After witnessing one of the season’s great comebacks by Les Rouges of Université de Saint-Boniface in Saturday’s semifinal, the top-seeded Freemen knew 90 minutes of effort were needed if they were going to take home MCAC’s top prize.
Thanks to an impeccable game of passing and an unparalleled defensive effort, Providence was able to do just that – beating Les Rouges 4-0 to win their first men’s soccer title since 2009.
Mario Giesbrecht, who had a quiet regular season by his standards, had another huge game in Sunday’s Championship. The Freemen forward scored his team’s first goal, and his fourth personal goal of the weekend, on a beautiful free kick from outside the box in just the fifth minute – setting the tone for the rest of the game. After the game, Giesbrecht was named tournament MVP.
Providence also got another stunning goal from Arvid Neufeld in the 28th, as he was able to get a first touch pop-up to sail over the keeper and put his team up 2-0.
In the second half, the Freemen added goals from Martial Galay and conference leading goal scorer Norvin Campos to put icing on the cake.
Saint-Boniface didn’t struggle with possession, but the swarming Providence defense made it difficult for Les Rouges to get quality crosses and breaks on the ball. In the 28th, Abdellah Bezzahou had an open look at the net but wasn’t able to get it past the keeper. The look had potential to bring his team within a goal.
As with the program’s women’s team, the Providence men’s soccer team had been thwarted by squads from the University of Winnipeg in 2010. Last season, they came home with a bronze following a semifinals loss to upstart Red River College.
For photos from the entire Soccer Championships weekend, visit our Facebook page.