Masri becomes first in MSOC program history to make a U SPORTS team, landing on all-rookie squad

Masri becomes first in MSOC program history to make a U SPORTS team, landing on all-rookie squad

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – In a landmark moment for the MacEwan men's soccer program, Philip Masri was named to the U SPORTS all-rookie team on Wednesday night at an awards banquet in Cape Breton.

It's the first time a Griffins men's soccer player has been recognized by U SPORTS.

And it's only the second time a Griffins male athlete of any sport has made a U SPORTS team, breaking an eight-year drought after former men's volleyball player Max Vriend made the national all-rookie team for his sport in 2015-16.

"Honestly, when I heard that, that's pretty surprising because this team has had some great talent," said Masri of becoming the first men's soccer player recognized. "Hopefully I can start something. I expect us to have a lot more in the future. For me to be the first one, that's a sign of good hope for the program. We're developing, for sure."

The big electric striker tied a program record with six goals and finished with eight points in 14 games. He was one of just three Canada West rookies to make the U SPORTS team.


"It's a blessing," said Masri. "All year round we've been working hard. I've been trying as best as possible to make this all-rookie team. It just shows my hard work paying off. So, it's a blessing."

Masri was previously named to both the Canada West second all-star team and all-rookie team after his stellar debut season in Maroon.

"Just putting in that extra work," he said of what made the difference for him. "It always comes down to that. That always gets rewarded. I've been training very hard outside of team practices. Staying focused, staying committed – that definitely paid off this year."

MacEwan's Kayden Dugas also made the Canada West all-rookie team, making it four players now who've done that since the Griffins joined the conference in 2014. 

But the U SPORTS honour is another level entirely. It took 10 seasons for the Griffins to earn their first and is proof of how far the program has come.

"It's massive," said Griffins head coach Adam Loga. "Again, it's a testament to some of the guys that moved on and have graduated, but where we started to where we are now … it's not something that us as players or us as a coaching staff flaunt in terms of what was, so to speak, but for us to use this as a bit of a milestone, use this moment to reflect and look back to what was over the last five-ish years, it's night and day to where we are as a program now. 

"It's just a testament to everyone's hard work and commitment to what we're trying to do day in and day out."

Masri has forever etched his name in the MacEwan record book after the terrific accomplishment, even if the season didn't end the way any of the Griffins wanted it to – short of the playoffs.

"If I'm being honest, I wanted to do so much more," he said. "I had high expectations. But when you shoot for the moon sometimes, you can land on the stars. 

"It was good, though. We tried our best. Wanted to make playoffs. We couldn't, but I can't complain."

Added Loga: "He came in with big expectations and he still felt like he came up short – that's the type of mentality that he has. I still think who he is as a human, he would trade this recognition for a trip to nationals as a team and making it to the final in our conference. 

"It's a testament to his hard work, dedication and a shout out to his teammates and the staff that helped him get this award, as well."