YORK WINS 2008 CIS MEN'S SOCCER CROWN

OTTAWA, Ont. – David Nogaro scored in the 83rd minute to lead the York Lions to a 1-0 gold-medal win over the Trinity Western Spartans and the second CIS men's soccer title in team history, Sunday afternoon, at Carleton University's Ravens' Field.

It took the Lions 31 long years to capture an elusive second Sam Davidson Memorial Trophy, their first triumph coming back in 1977.

The victory also marked York's first CIS banner in any sport since the school was crowned in women's track and field in 1989-90.

"This win was made possible by a combination of passion and sacrifices," said York head coach Carmine Isacco, whose team had been considered a top contender all season but came into the national championship as OUA finalist after being upset by Laurier in the Ontario final last Sunday. "I couldn't be more proud of this group of guys."

Championship website: www.cisport.ca/e/championships/m_soccer/2008

"It's an important win for our program and York University, but also a great day for CIS soccer. The two teams today put on a great performance, it was a wonderful showcase of the level of talent in university soccer in Canada."

The Canada West finalist Spartans settle for CIS silver for the second time in three years. Trinity Western lost to Alberta by a similar 1-0 score in the 2006 title match.

"We lost to a great team today, the guys have nothing to be ashamed of," said TWU head coach Al Alderson. "We faced more adversity this season than in all my years of coaching university soccer. To come out of Canada West and advance to the national final, I'm very, very proud of our guys."

Nogaro, a fourth-year midfielder from Richmond Hill, Ont., took a pass inside the box from CIS player of the year Francesco Bruno of Toronto and calmly sent the ball past diving goalkeeper Andrew Kowan in the top right corner of the net.

The Lions seemed in control for the rest of regulation play as they were content to hold on to their lead, but the Spartans fought until the final whistle and came inches away to tying the affair in injury time.

Sophomore midfielder Liam McAllister of Vancouver centered a ball that was redirected with the head by prolific striker Adrian Kekec of Burnaby, B.C., forcing keeper Alim Karim to jump and make a miraculous save, barely tipping the ball over the crossbar.

Trinity Western had one last chance moments later but couldn't convert on a corner kick.

Karim, a native of Scarborough, Ont., made four saves on the afternoon to record his third shutout in as many outings at the championship.

The Lions, who blanked Victoria 3-0 in Thursday's first round and Montreal 1-0 in Saturday's semi-final, became the third team to end the CIS tournament without allowing a single goal since 1991, the first year teams had to win three games to capture the Davidson Trophy. Western Ontario, in 1999, and UBC, in 1994, also accomplished the feat.

The first half was a very defensive affair, with York enjoying the best scoring opportunities.

Bruno sailed a 25-yard strike over the net in the 20th minute, and teammate Dominic Antonini, a sophomore from Winnipeg who scored the game-winner in the semi-final against Montreal, also missed high from just outside the box three minutes later.

Trinity Western's best chance of the initial period came in the 35th minute when midfielder Goran Vitic of Surrey, B.C., missed right from up close after two York defenders couldn't clear the ball from the box.

Back from the break, the Spartans came close to opening the scoring in the 67th minute but Karim moved to his right to stop a 35-yard strike from Kekec. On the ensuing corner, midfielder Nathan Square-Briggs barely missed on a header.

The Lions had a glorious opportunity of their own in the 76th minute.

Off a Bruno corner, freshman Adrian Pena of Woodbridge, Ont., sent a header right at the net but defenceman McAllister, standing on the goal line, prevented the ball from going in. Midfielder Philip Rivers of Toronto missed high on the rebound.

Kowan ended up with three saves in the losing cause.

Second-year York midfielder Gerard Ladiyou of Burlington, Ont., earned tournament-MVP honours.

Rounding out the championship all-star team are teammates Bruno, Rivers and midfielder Douglas Sereti of Toronto, the Trinity Western trio of Kowan of Richmond, B.C., defender Paul Hamilton of Calgary and striker Daniel Lowen of Langley, B.C., defender Hicham Aâboubou of Morocco and midfielder Nicolas Suter of Switzerland, both from bronze medalist Montreal, Laval defender Alexandre Lévesque-Tremblay of Baie-Saint-Paul, Que., and Carleton midfielder Peter Magiras of Belleville, Ont.

Players of the game in the gold-medal final were Nogaro for York and Hamilton for Trinity Western.

"This win means so much to us," said Ladiyou. "Last year, we lost in overtime to UBC in the semi-final and it was devastating. We rebounded this year with a great team effort. I'm just so happy."

SUMMARY

YORK: 0-1:1

TWU: 0-0:0

First Half:

No Scoring.

Second Half:

1. YORK, David Nogaro, 83rd

Goalkeepers:

YORK: Alim Karim (W, 0 GA, 4 saves, SO, 90 mins)

TWU: Andrew Kowan (L, 1 GA, 3 saves, 90 mins)

Shots: -

Shots on net: YORK 4, TWU 4

Corners: -

Offsides: -

Fouls: -

Yellow Cards: TWU (Mustafa Demirci)

Red Cards: none

Players of the Game:

YORK: David Nogaro

TWU: Paul Hamilton

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times LOCAL)

Thursday, Nov. 6
Quarter-final #1: York 3, Victoria 0
Quarter-final #2: Montreal 2, Dalhousie 0
Quarter-final #3: Trinity Western 1, Laurier 0
Quarter-final #4: Laval 4, Carleton 1

Friday, Nov. 7
Consolation #1: Dalhousie 1, Victoria 0 (5-4 PK)
Consolation #2: Carleton 2, Laurier 1

Saturday, Nov. 8
5th place game: Carleton 3, Dalhousie 0
Semi-final #1: York 1, Montreal 0
Semi-final #2: Trinity Western 2, Laval 1

Sunday, Nov. 9
Bronze medal: Montreal 2, Laval 1 (OT)
Championship final: York 1, Trinity Western 0

Source: CIS Communications

Photo Credit: Freestylephotography.com
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