#2 RRC Rebels vs #3 CMU Blazers
A fast start in the second half propelled the #2 Red River College Rebels to a 3-2 comeback victory over the #3 Canadian Mennonite University Blazers in Saturday’s semi-final match.
Kezia Balzer scored the game-winning goal on a corner kick where the ball was laying for the taking before she pounded it to the back of the net.
In the first half, neither team was able to generate many chances until Ezri Trump found netting with heavy shot in the 14th minute for the Blazers. The play was set up on a corner kick by all-conference winger Tiegan Kroeker — she passed the ball outside the box to Trump, who finished the play.
Miriam Kabonesa displayed her shot accuracy throughout the match. Shortly after CMU’s first goal of the match, Kabonesa sent a strong shot to the net, but Rebels goalkeeper Abigail Wilson stretched out to make a fingertip save.
However, Kabonesa wouldn’t be denied and she increased the Blazers lead to two with 52 seconds left in the first half. She lobbed a ball from outside the box over Wilson’s head and into the top corner of the net.
The Rebels regrouped at halftime and Balzer said the team focused on not getting down on themselves.
“We’ve beaten CMU in times past,” said Balzer. “So, just focusing on the fact that we had the capability to comeback and just keep our cool.”
The Rebels kept their cool and got on the scoreboard 19 seconds into the second half. Balzer set up a kick-in and fired it off a CMU player and into the net.
“I think that was huge,” said Balzer. “Just really big for switching the momentum.”
RRC kept that momentum rolling, scoring a beautiful tic-tac-toe goal in the 5th minute of the second frame. Rebels defender Ashley Paterson passed to Shea Bresciani in the corner, who then found all-conference pivot Jessica Gzebb open by the goal for a tap-in goal.
The teams exchanged rush for rush throughout the majority of the second half, but in the 21st minute, Bresciani found Balzer on a corner kick, leading to the game-winning goal.
The Rebels will look to win their first futsal championship since 2017 when they face the top-ranked USB Rouges on Sunday.
Balzer said the team needs to stay calm, not panic and make the easy passes to beat USB.
#1 USB Rouges vs #4 BU Bobcats
The #1 Université de Saint-Boniface Les Rouges kept their undefeated season alive with a 5-1 win over the host Brandon University Bobcats.
Mylène Chabot opened the scoring in the 9th minute of the match. She dribbled into the box and slammed a shot past BU goalie Emily Scramstad.
The Rouges found the back of the net five times, but their all-conference goalie Daneige Edey made a number of key saves in the match.
With 1:04 left in the first half, Hasana Church took a penalty kick for the Bobcats. Church pounded the ball and it somehow found a way through the two-player wall in front of the USB goal. Edey got down and made a stellar save and the Rouges led 1-0 at the half.
“At that point, it was just instinct,” said Edey. “It was really fast and really hard, and it was a super well-placed shot.”
USB started the second half strong and league MVP Katie Moniot banged a shot off the post in the opening minute. Moniot hit three posts and a crossbar throughout the match and couldn’t buy a goal until the final minute of the game.
The Rouges had goals from five different players in the match and Edey said she wasn’t surprised Moniot finally found twine at the end of the match.
“I think she just proved as a team, we don’t give up,” said Edey. “We dig deep and we want that, and she found it at the end.”
USB forward Annick Riet extended the team’s lead to 2-0 in the 6th minute of the second half, and then she set up Stéphanie Jones for a tap-in goal a minute later.
In the 15th minute, Cassie Nazeravich dribbled through defenders and slid the ball past Scramstad to extend the USB lead to 4-0.
Edey made a big save in the 22nd minute, but a juicy rebound led to the Bobcats first goal of the game. Kiera Riehl quickly found the ball and sent a blast to the bottom right corner of the net.
Moniot then found the score sheet for the first time in the final minute of the game to put an exclamation mark on the semi-final win.
The Les Rouges will look to defend their championship in Sunday’s final at 3 p.m. against the RRC Rebels.