A Samuel Wetstein goal in the 89th minute clinched the Brandon University Bobcats their first MCAC men’s soccer championship in program history.
The offensive floodgates were open early in the match, with both teams getting multiple scoring chances in the opening ten minutes of play.
Pilots’ midfielder, Aniel Athwal, received a pass from Austin Blackwell and nailed the crossbar. Athwal gathered his own rebound but shot it over the net. Two minutes later, Bobcats’ forward, Kevin Lopez, had an open shot but Justin Hoffman stretched across his net and just got his fingertips on the ball to push it wide.
After some thrilling end-to-end action, the Bobcats got on the scoreboard with a Travis Buick header off of a corner kick in the 8th minute.
The Pilots quickly regrouped and answered with a goal of their own in the 13th minute — Devin Vermette drove inside the box and rifled a shot to the top of the goal.
PUC kept attacking and Bret Sveinson had an open look, but Bobcats’ goalkeeper William Tonning made the crucial stop.
Things were still tied up in stoppage time when Lopez received a through ball and made no mistake with his shot — BU led 2-1 at the half.
Both teams tightened up defensively in the second half and neither team was able to get a quality look until halfway through the frame.
On a Bobcats break in the 89th minute, Wetstein beat Hoffmann from outside the box to put BU up 3-1. The BU bench erupted as the team realized they were minutes away from being champions.
PUC quickly silenced the Bobcats and pushed the ball up following the goal and forced a corner kick that resulted in a Giovanni Benitez goal in the 90th minute. Three minutes of stoppage time was added, but the Pilots couldn’t capitalize.
The Bobcats held on and won their first championship.
Lopez and Vermette were named players of the game, and Buick was named Most Valuable Player in the MCAC final four.