Three Stars: Mwasalla, Caceres, Masri earn first honours of 2023-24 season

Three Stars: Mwasalla, Caceres, Masri earn first honours of 2023-24 season

MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Women's soccer student-athlete Grace Mwasalla is the MacEwan Athletics' first star of the week after her performance in scoring back-to-back game-winners as the Griffins opened the season with six points.

Mwasalla produced three goals and an assist in MacEwan's wins over Regina and Saskatchewan.

Men's soccer student-athletes Antony Caceres and Philip Masri were named the second and third stars of the week, respectively.

All three are appearing on the Three Stars list for the first time this season.

Grace Mwasalla celebrates after scoring the game-winner against Regina on the final play of Friday's game (Joel Kingston photo).

1st STAR: Grace Mwasalla, F, women's soccer

Chatham, ON, third-year, Arts

After leading the conference in goals last season with 15 in 14 games, Mwasalla picked up right where she left off on the opening weekend of the Canada West campaign.

Faced with the prospect of settling for a draw against underdog Regina on Friday, Mwasalla got on the end of a terrific stretch pass by Abbey Wright and chipped it over the keeper on the final play of the game to give MacEwan a dramatic 3-2 victory.

The tally made Mwasalla the new program leader in Canada West career regular season goals with 21.

On Saturday, her encore was just as impressive. After opening the scoring for the Griffins on a fifth-minute penalty kick after Brenna Paquin was taken down in the box, Mwasalla broke a 1-1 tie in extra time by tucking a shot inside the left post.

For the season, Mwasalla is tied for the conference lead in goals with three and sits tied for second in points with four.

She and the Griffins hit the road for games at Winnipeg on Saturday (2 p.m. MT) and at Manitoba on Sunday (12 p.m. MT, both Canada West TV).

Antony Caceres scored the first two goals of his Canada West career in the span of less than nine minutes in the first half Saturday (Joel Kingston photo).

2nd STAR: Antony Caceres, M, men's soccer

Leduc, AB, third-year, Open Studies

The electric midfielder needed just over eight minutes in the first half of Saturday's game to cement his name in the Three Stars list this week.

Caceres scored twice in a span of 8:26 to pace MacEwan to a 2-0 lead over Saskatchewan before leaving the contest with an injury on the second goal.

His efforts led to the Griffins securing their first win of the season – a 3-2 triumph over the team that beat them out for the final playoff spot in the Prairie Division last season.

The former FC Edmonton player leads the Griffins with two goals on the campaign.

MacEwan (1-1-0) will host cross-town rival Alberta (1-0-1) on Saturday (12 p.m., Clarke Stadium, Canada West TV).

Philip Masri celebrates scoring the game-winner over Saskatchewan on Saturday (Jefferson Hagen photo).

3rd STAR: Philip Masri, F, men's soccer

Edmonton, AB, first-year, Open Studies

With the visiting Saskatchewan Huskies rallying back from a 2-0 deficit in Saturday's contest by scoring the equalizer in the 84th minute, the Griffins put on a final push to bag three points and it was the big rookie striker who delivered the clutch moment.

Taking a pass from Ali Yildiz, Masri cut past his defender and nuked a shot past Huskies keeper Jaron Slopinski in the 88th minute to give the Griffins a dramatic 3-2 victory.

Masri and teammates wildly celebrated the first goal of his Canada West career and left with their first triumph of the 2023 season.