Don’t let the number of teams confuse you. Soccer in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference is doing quite well.
MCAC soccer consists of four schools in the men’s league and just three schools in the women’s league. Despite the small number of teams, there is much optimism for the life of the world’s most played sport in the MCAC.
Dalen Kroeker, who is in his eighth year as soccer convener for the MCAC, is happy with the status of soccer in the conference. “Soccer is doing well,” he says, “it’s well established and there’s very, very high quality coaches in the league.
One of these quality coaches is Pedro Daza, coach of the University of Winnipeg Wesmen.
The University of Winnipeg was a new addition to the MCAC this year and took the league by storm in their inaugural season. Both the men’s and women’s teams went unbeaten on their way to championships in their respective leagues.
Daza, who, along with Mick Gale, coaches the Wesmen men’s team, thinks that U of W’s addition to MCAC soccer and dominance this past season is a good thing for the conference. Daza says, “I think if the other teams take it with the right approach it will force them to prepare better.” He adds, “Maybe it will make them try to attract more players to their program.”
The Wesmen recruited two players from England this summer to help them in their pursuit for a championship. Adam Bromley and fellow midfielder Scott Ansell are their two recruits.
Kroeker also sees the Wesmen’s dominance as a good thing. He says, “I think that was a very good thing for the conference to raise the calibre of play and raise the expectations within the conference.”
Fresh off his championship, Daza sees nothing wrong with the current state of MCAC soccer. “I think the competition is good, the only reason I think that we dominated is because we’re a university and we have more players to choose from.” He adds, “It would be nice to have more teams but I don’t see anything wrong with the amount of teams we have now.”
Although Daza is content with the number of competing schools, an increase is a definite possibility according to Kroeker. For those wanting to see a Red River Rebels soccer team hit the turf in the near future, Kroeker brings some good news. “Some schools don’t have a soccer team playing currently but they are looking at moving in that direction.”
The 2010 MCAC soccer championships were held at Providence College on Oct. 23 and 24 and saw the Wesmen men’s team beat Providence College 6-4 and the women’s team also beat the host school by a score of 10-0.
By Sean Angus
Article courtesy of ‘The Projector’ – Red River College’s Student Newspaper