It wasn’t until the sun hit the horizon, but after a full day of soccer, tomorrow’s MCAC Championship matches are officially set in stone. Tomorrow at Providence University College it will be the Providence Pilots taking on the Red River Rebels in the women’s final, and the undefeated Saint-Boniface Les Rouges taking on the Rebel’s on the men’s side.
With daylight running thin in the second men’s semifinal, there was a familiar feeling in the air as the first three matches set up an exact repeat of last year’s finals. But all of that changed when Diego Santos found the back of the net in overtime, punching in Red River College’s ticket into the finals, and assuring that there’d at least be one new champion this season in the MCAC.
In that game, the Pilots put up a fight in what was an incredibly competitive matchup, which saw the game go into overtime after a scoreless draw in regulation. The Rebels poured on the offense all game long, but were unable to find an answer to some stellar goalkeeping by the Pilots Liam Hodges. Santos’s winner came on a loose ball that put Providence’s dreams of a three-peat to rest, and adding to a promising season for this Rebels team.
It wasn’t all bad news for the Final Four hosts, as the Providence women’s team dominated the fourth-seeded CMU Blazers 6-0 in their semi-final, led by an exceptional two-goal performance by both the MCAC Most Valuable Player, Julika Kehler, and the Player of the Game, Jessica Caul. With the win, the Pilots will have a shot at a three-peat as champions in the MCAC.
They will however, have to get past Red River College, who defeated the Brandon Bobcats 2-1 in the first matchup of the day. Brandon played some great lockdown defense, especially in the second half, however their lone goal in the 65th minute was not enough to extend time after a couple of beautiful goals by the Rebels, including a textbook top corner strike by Nadine Reimer.
The first men’s match of the day saw Saint-Boniface defeating CMU 4-1, in a game where the score, after consecutive late goals by USB, didn’t tell the full story of what was a highly competitive match. The game was full of midfield battles, but for Saint-Boniface, they received contribution from a familiar source, as MCAC scoring leader, and Most Valuable Player Marouane Imaghri notched two goals in the match.
It was an action-packed first day of the Final Fours, and it should only get better tomorrow as Red River looks to make it an all-Rebel celebration, Saint-Boniface tries to stay undefeated, and Providence looks for the three-peat. The stakes are higher than ever, which means so is the competition level. We hope to see you at Providence University College tomorrow afternoon for what will be the exciting conclusion of the 2014 MCAC soccer season.
Below is tomorrow’s MCAC Championship Schedule:
1:00 pm @ Providence University College
(1) Providence University College vs (2) Red River College
3:00 pm @ Providence University College
(1) Université de Saint-Boniface vs (3) Red River College
Story and photos courtesy of Joey Traa and the MCAC