Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – In his recruiting announcement back in April, Danish striker Alvin Mazaheri was billed as someone who could use his size to carve out space and score for the MacEwan Griffins men's soccer team.
It's fair to say, he came as advertised.
After a solid rookie season where he scored five goals in 10 games and tied for the Griffins' scoring lead with six points, Mazaheri was named to the Canada West all-rookie team on Friday.
"It was just nice having someone who can put the ball in the back of the net," said Griffins head coach Adam Loga of Mazaheri, who also took a team high 27 shots with 15 on goal. "Even in training and he proved it this season, if you give him half a chance, he'll usually make the most of it.
"Being a team that struggled to find goals in our last season in 2019, he definitely helped us and sparked us to be a little bit better and mid-table this season."
Alvin Mazaheri scored five goals in 10 games for the Griffins in 2021 (Joel Kingston photo).
The Griffins qualified for the playoffs with a 1-0 win over the Calgary Dinos on the final day of the Canada West regular season and will visit Victoria on Saturday (7 p.m. MT, Canada West TV presented by Co-op).
Mazaheri was a big reason for their success as he came in from Vanløse FC in Denmark's top U21 league and hit the ground running, scoring in the Griffins' season opener against Alberta. He's one of two European players Loga brought in this season and made a big impact.
"There's a lot of programs within the conference that do have a decent quota of international players and we knew here we needed to get a couple ourselves," he said. "Just being a smaller institution, we can't settle for the 1Bs of the recruiting classes, so we needed to find 1As elsewhere.
"We were pleasantly surprised he was one of those 1As and hopefully he can continue in his sophomore year."