The 2017-18 Canada West (CW) regular season begins this weekend, as men’s soccer returns to the turf.
A pair of Friday night games open the season, as the UBC Thunderbirds host the Fraser Valley Cascades (6:30 p.m. PDT), and the Victoria Vikes welcome the Trinity Western Spartans to Vancouver Island (7:15 p.m. PDT).
Entering the season as the favourites to repeat as conference champions are the Alberta Golden Bears, who open their CW and U SPORTS title defences Saturday on the road against Mount Royal (1:30 p.m. MDT).
The Bears topped the annual pre-season coaches poll, earning nine of a possible 12 first-place votes, finishing with 141 points – five better than last year’s CW silver medalists from UBC.
UBC was the only other school to secure first-place nods from the conference’s 13 coaches, as the T-Birds finished with four top votes.
Slotting in behind Alberta and UBC were the Spartans (112 pts.), and a pair of Stampede City teams in the Calgary Dinos (93 pts.) and Mount Royal Cougars (82 pts.).
Those teams enter the 2017 season in search of a trip to Kamloops, B.C. come November, as the Thompson Rivers WolfPack are set to host the U SPORTS national tournament November 9-12.
The WolfPack enter the season expected to finish in the middle of the pack, slotting in seventh in the coaches poll with 81 points.
For a complete look at all 13 CW men’s soccer teams, click here for the full conference preview.
2017 CW men’s soccer pre-season coaches poll
Place / Team / Points (First-place votes)
- Alberta / 141 (9)
- UBC / 136 (4)
- Trinity Western / 112
- Calgary / 93
- Mount Royal / 82
- *Fraser Valley / 81
- Thompson Rivers / 81
- Saskatchewan / 76
- Victoria / 74
- *Lethbridge / 39
- UBCO / 39
- UNBC / 35
- MacEwan / 25
NOTES: First-place vote worth 12 pts., second-place worth 11 pts. etc. / *Awarded higher position based on greater number of higher placed votes.
About Canada West:
Canada West (CW) is the leading university athletic conference in the country and is home to champion student-athletes that excel in the classroom and their communities. Canada West and our 17 members from across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba collectively carry on a legacy of competitive excellence, as our champions proudly go on to represent the conference at U SPORTS national championships.