SPARTANS HOST CANADA WEST SELECT SIX STARTING THURSDAY

SPARTANS HOST CANADA WEST SELECT SIX STARTING THURSDAY

LANGLEY, British Columbia – The top six teams in Canada West women’s soccer are headed to Trinity Western University this week, as the conference’s Select Six championship tournament opens Thursday, November 3 at Chase Office Soccer Field in Langley, B.C.

This year’s championships marks just the second year of the Select Six format, after the conference expanded from the existing four-team format beginning last year in Saskatoon.

The No. 2-ranked Spartans will enter the Select Six as one of the tournament’s top two seeds after finishing atop the Pacific Division in the regular season before earning a 3-0 win over UBCO in their divisional play-in series last weekend.

TWU will be aiming for its seventh Canada West title and fourth in the last six years. The Spartans earned a direct bye in the semifinals on Saturday and will await the winner of the quarter-final match-up between Saskatchewan and Victoria. Game time is at 1 p.m. (PT).

The Huskies enter the contest after downing Regina 2-0 in their play-in game, while the Vikes fought off a late Fraser Valley comeback to win their play-in game 3-2 last weekend.

On the other side of the draw, MacEwan will await the winner of the quarter-final game between defending Canada West and CIS champion UBC and Manitoba – both of which needed heroic individual efforts just to get to the Select Six.

UBC nearly missed out on the tournament all together, as they needed a three-goal outburst from Aman Shergill in the second half of their play-in game against Alberta to earn a 3-2 victory and a ticket to the conference championship tournament.

Manitoba also needed a major individual effort to make it to the Select Six, as goalkeeper Maddie Wilford stopped 13 shots against the Prairie Division leaders from Calgary, as the Bisons earned a 1-0 win and their first trip to the conference championship tourney since 2008.

The semifinal games on Saturday hold dual importance, as the winners will automatically earn one of three Canada West berths to the national championship, hosted by Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia Nov. 10-13.

The third and final CW berth will be decided by the conference bronze medal game. Both medal games are slated for Sunday.

Viewers will be able to watch every Select Six game on CanadaWest.tv with a tournament pass for $10.00 CAD.

NOTE: Should weather force any games to be moved to a secondary field, webcasting will not be available. Partial refunds will be extended to tournament pass holders.

CANADA WEST CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW

TRINITY WESTERN UNIVERSITY SPARTANS
2016 CW regular season record: 11-0-3, 1st in Pacific Division
2016 record vs. Select Six teams: 1-0-1 vs. UBC, 1-0-1 vs. Victoria, 1-0 vs. Saskatchewan

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2014 / 6
Last CIS championship / total CIS championships: 2013 / 5
 
2016 CW regular season ranks:
Offence: 31 goals, 3rd
Defence: 6 goals against, 1st
 
2016 CW regular season leaders:
Goals: 8 – Isabella Di Trocchio, Striker
Assists: 7 – Rachel Hutchinson, Striker
Points: 10 – Rachel Hutchinson, Striker
Wins: 10 – Ally Williamson, Goalkeeper
Shutouts: 9 – Ally Williamson, Goalkeeper
 
Key performer:
Seina Kashima
Striker
3rd-Year
Burnaby, B.C.

The speedy third-year striker is as dangerous a playmaker off the wing as they come. This year she tallied six assists to go with three goals and was a threat to create every time she touched the ball. Over the last two years, Kashima has 13 assists, which puts her in a tie with Rachel Hutchinson for the team lead.

UBC THUNDERBIRDS
2016 CW regular season record: 6-3-5, 4th Pacific Division
2016 record vs. Select Six teams: 0-0-1 vs. MacEwan,  0-1-1 vs. Trinity Western, 1-0-1 vs. Victoria, 1-0-0 vs. Manitoba

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2015 / 14
Last CIS championship / total CIS championships: 2015 / 6
 
2016 CW regular season ranks:
Offence: 29 goals, fifth
Defence: 11 goals against, third (tied)
 
2016 CW regular season leaders:
Goals: 10 – Jasmin Dhanda, forward
Assists: 8 – Jasmin Dhanda, forward
Points: 18 – Jasmin Dhanda, forward
Wins: 4 – Marlee Maracle, goalkeeper
Shutouts: 5 – Marlee Maracle, goalkeeper
 
Key performer:
Jasmin Dhanda
Forward
4th-year
Surrey, B.C.

Dhanda is the reigning Most Valuable Player of the U Sports championship tournament, having led UBC to the national banner in 2015. She continued her outstanding play in 2016, pacing the
 
MACEWAN UNIVERSITY GRIFFINS
2016 CW regular season record: 8-3-3, 2nd Prairie Division
2016 record vs. Select Six teams: 0-1 at VICTORIA, 0-0-1 at UBC, 1-0 vs. Saskatchewan, 1-0 at Manitoba

Last CW championship / total CW championships: None
Last CIS championship / total CIS championships: None
 
2016 CW regular season ranks:
Offence: 17 goals, 7th
Defence: 9 goals against, 2nd
 
2016 CW regular season leaders:
Goals: 8 – Suekiana Choucair, M
Assists: 3 – Samantha Gouveia, M, and Jamie Vriens, D
Points: 9 – Suekiana Choucair, M
Wins: 7 – Emily Burns, GK
Shutouts: 6 – Emily Burns, GK
 
Key performer:
Emily Burns
GK
2nd-year
Sherwood Park, AB

There's little doubt Emily Burns is one of the top goalkeepers in Canada West. The second-year Arts student-athlete led the conference in save percentage (.904), was third in saves (85), third in goals against average (0.70) and tied for fourth in shutouts (6) in 13 games played. While MacEwan boasts an elite defence, Burns is the key reason they were the second-stingiest team in Canada West this season with just nine goals against in 14 games.

UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA BISONS
2016 CW regular season record: 4-7-3, 6th Prairie Division
2016 record vs. Select Six teams: 0-1 vs. UBC, 0-1 vs. MacEwan, 0-0 vs. TWU, 1-0 vs. Victoria, 0-1-1 vs. SASK

Last CW championship / total CW championships: none
Last CIS championship / total CIS championships: none

2016 CW regular season ranks:
Offence: 24 goals, 8th
Defence: 17 goals against, 7th

2016 CW regular season leaders:
Goals: 6 – Selina Speranza, Midfielder/Forward
Assists: 5 – Amanda Wong, Midfielder
Points: 8 – Selina Speranza, Midfielder/Forward
Wins: 4 – Maddie Wilford, Goalkeeper
Shutouts: 5 – Maddie Wilford, Goalkeeper
 
Key performers:
Selina Speranza
Midfielder/Forward
5th-Year
Winnipeg, MB

Speranza has been the team's goal scoring leader with six and has had another strong season in 2016. She has used her speed to create space and score big goals throughout her fifth and final season at Manitoba.

UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES
2016 CW regular season record: 8-3-3, 3rd Canada West Prairie Division
2016 record vs. Select Six teams: 1-0-1 vs. Manitoba Bisons, 0-1-0 vs. MacEwan Griffins, 0-1-0 vs. Trinity Western Spartans

Last CW championship / total CW championships: n/a
Last CIS championship / total CIS championships: n/a
 
2016 CW regular season ranks:
Offence: 20 goals, 2nd Prairie Division
Defence: 13 goals against, 5th Prairie Division
 
2016 CW regular season leaders:
Goals: 5 – Rebecca Weckworth, midfield
Assists: 6 – Erica Hindmarsh, striker/midfield
Points: 10 – Erica Hindmarsh, striker/midfield
Wins: 5 – Kyleigh Vause, keeper
Shutouts: 6 – Kyleigh Vause, keeper

Key performer:
Meagan Manson
Centre back
5th-year
Prince Albert, SK

Captain Meagan Manson has been a steady member of the Huskies' backline for the last five seasons. A tall body in the backfield, Manson has guided the Huskies to the Canada West final tournament the last three seasons.  Also, an offensive threat Manson has two goals this season.
 
UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA VIKES
2016 CW regular season record: 5-4-4, 5th Pacific
2016 record vs. Select Six teams: 0-1-1 vs. Trinity Western, 0-1-1 vs. UBC, 1-0-0 vs. MacEwan, 0-1-0 vs. Manitoba

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2008 / 4
Last CIS championship / total CIS championships: 2005 / 1

2016 CW regular season ranks:
Offence: 15 goals, T9th
Defence: 13 goals against, T9th

2016 CW regular season leaders:
Goals: 3 – Sarah Douglas, Midfielder // Mia Gunter, Midfielder
Assists: 4 – Sarah Douglas, Midfielder
Points: 7 – Sarah Douglas, Midfielder
Wins: 3 – Meaghan Storie, Goalkeeper
Shutouts: 5 – Meaghan Storie, Goalkeeper
 
Key performer:
Sarah Douglas
Midfield
5th-year
London, ON

For a team that doesn't score many goals and instead relies primarily on a strong defence to pick up points, Sarah Douglas provides a spark offensively when they need it the most. The fifth-year midfielder not only provides great service from set pieces, registering four assists on the season, but has also proven that she can finish off a play herself. Douglas tied for the team lead in goals this season with three and will need to keep delivering on offence if the Vikes are to move on.

About Canada West Championships
Canada West is the premier athletic conference in the country and is home to champion student-athletes that excel on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. Canada West and its 17 member institutions commit to a student-athlete experience where competitive excellence, scholarship and sportsmanship contribute equally towards moulding outstanding graduates and community leaders.

Canada West – Training leaders, building champions.

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