2021 MCAC Women’s Soccer Final Four Preview

It will be 735 days since the last Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) women’s soccer championship was awarded. This season has been a very competitive battle to hoist the trophy in 2021. Brandon University is the host of this year’s Final Four on October 30-31 with the winners representing MCAC at the Nationals.

BU’s Athletic Director Russ Paddock, commented about hosting the Final Four: “Brandon University is excited to host the Manitoba College’s Athletic Conference soccer Final Four for the first time. There is a lot on the line, as the competition for the championship banners will be intense as well as berths to the CCAA National Championship on the line for the first time. Soccer fans in our community are looking forward to this level of play and it promises to be a great weekend of competition.”

#1 USB Les Rouges vs. #4 CMU Blazers – 12 p.m. CT start on Saturday, October 30

Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) Les Rouges (9-2-1 regular season record) is one of the hottest teams in the nation as they enter this Final Four on a nine game unbeaten streak (eight wins, one draw) and also placed sixth in the latest Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national rankings. Their last loss was on Sept. 19 at Brandon and they have outscored their opponents 33-3 during this streak.

Les Rouges were the last title holders when they captured their first MCAC women’s soccer championship in 2019.

They have a ton of experience and led by third year forward Sara Boissonneault with 11 goals this season, good for second in conference scoring, along with fourth year midfielder and co-captain Katie Moniot with seven goals and provides leadership. Mylène Chabot is also co-captain and in her fourth year and added six goals. Fourth year goalkeeper Daneige Edey has been the backstop as the team registered seven clean sheets out of 12 matches.

In addition, rookie Jade Lopez has contributed four goals; sophomore Cassie Nazeravich with three tallies while rookie Tara Boulanger has been a strong defender.

Despite their regular season record of 3-1-8, Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers has played well against USB throughout this season. They played to a 1-1 home draw on Sept. 18 and then only lost 3-1 on the road and 2-0 at home. All three matches were close affairs and the Blazers look to pull off the upset by mimicking those games in the semi-final.

CMU has had a balanced attack with seven different players on the scoresheet. Third year fullback Tiegan Kroeker, second year midfielder Ezri Trump, second year Chloe Boulet and rookie midfielder Ayesha Umar all tied for team lead with two goals in 2021. The squad also produced two shutouts and will look to different ways to score and keep USB off the scoreboard to advance to the finals.

The Blazers last won the conference championship in 2018.

#2 BU Bobcats vs. #3 PUC Pilots – 12 p.m. CT start on Saturday, October 30

The host Brandon University (BU) Bobcats came close to catching top seed USB, as they were one point out of first with a 9-1-2 regular season mark. Brandon has vaulted to number 10 in the latest CCAA national rankings and wants to recapture the MCAC championship for the first time since 2017.

The Bobcats seemed to have peaked at the right time as they have rattled off four consecutive games with at least a point (three wins, one draw) and scored 18 goals over the last four matches.

Rookie forward Kira Ireson had a team-high eight goals (tied for fourth in MCAC) while rookie midfielder Brogan Henry was not far behind with seven markers. More Bobcat scoring by rookie midfielders Kylie Van De Woestyne (6), Kenadie Janzen (4) and Helen Langrehr (4) plus rookie defender Natasha Vermette (4). The team has balanced the offence with six shutouts this season.

Providence University College (PUC) Pilots has had a strong season as they battled both USB and BU during this campaign and ended up third with a 7-0-5 regular season record. The Pilots scored a victory over the Bobcats earlier this season with a 1-0 home win on Sept. 26 and the season series has been competitive and hard fought.

For Providence to move on, they will lean on MCAC scoring leader Makayla Myer in her fourth year as she again led the conference with 14 goals. PUC has scoring prowess as three players in the Top 5 in scoring in 2021. Second year striker Anna Green had 10 goals (one against BU) plus second year defender Paige Heide has added eight (one against BU).

The league leader in team goals with 50, PUC had rookie striker Laurianne Chiasson with four and sophomore midfielder Kayla Miller added three with six other players at least with a goal this year. The squad also posted five shutouts.

The Pilots seek to add to their collection of MCAC championships they won in 2008 and from 2012-14.

“We are super excited heading into this MCAC championship weekend. This year the field on the women’s side has been tight and has made for some great soccer this season. It’s exciting to see the competitiveness from the top four teams, the championship could be anyone’s this year. For our team, we know we can score having three of five top goal scorers in the league. We will see if we can put it together this weekend and prove what type of team we are,” stated PUC’s head coach Tory Walker.

The home field advantage favours Brandon but expect another close contest between both clubs as they look to move onto the championship final.