MCAC Women’s Soccer  – 2022 Season Preview

The Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) women’s soccer season should prove to be another competitive year as all five team battle to be named conference champions at the end of October and then continue to the Nationals as being MCAC’s second representative at Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women’s Soccer Nationals hosted by Champlain College Saint-Lambert from November 9-12, 2022 in Saint-Lambert, QC.

Coming into this exciting season, the Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) Les Rouges will seek to defend their MCAC championship won in 2021 and looks for a three-peat performance. The other four MCAC women’s soccer teams are expected to be up for the challenge and compete hard for the MCAC title in another hard-fought games on the pitch during the upcoming 2022 campaign.

Assiniboine Community College Cougars (ACC)

Head coach: Kate Broadhead, 1st season as head coach, (assistant coach for previous five MCAC seasons)

Keys for the team from head coach perspective:

Key Additions: Tonielle Bachewich, Summer Olson, Caitlyn Stevenson, Kendra McKinny

Key Returnee: Megan Beswitherick, Lichelle Martens, Madison Kilburn

Key Losses: Hannah Yuen, Calista Green, Natalie Babcock

Number of total team members to start the season: 17

Record and MCAC championship history: 

2021 MCAC regular season record and placing: 0-0-12; 5th place in regular season; did not qualify for MCAC playoffs

Last MCAC championship: none

Total MCAC championships: none

Season Preview with head coaches comments: 

What games does the coach look forward to most.  I look forward to our games against CMU and St. Boniface. In the previous years they have been a closer game and provide a challenge to the cougars when playing on the turf. Without access to turf in Brandon to practice on, it presents a new experience for the athletes and tests their adaptability to field conditions.”

What games does the coach feel will be a challenge and/or circled on the calendar.  Our season opens off with a game vs. BU – these games are often more intense since there double the crowd watching and many girls know each other from various leagues.”

  • What does the coach expect from the League this year (i.e. competition, teams to watch for, etc.).  I anticipate that the competition to be on par with previous seasons. Covid caused many athletes to fall away from the sport, while others have been waiting for the right time to get back into school and have trained hard to make up for lost time.”

What are the challenges they expect with the season.  As always, challenges with a quick starting season remains numbers for ACC. Each year produces an entirely new team, which forces the athletes to learn fast and train harder. Fall weather can hinder athletic abilities and is often the reason players acquire injuries easier. Hoping for a mild fall and no injuries.”

What are the team goals, expectations for the upcoming season /looking forward to.  “Our team goal is to make it into Final 4, then to compete as best we can. As always I look forward to watching the athletes improve their skills and become a tight knit family. ACC does not have the best track record, but athletes time and time again boast of their worth-while time being a student-athlete.”

Please name a key performer for this upcoming year and why  “Tonielle Bachewich is a returning player from a few seasons prior. She is a poised and smart player, which will bring much knowledge to the team. She is a hard worker and dedicated player. Tonielle players center-mid, controlling the offensive attacks and assisting our defense.”

  • Who is your team captains this year  Megan Beswitherick (Center Defence), Madison Kilburn (Goalkeeper)
  • Final comment/quote from the head coach.  I am very excited for yet another year on the coaching side of things. I have a great group of girls that show great passion for the sport. Our team consists of senior players and new athletes fresh from high school. With a mix of players from various backgrounds, it is always rewarding seeing them bond and work with each other regardless of the game outcomes.”

Brandon University Bobcats (BU)

Head coach: Danielle Sanjenko, 2nd year as head coach

Keys for the team from head coach perspective:

Key Additions: Tarin Ballan (Defence), Émilie Dornez (Midfield), Jocelyn Heald (Midfield), Keashae Masters (Midfield)

Key Returnee: Kylie Van De Woestyne (Defence)

Key Losses: Kira Ireson (Forward), Helen Langrehr (Midfield)

Number of total team members to start the season: 20

Record and MCAC championship history: 

2021 MCAC regular season record and placing: 9-1-2; 2nd place in regular season; MCAC finalist (1-0 extra time win over PUC in semis; 2-0 loss to USB in Championship Final)

Last MCAC championship: 2017

Total MCAC championships: 2 (2017, 2016)

Season Preview: 

The Bobcats women’s soccer team came within striking distance of capturing the program’s first conference championship on home field last season. The squad will be looking to bring the MCAC league banner back to the HLC when the final games are played here in Brandon as ACC hosts the league Final Four set for October 29-30.

After a thrilling semi-final win at the HLC last October, the team came just short in the final against St. Boniface. The disappointment of not qualifying for CCAA nationals lasted just minutes however, as the focus immediately shifted to getting the job done in 2022.

  • Please name a key performer for this upcoming year and why Kylie Van De Woestyne. Last year’s team MVP finished second in the team in scoring, but it was her all-around game that made the conference all-star standout. Van de Woestyne’s ability to control the game and defensive presence made her one of the most dominant players in the league. That combined with a cannon for a right foot, Van de Woestyne’s net presence and talent on corner kicks make her a league all-star candidate again this season.

Canadian Mennonite University Blazers (CMU)

Head coach: Lianna Bestvater and Cara Isaak

Keys for the team from head coach perspective:

Key Additions: Juliana Marucci, Caleigh Peden, Amelie Hasker, Louisa Morton, Emily Whittaker

Key Returnee: Tiegan Kroeker

Key Losses: Rachel Neufeld, Faith Barnett

Number of total team members to start the season: 20

Record and MCAC championship history: 

2021 MCAC regular season record and placing: 3-1-8; 4th place in regular season; MCAC semi-finalist (5-0 loss to USB in semis)

Last MCAC championship: 2018

Total MCAC championships: 2 (2018, 2009)

Season Preview with head coaches comments: 

  • What games does the coach look forward to most.  “We enjoy playing against USB, they’ll have a strong squad this year but our games with them always seem to feature really nice, disciplined, and organized soccer.”
  • What games does the coach feel will be a challenge and/or circled on the calendar.  “We’ve had some trouble playing at Providence the last couple seasons so that will be a challenge for us. And of course, our home opener will be a big moment.”
  • What does the coach expect from the League this year (i.e. competition, teams to watch for, etc.).  “I think that recruiting across all schools has been really impressive this year so I think the level of play will be quite high. A few key additions at USB will probably make them a team to watch, but there’s been some notable pick-ups at all schools.”
  • What are the challenges they expect with the season.  The 12-game season can be a grind, if any injuries pop up its too much of a “sprint” season to really recover. We’ve got a very heavy schedule in October, but our athletes have been working hard this off-season to prepare physically.”
  • What are the team goals, expectations for the upcoming season /looking forward to.  “Our goal this season is to improve on our 4th place finish last year. We have some learning goals of improving our movement, decision-making, and execution in attacking this year.”
  • Please name a key performer for this upcoming year and why  “Tiegan Kroeker continues to be a driver on our team. She will be a key performer in the midfield. She has unbelievable endurance and creativity on the field, and her shot makes her dangerous as soon as we get into the attacking third.
  • Who is your team captains this year Tiegan Kroeker
  • Final comment/quote from the head coach.  I can’t wait to see some amazing MCAC soccer this Fall. These athletes do so much on and off the field all year to play at the university level, that watching them having a great time together during games seems like such a nice reward.”

Providence University College Pilots (PUC)

Head coach: Tory Walker, 7th season as head coach.

Keys for the team from head coach perspective:

Key Additions: Milina Dueck (High level club player E&E Sports ), Ameika de Klein (Fusion FC leading scorer), Sarah Friesen (FCNW Strong defender)

Key Returnee: Jessica Waytiuk (Centre Mid and Captain), Paige Heide (Centre Mid and MCAC-All Conference), Chloe Jahn (Centre Mid and Captain), Ava Temple (Strong Center Defence)

Key Losses: none

Number of total team members to start the season: 19 rostered right now

Record and MCAC championship history: 

2021 MCAC regular season record and placing: 7-0-5; 3rd place in regular season; MCAC semi-finalist (1-0 extra time loss to BU in semis)

Last MCAC championship: 2014

Total MCAC championships: 4 (2014, 2013, 2012, 2008)

Season Preview with head coach comments: 

  • What games does the coach look forward to most. As a coach, I am looking forward to seeing how our team grows together. I’m excited to challenge them and see how they come together as a group.”
  • What games does the coach feel will be a challenge and/or circled on the calendar.  “Our home opener each year is a huge event for us here at Providence. Our aviation program organizes a huge fly over during this event and our stands and fields are full of fans. Its just such a great atmosphere and is always a huge highlight.”
  • What does the coach expect from the League this year (i.e. competition, teams to watch for, etc.).  “As always I expect the competition to continue to grow and get better. The beginning of the year is exciting to see who is going to be the hardest to beat.”
  • What are the challenges they expect with the season.  “USB Coach Justin Légaré has built such a strong program and are always a hard team to play. I expect that to stay the same.”
  • What are the team goals, expectations for the upcoming season /looking forward to.  “My goal for this group and any team I coach is to be the hardest working team.”
  • Please name a key performer for this upcoming year and why  “Ava Temple is one of the strongest centre backs in the league and will be a force to contend with. Paige Heide is a threat offensively from anywhere on the pitch.”
  • Who is your team captains this year –            Jessica Waytiuk & Chloe Jahn are our captains now for the past three years. They are entering in their final season.
  • A comment/quote from team captain  “The team and I are super stoked to be back for a full season once again and are excited for some good competition this year.” – Chloe Jahn
  • Final comment/quote from the head coach.  “I am really excited to get going, this group is going to be a lot of fun to coach and I think has loads of potential. Our team has been building and getting better both on and off the field each year. These young women are eager and excited to grow together and I think this may be the most fun year yet.”

Université de Saint-Boniface Les Rouges (USB)

Head coach: Tonya Derkson and Justin Légaré Co-head coaches

Keys for the team from head coach perspective:

Key Additions: We have not only added some key additions on the player side of things but also in the coaching side of things. Adding Tonya Derkson as Co-head coach this season will help us elevate our game even further. She brings lots of experience and great energy to the team.

We have added a goalkeeper with U SPORTS experience Camille Forbes. She brings some much valuable experience to the team and is extremely talented. She is vocal and excited to make her mark in the MCAC.

Another player that will be joining us this season has 4 seasons of U SPORTS experience. Chantal Boulet brings leadership quality and some high-level experience. A talented player that will help us strengthen our back line and the middle of the pitch.

Another addition is Marlene Zarychta who with her skill set will help us boost our offensive game. She is extremely talented and will be a nightmare for anyone trying to defend her. She has great foot work, vision, and a good shot and I am excited for her to share her talents in the MCAC.

Marijka Yashysshyn a name which might be familiar to some as she has competed in the MCAC and proved to be one of the better players in the league for years. We are excited to have her with us and early on its clear her talents help life the play of her new teammates around her.

Key Returnee: With have many key returning players. The first might be the most decorated MCAC female soccer athlete to date. Katie Moniot, a team leader, our captain, and a player to keep an eye out for once again this season. She is focused and excited for this her final season in the MCAC.

Sara Boissonnealt who finished second in scoring in the MCAC last year will definitely keep defenders on their toes again this year. One of the most talented players in the MCAC we are excited to see her play with the new additions we have brought in this season.

Sophie Morham (Midfield) has a high game IQ and the talent to play multiple rolls for the team. Definitely a player that will be important for us again this season.

Jade Lopez will be an important key to our season in holding that midfield helping the team win balls and with keeping possession and distribution. A talented midfield player with great vision and great feet.

The speedy and strong Steph Jones will also be a key returning player who will keep defenders busy with her pace and finishing abilities!

No secret our back line is one of our strengths and returning this year are fullback’s Tara Boulanger and Melanie Chaput and center back Kalyna Demare. Talented and hard working they will be important to any future teams’ successes.

Key Losses: We lost a few key players from last year all-star goalie Daneige Edey and center back Cass Nazeravich. They will be great missed, but they have both committed to helping out at team sessions this season

Record and MCAC championship history: 

2021 MCAC regular season record and placing: 9-2-1; 7-0-5; 1st place in regular season; MCAC Champions (5-0 win over CMU in semis; 2-0 win over BU in Championship Final)

Last MCAC championship: 2021

Total MCAC championships: 2 (2021, 2019)

Season Preview with head coach comments: 

  • What games does the coach look forward to most. We are just excited to get started again and to build on what have accomplished in the past few seasons. We are excited about all the games..”
  • What games does the coach feel will be a challenge and/or circled on the calendar.  “We are not taking anyone lightly and will bring our best at each and every game..”
  • What does the coach expect from the League this year (i.e. competition, teams to watch for, etc.).  “The league is getting stronger each year and that will be important for the MCAC team so we can strengthen our league and help us compete with the strong teams at Nationals.
  • What are the challenges they expect with the seasonLike any MCAC season one of the biggest challenges in how condensed our season is. We want to keep everyone healthy and playing at a high level.
  • What are the team goals, expectations for the upcoming season /looking forward to.  “We obviously want to defend our championship and earn another chance to represent the MCAC at Nationals again this season.”
  • Please name a key performer for this upcoming year and why  “The addition of Tonya as Co-Head Coach is exciting and will helps us reach new heights.”
  • Who is your team captains this year Katie Moniot (midfield)
  • Final comment/quote from the head coach.  We are excited to see our team compete and express themselves on the field and continue to grow as a group.”