HAMILTON, Ont. – Ontario University Athletics (OUA) returns to the soccer pitch with a full slate of games beginning Saturday, August 29th, as the league announced the schedule for the 2015 season on Monday.
There might not be a better way to kick off the season than a matchup between two of the biggest rivals in OUA men's soccer. In a rematch of last year's OUA bronze medal game, the Ryerson Rams will head across town to take on University of Toronto Varsity Blues at the Varsity Centre. The Rams will have revenge on their minds as when these teams last met, Toronto prevailed over Ryerson in penalty kicks to earn the bronze.
The defending men's champions from York will kick off their title defense on Thursday, September 3rd as the Lions travel to Hamilton, Ont. to take on the rival McMaster Marauders. The Lions haven't lost a game since they fell 1-0 on October 5th, 2013 to the Marauders.
The last time the Lions were in the "Steel City," they defeated the hometown favorite Marauders 2-0 to capture the OUA men's soccer championship. The following week, the two OUA foes met again at UPEI Turf with York defeating McMaster 1-0 to win the CIS national championship and hoist their fourth Sam Davidson Memorial Trophy in program history.
Neither team will have to wait long for the rematch as just a week later the Marauders will head to York Stadium to face the Lions on Thursday, September 10th.
Meanwhile, on the women's side the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees will host the Queen's Gaels on Saturday, August 29th as they look to become the first women's team to repeat as OUA champions since the aforementioned Gaels won back-to-back titles in 2001 and 2002.
The Gee-Gees defeated the Western Mustangs 1-0 last season in the OUA Final Four gold medal match at McMaster's Ron Joyce Stadium. Since the two teams play in opposite divisions, they will not meet each other during the regular season, however, a matchup of these powerhouse programs is not out of the question once again come November.
Last season, the UOIT Ridgebacks announced their arrival when they knocked off the previously mentioned Gee-Gees 3-2 in their home opener. The top two teams in the East division from last season will clash at Matt Anthony Field in Ottawa, Ont. on Sunday, September 13th and will close out the regular season at Vaso's Field in Oshawa, Ont.
With both purple pride and three points on the line, the Laurier Golden Hawks will travel to London, Ont. to take on the rival Mustangs on Saturday, September 12th. The teams split their regular season meetings last season with each team successfully defending home turf. The two teams will meet again at Laurier's University Stadium on Sunday, October 4th for the rematch.
The regular season wraps up on October 25th with eight women's games and seven men's games, including the final Hwy 6 showdown between the Guelph Gryphons and McMaster Marauders.
First-round playoff action gets underway on Wednesday, October 28th with the quarter-finals taking place on Sunday, November 1st. The men's OUA Final Four will be hosted this season by the highest remaining team from the West division, while the women's OUA Final Four will be hosted by the highest remaining club from the East. Each Final Four tournament will take place on Saturday, November 7th and Sunday, November 8th.
With the reigning CIS national champion York Lions hosting this year's 2015 CIS men's soccer championship, three OUA teams will earn a berth into the national championship tournament. The Lions will receive an automatic entry into the event, with an additional two OUA teams receiving berths based on playoff performance.
The CIS championship is set to run Thursday, November 12th to Sunday, November 15th.
The full 2015 schedules can be found here: