs.

The men's Final Four was played in Ottawa at Carleton University's Keith Harris Stadium, and featured the host and OUA East champion Carleton Ravens, OUA West champion York Lions, University of Toronto Varsity Blues, and McMaster Marauders.

The women's Final Four was played in Waterloo at Laurier University. It featured the OUA West champions Laurier Golden Hawks, OUA East champions Queen's Gaels, McMaster Marauders, and Ottawa Gee Gees.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

OUA Women's Final Four - Queen's 3, McMaster 0

The Queen's Gaels put on a masterful show in Waterloo today as they dominated the McMaster Marauders in their OUA semi-final matchup. Like the York v Toronto men's game earlier today, this one ended with the losing team down a player.

I had some troubles getting the online stream going and came into the game when there were close to ten minutes played. The Queen's starting lineup was almost the same as last week's lineup against the Carleton Ravens, with the exception of Breanna Burton starting in place of the injured Kelli Chamberlain.

OUA Men's Final Four - Toronto 4, YorkU 1

The first game of the Men's OUA Final Four was played today between the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and the York University Lions. York came into this game as the undisputed #1 team in the country and Toronto was the lowest ranked team in the OUA Final Four.

Last year the two teams faced each other in the OUA final with Toronto winning in penalties after a scoreless draw. John Smits of Toronto stole the game with two penalty stops. Today? Well, much different today.

The game started off with amazing speed and York tallied a goal in the 5th minute when Adrian Pena fired in a long free kick that deflected off of a Toronto defender and into the back of the net. Toronto answered six minutes later when Ezequiel Lubocki jumped on a loose ball and put it past York's first team All-Star goalkeeper Sotiri Variokostas.

News: Kingston Westbrook dome construction delayed

Some bad news for those in the Kingston area hoping to play indoor soccer this season, as Anita Harnden from the Westbrook Golf Club sent out an email this week informing members of the local soccer community that their plans for the construction of a new dome had been delayed again.

The short and long of the situation is that despite the plans and proposals being submitted to the City of Kingston, approval for construction has not yet been given, and with the delays mounting, the feasibility of the financial stability of the dome is diminishing daily. The plan is now to build the dome in the summer of 2012 with an eye to having a full indoor season beginning that fall.

Read the full email after the jump.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

OUA Men's Final Four - preview

This coming weekend, the OUA is holding the Final Four round for both the women and men's soccer playoffs. The women's round is being played in Waterloo at Wilfrid Laurier's University Stadium while the men's is being played in Ottawa at Carleton University.

Yesterday we took a quick look at the women's Final Four, and today we are taking a look at the teams involved in the men's Final Four.

On the men's side, the Carleton Ravens are the host team due to their first place finish in the OUA East. Joining them from the OUA East are the University of Toronto Varsity blues. Coming in from the OUA West are the first place York Lions and the second place McMaster Marauders.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

OUA Women's Final Four - preview

This coming weekend, the OUA is holding the Final Four round for both the women and men's soccer playoffs. The women's round is being played in Waterloo at Wilfrid Laurier's University Stadium while the men's is being played in Ottawa at Carleton University.

Today we will take a quick look at the four teams involved in the women's Final Four, and tomorrow we'll take a look at the men's Final Four.

On the women's side, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks are the host team due to their first place finish in the OUA West. Joining them from the OUA West are the McMaster Marauders. Coming in from the OUA East are the first place Queen's Gaels and the second place Ottawa Gee-Gees.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Weekend roundup - Oct 29/30 - OUA playoffs

There was only one game played by a Kingston team this weekend, the Queen's Gaels women faced off against the Carleton Ravens in an OUA quarter-final matchup. Queen's had received the bye due to their first place finish in the OUA East, and Carleton had to play a mid-week game against Laurentian.

Carleton came into the game on something of a high due to their defeat of Laurentian by a 5-0 scoreline. They may have been filled with confidence at the starting whistle, but it took just over ten minutes for Queen's striker Jacqueline Tessier to burst that confidence by putting a ball into the top corner of the net to give Queen's an early 1-0 lead. Queen's dominated the run of play, moving the ball around, and not letting the Ravens back into the game. Almost immediately after halftime, Kelli Chamberlain put a chipped cross in that Tessier touched into the back of the net for her second goal of the match. Riley Filion finished off the scoring in the 84th minute on a tap-in from a Breanna Burton cross.

Queen's now moves on to the OUA Final Four this coming weekend.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

OUA 2011 All-Stars - Men

The OUA women's all-stars and honours were announced on Thursday, and the men's honours followed on Friday afternoon.

The Kingston based teams did well in the awards with five players being named between the Queen's Gaels and RMC Paladins. The University of Toronto Blues and Carleton Ravens led the way with nine players being named between the two teams, fitting based on their positions at the top of the OUA East.

Friday, 28 October 2011

OUA 2011 All-Stars - Women

The OUA all-stars were announced Thursday morning for women's soccer, both East and West.

The Queen's Gaels fared excellently with third-year midfielder Riley Filion earning the OUA East MVP award and a first team all-star naming. Filion scored six goals this season for the Gaels and is a two-time CIS Championship All-Star, member of the Canadian women's summer universiade team, and scored the winning goal in the CIS Championship game last season.

OUA Women Playoff preview: Queen's v Carleton

The Queen's Gaels women begin their playoffs this Sunday afternoon at 1pm when they face the Carleton Ravens at Richardson Stadium's new north turf field.

The Gaels earned a bye through to the OUA quarter-final round due to their first place finish in the OUA East with a regular season record of 13-1-2, good enough to be ranked 4th overall in the CIS. The Carleton Ravens are coming off of a 5-0 demolition of the Laurentian Lady Vees in the opening round of the playoffs. The Ravens had to play this game due to their fourth place finish in the OUA East with a record of 8-6-2.

Carleton will be coming into the game feeling good about themselves as the Queen's Gaels were only able to play the Lady Vees to a 2-2 draw last Sunday afternoon. Having said that, taking a look at the games between these two teams and the way that they match up, the Ravens have a big task ahead of them if they want to get to the OUA Final Four being played on the weekend of November 5th and 6th.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

University Men: Queen's Gaels 1, Laurentian Voyageurs 1

It was a cold and miserable afternoon out at the new north field at Richardson Stadium on the Queen's West Campus. The temperature was hovering around 5 degrees Celcius, and a light rain was drizzling. The Laurentian Voyageurs men were down for a playoff game just three days after their last visit against the Queen's Gaels, the two teams ranked fifth and fourth in the OUA East respectively.

The Gaels took to the field in their full gold uniforms, while Laurentian lined up in dark blues. Queen's lined up in a classic 4-4-2 line up with Dylan Maxwell in goal, Adrian Rochford, David Tom, Joseph Zupo, and Matt Kenny across the back (from left to right). Jordan Brooks, the Queen's captain, Henry Bloemen, Pat Zanetti, and Andrew Colosimo played in a flat four midfield, and Peter Christidis and Eric Koskins lining up as the strikers.

Laurentian countered with a change to the 4-4-2 lineup they had presented in Sunday's match against Queen's. They lined up with a 4-1-4-1 formation. Matt George started in goal for them, with Patrick Smoke, Cameron Brooks, Brian Kavaratzis, and Andrew Posteraro playing across the back. Daniel O'Connor played just in front of the defense, and in a midfield diamond, Stephen Fattore, Liam Dougherty in the back and Davor Alisic in front of him. On the right side of the midfield was Laurentian's captain, James Bond. Up front was Dieri Drame acting as a lone striker.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

CIS Men Playoff preview: Queen's v Laurentian

Over the last ten days, the Queen's Gaels and Laurentian Voyageurs have played each other twice. Both games were hard fought, both were decided late, and both ended in draws.

This Wednesday, October 26th, they face each other again, this time in a sudden death playoff game, with the winner likely getting to face the University of Toronto on Sunday afternoon.

Playing each other three times in such a short period of time is going to give the two teams a good understanding of each other and is almost certain to cause a bit of bad blood between players based on the events of those prior games and the way that things fell out.

I'm going to take a brief look at the past two games between the teams, how they matched up, and what might be expected tomorrow afternoon.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Weekend roundup - Oct 22/23

The last week of the regular season came very quickly for the CIS soccer teams, with everything finishing up this weekend. On the line for the Queen's Gaels teams were playoff seedings, while the RMC Paladins were playing for pride, having been eliminated from the playoffs already.

The Nipissing Lakers and Laurentian Voyageurs were down for the weekend, after Queen's and RMC had visited them last weekend. Nipissing, like RMC, were playing for pride, but both Laurentian teams were playing for playoff seedings in the hopes being able to host their first round playoff games this coming Wednesday.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Weekend preview - Oct 22/23

This weekend features the final rounds of the CIS men's and women's soccer in the OUA. Several things are on the line for both Queen's teams and their players as the Laurentian Voyageurs and Nipissing Lakers come to Kingston to play against both the Queen's Gaels and RMC Paladins.

On the college front, there was a disappointing end to the season this week for the St. Lawrence Vikings women's squad. After their big win last Sunday, they held down the final playoff spot in the OCAA East Division, but the La Cite Coyotes managed to get by Fleming Knights with a goal in the 60th minute to win the game 1-0 and jump past the Vikings for the final spot in the OCAA playoffs.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Weekend roundup - Oct 15/16

Similar to last week, it was another busy weekend for Kingston based teams with two college home games and eight university away games.

There were also two college home games played midweek. Both Vikings men and women lost that night by 2-1 scorelines against Fleming, and in both cases had taken the lead early in the game, giving up the winning goal late. Carolina Parravano scored for the women, and Adam Wood scored the first goal of the season for the men's squad.

The St. Lawrence Vikings men's and women's squads both played their final games of the season, hosting the Centennial Colts on Sunday afternoon. The women won convincingly by a 3-0 scoreline with goals from Erica Routhier, Megan Hutcheson, and Jocelyn Sutton. This keeps the Vikings mathematically in the playoff hunt at 7 points on the season (2-4-1 record), but they have to hope that their two closest competitors (La Cite and Fleming) lose both of their upcoming games.

College Women: St. Lawrence Vikings 3, Centennial Colts 0

Some days, the weather is agreeable, others not so much. Sunday's final regular season games for the St. Lawrence Vikings featured a strange mix of the two. The temperature was mid-20s Celcius, but the winds were cold and astoundingly strong blowing from west to east across the field.

The Vikings took to the field in their traditional white tops, black shorts, and black socks, while the Centennial Colts wore an all-black kit with white highlights. The Colts had the initial kick-off playing from north to south in front of only a handful of fans braving the strong winds.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

College: St. Lawrence Vikings v Fleming Knights quick summary

Last night, the St. Lawrence Vikings women's and men's teams faced the Fleming Knights in their second last game of the season. Both teams needed to come up with big wins in order to stay alive in the playoff picture. The women came into the game in a tie for fourth place (top four teams make the playoffs), and the men sat in fifth spot coming into the matchup.

The day was gloomy and wet, and the game times were bumped up by an hour earlier in the week to accomodate the expected weather, and to ensure that the games would be completed before the fall of darkness. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend due to returning home from watching Canada's World Cup qualifier against Puerto Rico in Toronto the night before, and I was a bit over-exhausted.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Weekend roundup - Oct 8/9

This weekend's schedule featured two college home games and eight university away games.

Both St. Lawrence teams played at home on Friday, with the men's team playing their first game at home after a rough 0-2-2 road trip to start their season. A goal with less than 10 minutes left gave their opponents, Seneca Sting, a 1-0 win on the day. This leaves the men's Vikings team in the difficult position of having to win both of their last two games to have a chance at the playoffs.

The women's team fared much worse losing 3-0 to the Seneca Sting squad. Two Vikings players left the game due to injury, one of their midfielders (#14) and their starting goalkeeper, Jessica Dodge. The women are in a three-way tie for fourth place, and winning both of their last two games would give them a good shot at the playoffs.

Friday, 7 October 2011

World Cup Qualifying: Canada 7, St. Lucia 0

Tonight, Canada played in St. Lucia at the Beausejour Cricket Field. The game was not televised, but Canada took control of the game early, and the (approximately) 25 Canadians there outnumbered the 200 St. Lucian supporters.

The game was streamed over the internet with commentary by Max Bell and RedNation Online's Gavin Day. Due to a complete and utter lack of television highlights, I decided to interpret the commentary and present a brief highlight package using... puppets.

Yes. Puppets. So, read on for "Fables from Canada's trip to Fraggle Lucia."

College Women: St. Lawrence Vikings 0, Seneca Sting 3

It was a fantastic day for soccer today with blue skies, some cloud, and lots of warmth from the sun. I left work to head over to the St. Lawrence College field for the 3:30pm kickoff of the women's game, and ended up arriving just around 3pm. Imagine my surprise to see that the game had already kicked off and was almost thirty minutes in already!

The Seneca Sting team was dressed in all red, complete with long sleeved shirts, and was leading the St. Lawrence Vikings 1-0 already. St. Lawrence was dressed in their standard white tops, black shorts (with white highlights), and black socks (with red highlights). My immediate impression on arrival was that Seneca obviously deserved their lead. They were controlling the play, moving the ball around comfortably, and forcing St. Lawrence to constantly chase the play.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

World Cup Qualifying: Canada visits St. Lucia (Updated)

Tomorrow evening at 6pm ET, the Canadian men's national team (CMNT) will be playing their third game of the second round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The game is being played down in St. Lucia, and Canada beat them in Toronto on the 2nd of September by a 4-1 scoreline. Canada won both of their qualifiers to date by scores of 4-1 and 3-0 (at Puerto Rico) and can eliminate St. Lucia with a win.

Unfortunately, the game is not being televised due to a lack of broadcast facilities at the source, but Canada Soccer will be tweeting a commentary of the game for people to follow along with. Rogers Sportsnet has sent down a small camera crew to do interviews and collect highlights to be shown later.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Weekend roundup - Oct 1/2

With a weekend schedule including five university home games and three college away games, Kingston-based teams did not have the best of weekends all told.
The St. Lawrence teams played up in the Toronto area this past weekend, with both women and men facing Durham College on Friday evening, and the men facing George Brown on Saturday afternoon. The men came away with two scoreless draws on the weekend, bringing their record up to 2 losses and 2 draws. The women had much poorer luck, losing by a 2-0 score against Durham College, dropping their record to 1 win, 2 losses, and a draw.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

University Men: Queen's Gaels 2, Carleton Ravens 4

The game between the Queen's men and the Carleton men followed soon after the women's game finished. I had to miss the first few minutes of the game due to the need to get a heavier jacket. The chill of the first game had left me shivering, so I upgraded to my grey Toronto FC stadium jacket, which sheltered me from the wind and cold. The wind had picked up between the first and second games of the day, but the ambient temperature had climbed slightly.

I arrived in the 5th minute of the match, just as Queen's was taking a kickoff. Carleton's Andrew Latty, one of their strikers, had just scored, moments before my arrival. Within 5 minutes, Carleton had doubled their lead to 2-0 as a ball had been pushed across the face of goal and fired in at the far post by their centre midfielder Sam McHugh.

Queen's was dressed in yellow for the match, just as the women's team, but Carleton was wearing white jerseys with red shorts. The teams kicked off the same way as the women, with Queen's attacking with the wind, although it did not seem to be helping them at all.

University Women: Queen's Gaels 2, Carleton Ravens 0

It was a cold, windy day Saturday afternoon down at Richardson Stadium on the Queen's West Campus with a temperature of 6 degrees Celcius when I left the house. The wind was moving at a good clip toward the southwest, but at ground level the air almost felt still. The weather chased a number of fans away and there were not many more than twenty people in the stands at any given time (not including the non-playing players from either team).

Queen's won the coin toss and took the north end of the field for the first half – they usually take the south end to start. The Queen's Gaels wore yellow for the second game in a row while the Carleton Ravens wore an all-black kit on the day with white highlights. Interestingly, the Carleton team was the first I'd seen this year that was not sponsored by Adidas, but rather was sponsored by Umbro.

Friday, 30 September 2011

University: RMC Paladins v Queen's Gaels quick summary

Yesterday afternoon, the RMC Paladins and Queen's Gaels teams played each other for the second time this season. Previously, Queen's took both games by a 1-0 score in the men's game and 3-1 in the women's. Both games were extremely close and were decided in the very late stages.

Thursday's games were both played out at RMC's campus just across the LaSalle Causeway over the Cataraqui River (a tributary of the Rideau Canal). Unfortunately, I was unable to attend either game, but got a quick summary of the game from one of the assistant coaches of the Queen's women's squad.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Weekend roundup - Sept 24/25

There was a lot of soccer being played in the Kingston area this weekend, starting off with the St. Lawrence College Vikings women's soccer team starting their season off against Loyalist College from Belleville on the Thursday evening. St. Lawrence and Loyalist College played to a hard fought 1-1 draw to begin the OCAA season.

University Women: RMC Paladins 0, Ryerson Rams 1

With Sunday morning looking dreary and cool, I feared the worst for the afternoon. I was assigned as one of the assistants for the RMC women's game against the Ryerson Rams, the second time I'd seen Ryerson in two days.

I arrived in plenty of time at the RMC campus and talked with RMC's coach Chad Beaulieu and one of their assistants, Mark Stanley, for a bit before the rest of the team of referees arrived. We talked about their season to date and how even though they've had some trouble with injuries over the last couple of weeks, they were pleased with how the team has been handling the adversity.

The game was scheduled to be played on Navy Bay 4, which is just to the left upon entering the campus, one of six sports fields surrounding the campus entrance. The field was in fantastic shape, and very little wind was coming in off of the bay at the meeting of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. With few clouds in the sky and a bright sun, it was almost natural that we would be wearing black uniforms for the game.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

University Women: Queen's Gaels 2, Ryerson Rams 0

On Saturday afternoon, the Queen's University Gaels women's soccer team faced off against the Ryerson Rams at Richardson Stadium. The day was wet with a misty drizzle coming down all afternoon and a sense of mugginess in the air.

I was scheduled to be an assistant referee for this game, AR2 to be specific. The second AR inhabits the side of the field away from the benches, and is generally responsible for taking game notes and timing to assist the referee.

We wore a set of reds for the game, I'd just picked one up earlier in the week in a long sleeve. I figured that the long sleeve would be quite hot to wear, but it worked out quite well with the rain coming down, allowing me to keep some warmth despite the damp weather. Queen's came out wearing their gold jerseys as OUA teams have a policy of wearing their light colours in the first weekend game and their dark colours in the second game. To counter, Ryerson wore a nice royal blue set of uniforms.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Kingston Prospect FC 1, TFC Academy II 9

Tonight was the first CSL related game played in Kingston, Ontario, a CSL Reserve Division game between the Prospect FC team and TFC Academy II, their U-17 squad. The game was played at Tindall Field on the Queen's University campus at 7pm.

I arrived about ten minutes before kickoff and ran into a few people I knew, including a fellow TFC supporter who is working for the Kingston Prospect team now. I paid my $10 entry fee, which is a bit steep for a CSL Reserve game, and took my seat on the bleachers.

The crowd was decently sized at kickoff, maybe about 40-50 people, and that grew to at least 75 at its busiest. The TFC kids wore all red while the Prospect team wore all white. There was a big balloon archway by a tent, a DJ, t-shirts for sale, and even a raffle! Unfortunately, there were no corner flags!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

St. Lawrence 2011 soccer schedules released

The OCAA released the 2011 men's and women's soccer schedules this morning. Both teams are playing seven games this season (rather than the prior eight), with the men playing four away and three home. The women's team is playing four at home and three away, with their first home game this evening at 5pm.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

OCAA college season starts Sept 23rd!

This year's Ontario Colleges Athletic Association fall sports schedule was affected by a strike by support staff at the various colleges in Ontario. With a tentative agreement reached between management and the staff yesterday, the OCAA announced that their fall league sports schedule would begin at the end of this week. Modified schedules and formats are expected to be released in the next few days.

Steve Douglas, the coach for the St. Lawrence College men's soccer team, informed me that they would be picking up this weekend where the schedule is now, and then fill in games that have been missed. That means that the St. Lawrence College Vikings would begin their schedule in Ottawa on Sunday with games at 1pm (women's) and 3pm (men's) against La Cite.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

University Men: Queen's Gaels 1, RMC Paladins 0

The second game of the day was scheduled to be played on Tindall Field on the main Queen's campus due to a scheduling conflict at Richardson Stadium with the football team. As such, I decided to skip home to grab some dinner after the early game and then headed down to the men's game, arriving just in time to see the second half kick off.

Friday, 16 September 2011

University Women: Queen's Gaels 3, RMC Paladins 1

On a nice Friday afternoon, Queen's University hosted the other local university, RMC, out at Richardson Stadium this afternoon. Due to work obligations, I was unable to get to the game in time for its kickoff at 3:30pm, and got there in the 22nd minute of play.

To put today's game into perspective, it is best to know that over the past few years, the Queen's women's team has done very well, winning the CIS championship last fall, while RMC's team has not done quite so well. Despite this, each time Queen's and RMC play each other, the games are very tight and very even with RMC's fitness matching well against the skill of the Queen's players.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

CSL: Kingston Prospect FC playing

It was announced yesterday that later this month, Saturday September 24 at 7pm, the Prospect FC team (currently based out of Ottawa) in the CSL's reserve division will be playing a game against the TFC Academy II (the U17 Junior Academy squad, also playing in the CSL's reserve division) in Kingston.

The game will be hosted at Tindall Field on the Queen's University main campus, and will cost $10 per person.

According to the Whig-Standard article about the upcoming game, Nick Moren, a student at Frontenac Secondary School and a player in the Cataraqui Clippers youth club, will be playing with the team that night.

Monday, 12 September 2011

University Men: Queen's Gaels 3, Trent Excalibur 0

The second match of the afternoon was between the men's teams. Last year Queen's won both encounters by scores of 4-1 and 1-0. Once again, Queen's dominated the play in this encounter, as Trent did not seem quite as strong as the local squad.

For this game I was one of the assistant referees, working as AR1 on the team bench side of the field. In this role one of my duties was dealing with the substitutions and the benches (if necessary). Fortunately, in this game, both teams were well skilled with few fouls during the game, and there were few reasons for either bench to get upset with events on the field of play.

University Women: Queen's Gaels 2, Trent Excalibur 1

Sunday was another good day to go watch a soccer game. I was scheduled to be one of the officials for the second game of the day (the Men's game), and decided to prepare myself by taking in the early game.

I arrived several minutes into the early game, Queen's wearing dark blue and Trent wearing all whites. Last season, Queen's dominated both games with Trent by a combined score of 13-1. This game was far different.

The early tone was set by Queen's, but Trent absorbed the pressure well and made several strong counterattacks. This led to a corner about halfway through the first half; a strong ball was put across the box and Trent striker Brittany Forester rose above one of her teammates and a Queen's defender to nod the ball into the back of the net to give Trent a surprise lead.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

University Women: Queen's Gaels 1, Ottawa Gee Gees 0

On a completely lovely day without a cloud in the sky (and not too hot either), I took Katie for a little walk out and about and went down to Richardson Stadium on the Queen's West Campus to watch the Queen's Gaels women's team play their home opener against the Ottawa Gee Gees.

Last year, the Gee Gees won both games against Queen's by a 1-0 scoreline, but those were the only two losses by Queen's en route to winning the Canadian Championships out in PEI. As Ottawa always gives Queen's a very tough game, yesterday was no different. I only managed to see the second half of the game, but what I saw was Ottawa all over Queen's, getting a lot of good chances, but not being able to get anything from them.

Support Local Football (or Soccer as you may...)

This is a new blog that I've decided to start on a total lark.  I've been a big proponent of the recent resurgence of the "Support Local Football" movement.  What began as a grassroots movement hit it big with discussions on the Canadian Soccer News site and eventually led to the "Support Local Football" video below.  The video was filmed at The Football Factory in Toronto with a combination of supporters, media personalities, and players showing their support for the beautiful game at all levels:

The combination of these things, along with my recent last minute (bought my ticket the day before the match) trip down to Toronto to watch the Canadian Men's National Team play against St Lucia in a World Cup Qualifier led me to begin considering putting something like this together.

My initial focus will be on local games and events, including the local universities (Queen's University and RMC), the local college (St Lawrence College), and any local teams (whether local leagues or wider area), and I hope to expand from there, hopefully with other people writing about their local leagues, teams, or otherwise.

Any and all comments are welcome, and I'll try to respond to everything I can.