OPEN SEASON FOR OUA MEN'S SOCCER

HAMILTON, Ont. – The 2008 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Men's Soccer season opened today in Sudbury as the Laurentian Voyageurs defeated the Nipissing Lakers 2-1.

Rudy Muteba (Sudbury, Ont.) and Steve Rachkowski (Sudbury, Ont.) netted goals for the Voyageurs, while Kwadwo Adusei (Brampton, Ont.) scored Nippising's lone marker. Scott Cliff (Sudbury, Ont.) made five saves in his Voyageurs debut in front of the Laurentian faithful. The game was a rematch of an OUA playoff between these northern rivals, which Nipissing won 4-2.

The York Lions enter the season as the team to beat after needing penalty kicks to defeat Western Ontario 3-2 in the OUA Final. The Lions and Mustangs have developed into one of the fierce rivalries in the West Division. It was Western who handed York its only regular season loss in 2007. After gaining a measure of revenge in the OUA Final, both teams met again in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) National Championship Tournament, where Western handed York a 4-1 loss in the bronze medal game.

York and Western have won the last two OUA championships, with the Mustangs winning three of the past five titles. Western and York enter the season ranked No. 3 and No. 4 in the nation respectively. Both teams open their regular seasons on Saturday, as York hosts Guelph and Western visits Brock. The Lions return all but one starter in 2008 – goalkeeper Ramon McIntosh (Toronto, Ont.). His replacement is more than qualified, as Alim Karim (Scarborough, Ont.) played for Canada at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2003 in United Arab Emirates.

Western was also a thorn in the side of the Carleton Ravens in 2007. The Mustangs ended Carleton's dream of an undefeated season in the OUA Semi Final, defeating the Ravens 2-1. Carleton is riding a 25-match unbeaten streak (overall) in OUA East regular season play and has captured the OUA East title (or a share of the title) the past two years. They are ranked No. 9 in Canada to begin the season. Carleton will host the 2008 CIS Tournament from November 6 to 9 at Ravens' Field. The Ravens open the season at home against Trent on Wednesday. Carleton is led by veteran brothers Jorge and Roberto Gutierrez (Ottawa, Ont.). Both are OUA All-Stars and last year Roberto was named CIS First Team All-Canadian.

Three individuals will make their debuts as OUA head coaches this season, as Dino Perri takes over the McMaster Marauders, Tony D'Agostino leads the Nippissing Lakers and Carlo Cannovan guides the Queen's Gaels. Perri, D'Agostino and Cannovan's experience is in contrast with Brock Badgers head coach Bill Millar, who is entering his 24th season in the position.

The Ryerson Rams will call Lamport Stadium home this season, and look to build on a strong second half of last season, which saw the team go 2-2-2 in its final six games to qualify for the final playoff spot in the OUA East Division. McMaster will also play its home games in new surroundings at Ron Joyce Stadium.

For the complete regular season men's soccer schedule, visit OUA.ca.

– OUA –

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Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and its 19 member institutions are developing Champions For Life. Giving 9,000 student-athletes the opportunity to excel academically and on the playing field, while preparing for life after university. For more information, visit OUA.ca.
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