By: Nathan Cooper
This week’s Flashback Friday features the 1995-96 men’s soccer team.
Back Row (L-R): Jamie Sawler (Assistant Coach), Keith Souchereau (Assistant Coach), Kate MacDonald (Trainer), Eric Pinfold, Paul Repp (Manager), Mike Ayyash, Graeme Allardice, Matt Serieys, Jeff Hyles, Dave MacFarlane, Trevor Chisholm, Stephen Cormier, Jeff Hibberts, Chad Denny, Paul English, Marc Rainford
Front Row (L-R): Ian Kent (Head Coach), Sean Pedersen, Mark Ellis, Mike Hudson, Chris Devlin, Chad Thorpe, Ante Jazic, Gregor MacAskill
With construction still underway at Wickwire Memorial Field, the Tigers were forced to open training camp at CFB Standalone and conclude at CFB Greenwood. By September 10th, it was very apparent to the coaching staff that this was a very exciting squad.
The men’s soccer program at Dalhousie had had some great success in the mid 70’s winning four AUAA Championships in a row. The Tigers then went 13 seasons without holding the top spot in the AUAA. By 1990, the team started showing great promise once again.
In 1991, The Tigers were once again champions, and retained their title the following year. The following two seasons were concluded with heartbreak. The Tigers were humbled with overtime losses in the AUS Championship, in two successive years to St. Francis Xavier.
With some young and exciting talent joining a group of veterans, the Tigers were very optimistic about the 1995-96 season.
Returning to the team, were AUAA All-Star keeper Trevor Chisholm and British goalkeeping standout Mike Hudson. Defensive veterans Chris Devlin, Matthew Serieys and Marc Rainford were rejoining the team. The team also recruited two young talented players from England; Mark Ellis and Paul English. Youth goalscoring sensation Jeff Hibberts and the very talented Ante Jazic were also among the recruits.
Dalhousie was set to open their regular season with back-to-back games on September 16th and 17th against MtA and UPEI. The Tigers defeated Mount Allison 3-1 at home and drew with UPEI 2-2.
The Tigers went on to have a very successful regular season, finishing with an 8-0-3 record. The three draws came against UPEI, SMU and UNB. The Tigers sights were now on the AUAA Championships.
The Tigers cruised through the semi-finals, beating UPEI 4-0. The stage was now set for the Tigers to re-claim the AUAA Title. After losing two straight AUAA Finals in overtime, the Tigers found their redemption and earned a 1-0 victory over UNB.
Now that the Tigers were once again AUAA Champions, their next challenge was the CIAU Championships. The Tigers opened the tournament with a draw against Brock, then followed up with a 2-1 victory over Mcgill.
On November 12th, turning 21, wearing his number 12 jersey, Graeme Allardice scored a brilliant game winning goal, to give Dalhousie University it’s first ever CIAU team gold medal. This was also the first time that a soccer club from Nova Scotia won a national gold medal at any age!