For the second consecutive week, the Cape Breton University Capers soccer programs are the lone Atlantic University Sport representatives ranked among the nation’s top teams.
In the Canadian Interuniversity Sport rankings released Tuesday, both CBU programs continued to set the standard for the conference.
On the women’s side, the Capers (4-1-1) remained 10th in the rankings, maintaining their position from a week ago. For the Capers men’s side, a pair of scoreless draws saw them drop from No. 3 to No. 4 in the rankings.
“For one of your teams to be recognized as a top program across the country is something we are always proud of, but to have both teams achieve Top 10 status at the same time in incredible,” said John Ryan, CBU Director of Athletics. “Both coaches have worked hard to build programs which are strong, both on the pitch and off, and this recognition shows the respect they have across the country.”
Since taking over the women’s program 19 years ago, head coach Stephen ‘Ness’ Timmons has built them into a perennial contender for both the AUS and CIS titles. Their inclusion in the CIS Top 10 last week marks the 14th consecutive season the Capers have achieved a Top 10 regular season ranking.
“It is no easy feat, to be there year after year,” said Timmons, a two-time CIS coach of the year, “I believe the consistency we demonstrate as a program shows how well this program is established. It is a clear indication of the credibility and reputation CBU women’s soccer has across the country.”
Last week’s No. 3 ranking was the first in the past two seasons since Dean Morley took over as head coach of the men’s side. And while his squad dropped one spot this week, the reigning AUS coach of the year is pleased his undefeated Capers (4-0-2) are gaining notice on the national stage.
“We are delighted to be recognized in the CIS Top 10 as the No. 4 ranked team,” said Morley. “It is a reflection of all the hard work that began 10 months ago to develop a culture of leadership.
“I’m proud of the players and coaches. We feel we could have been ranked even higher based on our record, but that will just motivate us to work harder and remain focused. Our goal is to continue to improve and our ambition s to be the top team come November 15th.”
Both Capers sides will look to improve on their impressive starts this weekend on the road when they travel to St. John’s, NL for games with the Memorial Sea-Hawks.