TORONTO, ON – The 2021 U SPORTS Women’s Soccer Champion won’t repeat.
On Monday, Canada West and U SPORTS announced that the MacEwan Griffins incorrectly listed an ineligible player on their roster for 11 games of their season between Aug. 26 and Oct. 8. Because of this, each of the nine wins that the ineligible player played in will now instead be registered as 1-0 losses against the Griffins.
MacEwan finished the season with a 12-2 record, prior to the forfeitures applied. That record has been changed to 3-11.
The ineligible player was not allowed to pay due to a “misinterpretation of eligibility rules related to changes caused by pandemic disruptions, which resulted in playing an ineligible player for 11 games this season.”
“This is an unfortunate incident for everyone involved and we feel for those student-athletes and coaches that are impacted by it,” said Joel Mrak, Director of Athletics, Griffins Athletics. “As soon as we learned of the violation on Friday we self-reported it to the Canada West and U SPORTS offices. Although this error was inadvertent, we will be working with our governing bodies to ensure a similar situation does not occur again.”
By this process, MacEwan, who were first in the Prairie Division, now finish outside the playoff picture, in sixth place with nine points, three points off of the re-assigned final playoff spot held by the Regina Cougars at 12 points.
With the re-adjusted standings, the MRU Cougars take the top seed with 31 points, while the Alberta Pandas and Saskatchewan Huskies see out the top three. The Manitoba Bisons finish the campaign in fourth, to secure home-field advantage in a one-game play-in match against fifth-place Regina.
The winner of the play-in match will move on to face the UBC Thunderbirds, who topped the Pacific Division with a program record 13 wins, and 1 loss. Meanwhile, the other Prairie Division sides will fill out the rest of the crossover bracket.
The Canada West women’s soccer playoff matchups are as follows:
- TRU vs Victoria
- Manitoba vs Regina
- MRU vs (TRU/Victoria)
- UBC vs (Manitoba/Regina)
- Alberta vs Calgary
- TWU vs Saskatchewan