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Pilots futsal teams show well in MCAC championship
by Naaman Sturrup
The Providence Pilots men’s futsal team lost a 6-4 nail-biter to the Red River College Rebels in the 2017 Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference futsal championship match, which took place on the Otterburne campus last weekend. The women’s team also showed well, dropping their semi-final 6-4 to the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers.
Supporters representing all four teams (the other was the Brandon University Bobcats) came out to cheer on their players, and the atmosphere throughout the competition was electric.
With the Pilots entering the tournament ranked third in the women’s division and fourth place in the men’s they were not tipped to be a play-off threat. However, both sides displayed the sort of exhilarating play that showcased their championship potential.
In women’s match against CMU was exciting as both teams demonstrated superb offence and defense. It was an intense battle, as both teams traded goal for goal.
In the first half the Pilots tallied twice to go up 2-0, but the Blazers answered with a four-goal run. Star forward Julika Kehler led the way with a hat-trick for Providence, but in the end the Blazers prevailed. Nevertheless, head coach Tory Walker was pleased with the performances he saw over the balance of the season and is already looking forward to next year’s campaign.
“This was a really great season for our women’s soccer and futsal teams,” he said. “We came into the season being underdogs and in rebuild mode, but the women fought all season long and got better and better. With the character and culture we formed this year, I am excited and look forward to see what next year will bring.”
On the men’s side the Pilots also faced CMU in a semi-final, and both teams were cheered on by an energetic crowd that roared for both the Pilots and Blazers.
With five minutes left in a 3-3 contest Providence unleashed a three-goal run that put them ahead 6-3, and eventually won 6-5. Herby Magny and Jose Choez each bagged a brace, and Hunter Robertson and Braeden Owen also found the back of the net.
The Pilots then faced the Rebels in the championship match, and once again it was the final few minutes that determined the winner. This time, however, the Rebels produced the late magic and got the goals they needed to lift the trophy.
Still, head coach Joey Passi expressed pride in his team, especially given their pre-tournament ranking.
“It’s tough to lose in a heartbreaking final, but it is only going to make us hungrier and more determined for the future,” he said. “I cant wait to have these guys back for next season. This core of guys is going to accomplish stuff.”


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