FREDERICTON, N.B. — This year just keeps getting better for Alex Braletic.
Braletic became the first Ryerson athlete to earn a CIS MVP trophy in any sport on Wednesday. He was awarded the Joe Johnson Award as the CIS men’s soccer athlete of the year.
The Thornhill, Ont., native accepted the award with humour, causing the audience at the Fredericton Inn to burst out in laughter.
“(My teammates are) much better than I am. The only reason I’m here is that I have a better moustache,” Braletic said.
Braletic scored 13 goals in 12 games and fuelled Ryerson’s undefeated regular season (12-0-2). His success had already earned him OUA East MVP honours in October. The fifth-year engineering student was also named to the All-CIS first-team, a line-up of the country’s best 11 players.
Braletic said he considers his MVP honours to be a victory for the group.
“I know they say this is an individual award but the reason I’m here today is because of my teammates. I would never be in the position I’m in right now without them. This is a team reward. I think they’re happier for me than I am for myself.”
Speaking of his teammates, the CIS men’s soccer MVP was surprised when the rest of his team was overlooked for All-CIS first-team and second-team honours. As winners were announced, some Ryerson players shook their heads and showed other signs of disagreement with the choices.
“I myself was a little surprised that we did not have more guys on the first and second best teams. Having said that, I talked to them and you know, if anything, we’ll use it as fuel for tomorrow’s game.”
Ryerson’s quarter-final adversary on Thursday, Laval Rouge et Or, had striker Patrice Dion and defender Nafi Dicko-Raynauld named to the All-CIS second-team.
Other winners include York striker Jonathan Lao, who won the Lou Bilek Award as rookie of the year; Dalhousie defender Nathan Rogers, winner of the student-athlete community service award; and UBC’s Mike Mosher, who won coach of the year.