Defending U SPORTS national champions UBC Thunderbirds begin their title defense with a quarterfinal battle against the Acadia Axewomen Thursday at 9 a.m. PST in Sydney, Nova Scotia. UBC enters U SPORTS National Championships ranked fourth in the country after historic season that saw fourth year ahead Danielle Steer has scored the most goals in one season in Canada West history – including 15 goals in the regular season and three more in the playoffs to surpass the previous record of 17 total goals this season.
With Steer, first-year defenseman – and Canada West Rookie of the Year – Sophie ferreira, and veteran guardian Emilie moore each earned Canada West First Team All-Star honors, while Katalin Tolnai was named in the second team. Ferreira and Ella Nuttall Smith also won Rookie All-Star honors, as the T-Birds’ stellar season was reflected in the conference-high six All-Star and Rookie selections heading into the playoffs.
With the playoffs kicking off this weekend, it’s time to honor our 2021 CW All-Stars & All-Rookies!
?? https://t.co/ls4C6MkMgT pic.twitter.com/BsRJN7rBTO
– Canada West (@CanadaOuest) October 29, 2021
The Thunderbirds finished the regular season with just one loss and a total of eight clean sheets before winning back-to-back shutouts against Regina and MacEwan in the Canada West playoffs to set up a final showdown with the Trinity Western Spartans. In the conference championship game, UBC conceded a goal in the 88e minute and fell 1-0 to the top-ranked U SPORTS Spartans to win silver for a second straight season.
“We really focused on maintaining our principles of attack and defense and it really pays off to the next level for the team,” said the UBC head coach. Jesse symons. “The state of mind and focus in each training session has been superb. The spirit that the team brings every day is exceptional and really motivates everyone in the program ”
The Symons team strive to repeat their most recent U SPORTS national championship tournament success with a solid mix of championship-caliber veterans and key additions to the T-Bird roster.
“We have 14 returning players from 2019 at the event and we’re excited to use that experience to push us into the opener against Acadia,” added Symons. “Experience helps with the routine of the week, but there are many different factors at each national tournament that are new to everyone. The comfort and state of mind of the group is clear, and we are very. happy to put our boots on Thursday and give her all we’ve got. “
The Axewomen are ranked 8th in U SPORTS after placing third in the AUS regular season and winning the conference title with a 1-0 victory over St. FX.
“Acadia is a team that regularly travels to the national tournament, and we faced them in the 2019 national semi-final,” continued Symons. “They have strong players in different positions. They like to keep the ball and move it quickly which we will have to make sure we manage. Overall we have a talented and experienced team who are very motivated to start the event. in Cape Breton. There is a lot of confidence from the staff towards the players and from the players towards the staff. It will be an exciting first game on Thursday! “
Who is excited for some women @ProtocaseInc @USPORTS_Football action this week? Who’s looking forward to the f-soccer championship?
Sorting: https://t.co/5CYGq37cD1. All games on @cbcsports / Listen to all the matches at https://t.co/RXt6kYLdKq pic.twitter.com/199fpPIU33
– U SPORTS (@USPORTSca) November 14, 2021
Digital coverage of the U SPORTS Championship tournament is available on cbcsports.ca, the free CBC Gem streaming service and the CBC Sports app.