READING, Pa. – For the second time under Head Coach John Marzka, the Albright College football team will travel north of the border to compete in Canada as part of a Foreign Tour, this time taking on Vanier College of Montreal, Quebec. The Lions will face the Cheetahs on Sunday, May 22, at 1 p.m. in Concordia University Football Stadium.
Albright will travel to Canada the Friday before their game with Vanier. As part of the NCAA Foreign Tour, teams are allowed to travel outside the United States to play a spring season game once every three years. They are also allowed an additional 10 practices in full pads as preparation for that contest.
Marzka believes this game provides a great opportunity for the Lions. "Our players and coaches are very excited for the upcoming foreign tour experience," he said. "To be able to put the pads on this spring gives our team a tremendous advantage. The opportunity to spend four days and three nights in Montreal is extremely valuable from both an educational and a cultural standpoint. We also get the benefit of building team unity and valuable chemistry with the added time we are able to spend together both on the tour and in our preparations on campus. We believe this experience will greatly move us forward to reaching our full potential as a team for the 2011 season."
The meeting between the two programs will be the first-ever, and only the second time in program history that the Lions will travel to Canada. In their first foreign tour (spring 2008), the red and white traveled to Toronto, Ontario, to face the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Albright won that game 28-21 to claim their first international win. The tour would eventually propel the Lions to their first Middle Atlantic Conference title in 11 seasons as well as an ECAC Bowl Championship.
Vanier College closed out their 2010 season with an 11-1 record and earned the program's third Bol d'Or Finals Championship in the last five years. The Cheetahs, led by head coach Peter Chryssomalis, were handed their only loss in week two of the season, a 47-25 decision to F.X. Garneau. The Cheetahs went on to win 10 straight games, including a 26-15 semi-final win over Lennoxville and a 31-28 win over Vieux-Montreal in the championship game.
"Peter Chryssomalis has done an outstanding job as the Cheetah's head coach," Marzka said. "Vanier College has an exceptional football team and a proud and storied tradition. The program has won seven Bol d'Or Championships, including three of the last five. They have also been to the semi-finals in the last six consecutive years with an appearance in the provincial championship game in four of the last six seasons. We have tremendous respect for their program and expect this game to be a great test for our team. We are looking forward to kickoff on May 22nd."
Football will officially kick off their 2011 season on Saturday, Sept. 3, when they travel to Ursinus College.