The Université de Saint-Boniface Les Rouges owned the 2014 MCAC Soccer Season. With their dazzling footwork, impressive goal-scoring ability, and superior vision of the field, not only did they win the MCAC Championship, but they did it without losing a game.
While their offense gained the headlines, their defense has flown under the radar as the most effective in the entire league. During last weekend’s Final Four’s, Saint-Boniface put on a defensive clinic, only letting in two goals throughout the tournament. Leading the charge was Ousmane El Bachir Niang – this week’s Athlete of the Week.
If you look at the score-sheets throughout the season, you won’t see El Bachir Niang’s name very often. After only playing in four games this season due to injury, Saint-Boniface wasn’t even sure if he’d play in the Final Fours. But after hard work and certainly some guts, El Bachir Niang played in both playoff games – and the Les Rouges are sure glad he did.
“Ousmane played a dominant and key role for the us this weekend,” said head coach Justin Legare. “He was not only dominating, but a great leader for the back line on defense, challenging all players and all balls directed in his vicinity”
Not only was he solid defensively, but he contributed on the scoreboard as well, picking up the key first goal against CMU in the semifinals, utilizing his head ball skills, which Legare consider one of the biggest strengths in his game.
On a team with as much talent as Saint-Boniface, it takes players with leadership to step up in the big moments and carry their team on and off the pitch. That was El Bachir Niang this weekend, and that is why he is the Week 7/8 Athlete of the Week.