Alberta's 2013 Canada West men's soccer all-stars
Four members of the Alberta Golden Bears soccer team were named Canada West all-stars at the conference championship awards banquet on Wednesday night in Vancouver. Sophomore defenceman Niko Saler was named to the conference first team, while goalie Jay Vetsch, defenceman Eddy Sidra and striker Marcus Johnstone were named to the second team.
It is the second straight year Saler has been honoured as a Canada West first team all-star defenceman. He was also the Canada West and CIS Rookie of the Year last year. He played in 14 of Alberta’s 15 games this year, and tied for the team lead in points with seven (two goals, five assists).
Fourth-year striker Marcus Johnstone, who is also a former winner of the Canada West and CIS Rookie of the Year honours, earned his third conference all-star status after being named a first team in his rookie season (2010-11) and in 2012-13. In 11 games played this season, he led the Bears in goals with five, and finished tied for team points with seven. He currently has 26 goals in regular season play as a Golden Bear, which ties him with former teammate Brett Colvin, for the program’s all-time lead.
For fifth-year goalie Jay Vetsch, this is his second straight conference first team all-star appearance. The Edmonton native has been a fixture in the Golden Bears’ net since arriving in 2011. He started 13 of Alberta’s 15 games in 2013, and compiled a 6-5-2 record, as well as five shutouts, 51 saves and a 1.31 goals against average.
Despite Eddy Sidra’s list of career accomplishments, which include a CIS gold medal (2006), a professional playing career (2007-09) and a stint with the Canadian men’s team (2006-2010), the 2013 second team all-star selection is his first. He played 13 games for the Bears this season, and notched two goals and two assists, but more importantly, he played 1,010 minutes of shut down defence for Alberta.
The Golden Bears will play the UFV Cascades on October 31 in the opening game of the Canada West championship tournament. The winner of the Alberta-UFV game goes on to the conference semi-finals. The top two teams from Canada West advance to the CIS championship.