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MacEwan University's women's soccer team forfeits 9 wins after fielding ineligible player


MacEwan University's women's soccer team forfeited nine wins and missed out on playoffs after it fielded an ineligible player 11 times this season.

The nationally ranked and defending national champion Griffins wrapped up the regular season on Sunday in first place in the Prairie division with 12 wins and two losses, but had the majority of their wins forfeited that day "due to a misinterpretation of eligibility rules related to changes caused by pandemic disruptions."

In a release on Monday, the university wrote it disclosed the issue to Canada West and U SPORTS within hours of finding out. The Griffins submitted an appeal on "compassionate grounds" and a hearing was held with U Sports Sunday morning but it was not successful.

U SPORTS decided to forfeit the nine wins in the 11 matches the students played.

"At the highest level, it was just an administrative error. The athlete was deemed ineligible," Canada West Managing Director Rocky Olfert told CTV News. "I understand this athlete transferred in from the NCAA so anytime that happens you have to ensure the transfer forms are filled out correctly and the athlete is eligible to compete in U SPORTS and Canada West and it was just an error that slipped through the cracks."

MacEwan then finished the season in sixth place with three wins and 11 losses.

"To say that we are gutted is an understatement. We feel for these women who have worked so hard this season," said Joel Mrak, the Griffins' athletic director, in a release.

"It's absolutely heartbreaking, I'm just sick to my stomach for the entire program and for the university," Olfert added.

"Defending national champions, first place in the Prairie division, had a chance to go on another run through the playoffs here in Canada West so your heart feels for those student athletes. Just a very, very difficult way to finish your season."

U SPORTS said it may impose more sanctions after it completes the full disciplinary process. Top Stories

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