Nelson’s Jules Chopin and Kaslo’s Titouan Chopin were an integral part of the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds defeating Universite du Quebec a Montreal Citadins by a score of 2-0 to win the bronze medal at the 2015 Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) men’s soccer national championship at York Stadium in Toronto.
The Canada West champion Thunderbirds finished a remarkable 2015 season with a 14-1-2 overall record and added an 18th CIS medal (13-4-1) in 19 tournament appearances to the program’s long history of success.
For their part, the RSEQ titleist Citadins finish fourth in the nation for the second straight year. UQAM dropped a 2-1 decision to UPEI in the 2014 bronze match.
“The semi-final loss was a heartbreaker, but now our boys can keep their heads high knowing that we have a medal to show for all of our hard work,” said UBC head coach Mike Mosher in response to the win.
Early in the first half, Jules opened the scoring off a fantastic free kick from 35 yards out that dipped over the UQAM wall and sailed directly into the net. The goal gave the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute.
The Citadins picked up the intensity shortly after and found themselves in multiple scoring positions. Armel Dagrou ofMontreal and Sebastien Duquette of Laval, Que., almost found the much-needed equalizing goal for their team, but theThunderbirds did well to keep the ball away from danger.
The Thunderbirds had numerous opportunities to extend the lead and put the game to rest in the first half alone.
Titouan forced a brilliant stop from the goalkeeper, Justin Wallace of Kamloops hit the post and Sean Einarsson of Surrey,just missed the target from a rising ball that lifted above the frame.
The score remained 1-0 at the end of 45 minutes of play.
To start the second half super sub Kerman Pannu of Surrey, instantly made an impact for his team with an insurance goalthat increased the Thunderbirds’ lead to 2-0 less than one minute after play began. After Chis Serban of Calgary crossed the ball in from a wide position, Pannu came flying in to the penalty spot to strike through the ball off of a volley and crash the back of the net.
Midway through the half the Citadins’ Mohamed Saidi of Tizi Ouzou, Algeria, nearly narrowed the score after twisting and turning in the box and hitting a volley that just went wide of the net.
With the lack of time remaining on the clock, the Citadins couldn’t find the goals they needed to equalize and had to accept a fourth-place finish for the second year in a row.
Titouan Chopin (pictured below) was named UBC’s player of the game, while Saidi received the honour for UQAM.