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Rebels Advance to MCAC Soccer Finals

October 30, 2016

2016 Soccer Final Fours – #1 Red River College defeats #4 Providence University College 9 – 3

Story by Kelly McGuiness/MCAC

Women’s Semifinals
#1 Red River College defeats #4 Providence University College 9 – 3

Despite what the final score looks like, it was actually Providence University College who got out to an early 1-goal lead in their semifinal. All-Conference selection Julika Kehler put the Pilots on the board when she made good from about thirty feet out and put the home team Rebels on their heels.

When asked what going through her head after her hot start, Kehler was very happy.

“We have a chance. We have a chance to get the undefeated team down. And we kept fighting, but unfortunately that stopped.”

For the rest of the half it was all Rebels as first-year Julia Friesen scored, followed by Abby Grant and then another by Friesen to make it 3 – 1.

RRC had possession most of the half and weren’t called upon to play defence until the ball could be placed up to Kehler, who always had at least one defender nearby.

“It was tough, the first five minutes of the second half was just goal-goal-goal, so that’s where we lost the sense of authority in the game”

Red River head coach Doug Lawrie wasn’t surprised to see a great deal of Kehler from the other side, but he also acknowledged how dangerous his Rebels can be on the offensive.

“We created good opportunities,  we scored on a few very nice plays, we knew Julika Kehler was going to be a threat and she managed to get the space she needed to get a few goals…but we managed to contain her for the most part and our offensive capabilities came through and we have a variety of attacking players that were able to put the ball in the net so I was quite pleased with it”.

Kehler would score twice in the second half and Friesen would add another to give both snipers three on the afternoon. Both were named Player of the Game for their respective sides.

Providence keeper Abigail Morran had a whale of a game, often turning away several shots at a time. Unfortunately for her, Red River College’s Nadine Reimer has one of the hardest boots in the conference. Reimer also found the scoresheet and was one of the many threats Lawrie referenced.

Red River plays Brandon University tomorrow at 1:00 for the 2016 Championship. This will be the second year in a row the two meet in the Final after the Rebels won a nail-biter last year, 2-1.


2016 Soccer Final Fours – #2 Red River College defeats #3 Canadian Mennonite University 2 – 0

An exciting matchup on paper, this semifinal didn’t disappoint.
The veteran-laden CMU Blazers were well prepared to take on the many offensive weapons featured by Red River, both teams playing some very back-and-forth soccer in the first half.

RRC’s Paulo Nonnenmacher was able to probe the CMU defence several times but it was nearly impossible to get past CMU’s Andrew Letkeman. Whenever RRC forwards could beat CMU on the outside, Letkeman was always there to meet them and sweep any threats aside.
It wasn’t until a penalty was called in the box that scoring was imminent.
Mohamed Haida made good on the kick for Red River, going low right-side and just under CMU’s keeper Chris Giesbrecht’s hands. Giesbrecht played the kick near perfectly, but Haida played it better.
The game still didn’t feel decided though with CMU’s Cole Johnson and Ryan Jensen getting some great runs and chances in the offensive zone. But RRC keeper and All-Conference selection Rory Picton owned the day. His team kept balls away but he was still called upon to make some huge stops.
After a costly giveaway in their own end, CMU was forced to watch recent Rebel substitute Aziz Zerrouki score Red River’s second goal of the game late in the second half, all but ending the match.

Picton was named Player of the Game for Red River but he gave credit to his teammates.

“We played very well, we all contributed as a team and we ended up winning. It was a whole team effort”.

“They made me look good. They did their job and I did mine and we ended up with the win”.

Letkeman was named Player of the Game for CMU, and concluded his five years spent in the MCAC. A well-respected player throughout the conference, he finishes his last season awarded the 2016 regular season MVP.

Red River College plays Universite de Saint-Boniface tomorrow at 3pm.