Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface’s Tarik El Assal scored a beautiful game-tying goal on September 26, as the Voyageurs played the University of Winnipeg Wesmen to a 1-1 draw at Homestead Park.
El Assal, a 21-year-old forward from Kenitra, Morocco is in his second year with the Voyageurs and will graduate with a diploma in Business Administration this spring.
“That kid is always playing hard, even with injuries,” said Voyageur head coach Justin Légaré.
“He’s got one of the biggest hearts I have ever seen in a player. He just never quits.”
The deeply recruited Wesmen squad that CUSB faced Sunday were coming off several decisive exhibition and regular season wins before their matchup with the MCAC’s fourth-placed team from 2009. “I was nervous to start off,” said Légaré. “We started the game poorly, and they scored a pretty easy goal so we got really worried. But, we settled and calmed down, and we stayed with them. I don’t think they out chanced us either, so I was really impressed with the guys.”
The Voyageurs boast a practice roster of 24, but can only dress 18 for MCAC conference matchups. Légaré spoke excitedly of his team’s vast improvement over the 2009 edition from CUSB.
“We’re a really different team from last year. Players are coming out to practice and working, and that makes a huge difference.”
Légaré now has a deep team of his own, and they plan to make a splash come the 2010 MCAC Soccer Championships on October 23 and 24 at Providence College in Otterburne, MB.
By Darrin Bauming