Carleton's Matteo de Brienne, Raphaël Garcia take home U Sports men's soccer awards – The Charlatan

Carleton Ravens forward Matteo de Brienne and defender Raphaël Garcia took home awards at the U Sports men’s soccer All-Canadian Gala Wednesday night at the Marriott Hotel in Ottawa, Ont.
De Brienne earned rookie team honours in addition to being named a finalist for Rookie of the Year. Garcia was named First-Team All-Canadian.
Garcia, in his first year of eligibility at Carleton, played soccer professionally with Valour FC of the Canadian Premier League (CPL) from 2018 to 2020. He said he didn’t enjoy playing professionally but that the experience is “completely different at the university level.”
“It’s a huge honour,” Garcia said. “I feel like I’m enjoying my soccer again and I just think it showed on the field this year … That’s a huge part that I thought I wasn’t going to find again.”
De Brienne was also named the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East Rookie of the Year last week. He led the Ravens with six goals, tied for seventh overall in the OUA.
His highlight-reel goal in October went viral and became a candidate for goal of the year.
An incredible goal from the rookie to force a 1-1 draw against the #3 ranked York Lions #FearTheConspiracy
— Carleton Ravens (@CURavens) October 24, 2021
 De Brienne said the goal wasn’t the highlight of his season—at least not yet.
“We got a lot more to focus on right now,” de Brienne said. “Hopefully we can make an even bigger highlight by the end of the year.”
De Brienne said he couldn’t have succeeded without the help of his veteran teammates.
Guy-Frank Essomé Penda, a forward for the Université de Montréal Carabins, took home the Player of the Year Award. He led Montréal to their fifth consecutive Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) championship.
Trinity Western Spartans forward Christian Rossi won Rookie of the Year and McMaster Mauraders centre back Cheikh Tchouambou Youmbi won the Student-Athlete Community Service Award.
Bruce Wilson of the Victoria Vikes was named Coach of the Year for the third time in his 34-year tenure with Victoria, previously winning in 1991 and 1996.
The U Sports men’s soccer nationals, hosted at Carleton, begin Thursday and culminate with the championship game at 2 p.m. Sunday. The Ravens play their first game in the quarterfinals against the University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbirds at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Carleton has never won a national championship in men’s soccer. The Ravens finished fourth in the country in 2019 and earned a bronze medal in 2018.
Garcia said his family will be in attendance this weekend and his girlfriend is flying in from Winnipeg to watch him play.
“It’s such a huge boost to have everyone that I love here with me,” Garcia said. “This is where it all counts now and I’m just glad that my family is here with me.”
Featured image by Spencer Colby.
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