It has been three years since the Men’s Soccer Program has stepped onto the pitch against an opponent other than an MCAC rival. 2013 was the first year that the Blazers hosted a non-conference opponent. The ACAC’s Medicine Hat Rattlers made a visit to Winnipeg in the preseason and handed the Blazers a 4-1 defeat. In 2014, CMU hosted the nationally-ranked Lakeland Rustlers on Labour Day Weekend and fell 3-0 and in 2015 the Rustlers again emerged as 4-1 victors.
A rookie in 2015, Ryan Jensen (pictured against Lakeland in 2015) is one of a handful of players remaining on the current squad who has experience against an ACAC opponent. The then 18-year-old created the first goal of the match in the opening 10 minutes against Lakeland, sending Simon Dueck into blast CMU into a short-lived lead against their Albertan opponents.
“If I could pass on any piece of advice to the young players on our team, I think I would suggest that they think about a few things that they can visualize themselves doing in these games,” said the former Bonivital Soccer Club star and current fourth-year Blazer.
“Whether that be working on pass completions, being more vocal, winning every ball in the air, taking their defender on 1 v 1 or something as simple as staying disciplined for the full duration of the match. Whatever it takes for them to feel like they left their best on the field. I strongly believe that win or lose, there is no better feeling than finishing a match satisfied with the way you represented yourself and your team.”
Jensen sits on three goals after three matches played against MCAC competition so far this season. Men’s Soccer carries a record of 1-1-1 into this weekend’s friendlies in Alberta.