Brandon University Bobcats
Still just in its first few years of existence, the Bobcat’s women’s soccer program shocked the MCAC last season when they had the Red River College Rebels trailing in the MCAC Championship Final. The ‘Cats would give up two goals late and just barely miss raising the trophy, but it shouldn’t have been surprising to see the Bobcats in that position given their 6-2 regular season record. Their ability to score all season had a great deal to do with the boots of striker Jaycee Castle, who finished second in regular season scoring and was selected as a conference all-star. She returns along with one of the best ball handlers in the league, midfielder Aziza Kinnarath, who also returns back after receiving a conference all-star in just her rookie season.
Returning Head coach Rainer Schira welcomes Neepawa’s Chelsea Plett to his defense in her first season, while the Bobcats add two new keepers in Sydney Carter-Squire from Brandon, MB and Bobby Milford from Delta, British Columbia.
Carter-Squire put together a wicked season for the Bobcats in 2014 when she posted four shutouts and gave up just seven goals against the rest of the conference. Milford joins the Bobcats after her former Kwantlen Polytechnic University Eagles had their women’s soccer program terminated last year.
The Bobcats start their season in a rematch of last year’s final against Red River on Saturday. On Sunday they’ll take on the CMU Blazers, both games are in Brandon at Healthy Living Centre field and scheduled to start at 1 p.m.
Assiniboine Community College
The Cougars’ women’s program will look to defender Shaelyn Langlois to turn their fortune around from last season. Langlois was neutralized for most of last season due to injury but she’ll be joined by MCAC all-star keeper Kendall Omeljanow in the maroon this season.
ACC athletic director, Beth Clark, is looking forward to the team’s new voice at the helm.
“The women’s team will have a different flavour this year being led by first year head coach, Brian Cornick”, says Clark.
Cornick is a former Director with the Winnipeg Soccer Federation and Winnipeg Youth Soccer Association, and is the current President of the Brandon Youth Soccer Association. He and the Cougars will see their first conference play on September 17th at 1:00 pm at Providence University College, followed by a 12:00 pm game the next day at Norm Konowalchuk Field against the defending champion Red River College.
Universite de Saint-Boniface
Returning to the MCAC this season, USB is thrilled to finally include a women’s outdoor program to their repertoire. Head coach Justin Legare has seen great success with his talented men’s program but he knows that starting from scratch brings new challenges.
“We have a talented and hard working group and are making progress in the right direction with each session. The many new faces in this squad will rely on the talents of Megan Burns, Shawne Poirier and Alex Berena for leadership on the field. The
girls have the right attitude and are eager to learn and progress and I am
sure we will have many successes this year as a team and for the Les Rouges
The newest addition to USB athletics will see their first action against CMU on Saturday at the Memorial turf field (Bonivital Soccer Club) at 1:00 p.m. They then take on Providence University College on Sunday in Otterburne, Mb at 1:00 pm.
The BU men’s soccer team is eager to continue their climb up the ranks in the MCAC. After a regular-season record of 4-4-and-2 in 2015, the Bobcats lost their championship semifinal match to CMU by just a goal.
The ‘Cats return nine players from last season but have a new coach at the helm. Jesse Roziere believes his team has the ability to be the best in the conference, after just their third season competing.
“We have some big expectations for our team,” said Roziere. “Building off last year would be a big step for the returning players. They want to come back and make the Final. I think that is a realistic goal for this group.”
Midfielder’s Taylor Blue and Osian Edwards from Brandon, Mb were last season’s usual suspects on the Bobcat’s scoresheets, both garnering conference all-star awards and keeping opposing defences busy. They will both return for Brandon in their third seasons while Nolan Melanson and Adam Hay are two rookies who have donned the blue and gold for the Bobcats’ U18 club and Roziere is excited to watch develop.
“We have a lot of young guys, but a lot of them are ready to step in and fill roles immediately. We are excited as a group to get things going,” added Roziere.
The Bobcats kick their season off at home this Saturday against Red River College at 3:15 pm. They’ll then face CMU the following day at 3:15 p.m at Healthy Living Centre Field.
Assiniboine Community College
After being held winless last season, the Cougars will be looking to their biggest workhorse and leading scorer last season in Robert Neumann. In order to improve on a 0-10 season, Neumann will need to lead a young team while also finding the back of the net for the Cougars. Athletic Director Beth Clark says, “there are a plethora of new talented players that will also help enhance the team’s commitment and competitiveness in the league.”
Head coach Bo Kampmann enters his 4th year with the Cougars men’s program.
ACC see their first game this Saturday against Providence in Otterburne, Mb at 3:00 pm. They follow that with a game against Red River College at Norm Konowalchuk Field on Sunday, starting at 12:00 pm.
Universite de Saint-Boniface
Universite de Saint-Boniface won last year’s MCAC Championship in a decisive match against a well-rounded CMU squad featuring several seniors. This season they’ll return many of their talented players up front, including 6’3” winger Yaya Chihab from Casablanca, Morocco, who has been a league standout in both soccer and futsal in the MCAC for several seasons now.
“He has worked extremely hard this offseason and I’m sure he’ll keep opposing defenders busy. The MCAC conference gets stronger each year, we must work hard if we expect success” says head coach Justin Legare. Chihab will compete in his fourth season in the MCAC, so expect him to provide a portion of the offense that has made USB so dangerous in the past. Notable losses to the USB roster this season will be 2015 MCAC MVP midfielder Seifeddine Dhaoui to graduation and talented keeper Mahamadou Fofana to suspension.
Legare has also recruited three players in Vinessen Vadivelu, Sami Atoui and Peter Soliman who he hopes to see an immediate and positive impact from for Les Rouges. Adding new talent is necessary as Legare echoes the same sentiment as many other coaches in the conference regarding the level of play in the MCAC.
“The MCAC conference gets stronger each year. We must work hard and with the talented squad I have, I hope we can continue to build a successful program.” Les Rouges begin defending their title this Saturday, September 17th at 3:00 pm against CMU at the Memorial turf field (Bonivital Soccer Club) at 3:00 pm. They then head to Otterburne, Mb on Sunday, Sep. 18th to face Providence University College at 3:00 pm.