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Providence Pilots Fly High in MCAC Opener

It was a battle of Manitoba rivals on the first weekend of soccer in the Manitoba College Athletics Conference opener between the Providence Pilots and the CMU Blazers.

The women took the field first on Saturday at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex. The Pilots come in as defending MCAC champions after an unbeaten season in Maniotba last year. Julika Kehler continued her sizzling start as she knocked in 2 goals for the visiting Pilots team. Kate Osadchuk added her 7th goal in 3 games this season while Jessica Gzebb and Naomi Tait added a goal each to give Providence the 5-0 win.

Coach Giancarlo Calla was pleased with the effort but knows they have work to do. “It was a good win. I think we have a lot of areas we can improve in though. We need to fight for 90 minutes regardless of the score. Our goal is to be better every day and that means we can’t take a day off.”

The men’s soccer team started their defense of the MCAC championship as they face the Blazers. The Pilots started strong and pressured their opponent’s goal, out-shooting the Blazers by 10 shots to 2 in the first half. It wasn't until the 33rd minute however until the Pilots broke the deadlock. Martial Galay’s pass split the defense and Arvid Neufeld held off a strong challenge to slip the ball home.

The second half saw the Blazers disciplined passing game disrupt the Pilots rhythm and cause some anxious moments in defense for the visiting team. The Pilots killer instinct swung the game their way again though as two goals in quick succession put them back in command. In the 68th minute a free kick from just outside the penalty area was expertly driven home by Troy Lydiate. Two minutes later, a penetrating run by Mitchell Martens finished with an excellent angled shot which the keeper could only deflect into the corner of the net. The Blazers fought back and would have scored if not for a Martial Galay clearance off the goal-line which kept the score 3-0 for Providence.

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