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Providence Dominant in Weekend Sweep

The Providence University College Pilots soccer teams wrapped up their regular season play this past weekend. The MCAC schedule rounded out with the Pilots hosting the ACC Cougars from Brandon on Saturday and the Red River Rebels were in Otterburne on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday afternoon started off with the women taking the field. The scoring came early and often for the Pilots against the Cougars. Both teams were not only fighting each other, but were in a battle with the elements of wind and cold. The home side came out on top of the battle however tallying 10 goals and were able to shut down ACC to score the 10-0 victory. This win was highlighted by a picturesque diving header by Kate Osadchuk, who was playing against her home town team. Elena Rempel showed off her strength by sending 2 lasers past the keeper.

On the Men’s side, the Cougars started with a strong defensive setup that resisted the Pilots attack until the 12th minute, when a spirited run by Chris Cho resulted in a perfect cross for Mitchell Martens to open to scoring. The Cougars solid defending was rewarded in the 29th minute when a rare attack on the Pilot’s goal resulted in a converted penalty kick to tie the score at 1-1. It looked like it might stay that way until half time before three goals in five minutes by the Pilots blew the game wide open. A pair from Arvid Neufeld and a goal from Troy Lydiate made the home fans happy going into halftime. With the wind at their backs in the second half the Pilots camped in their opponent’s end of the field with further goals from Jon Janke, Amani Kissu and another from Arvid Neufeld sealing a 7-1 win.

Red River was in town for Sundays games against the Pilots. The women’s teams from Providence and Red River always seem to have intense, low scoring games. The trend continued in this contest and this time, with some high winds and flurries. With a tough defensive strategy against them, the Pilots could not find their rhythm offensively to start the game. The Rebels frustrated the Providence attack and neither team was able to find the back of the net in the first half. In the second half, the Pilots came out with a different kind of energy and were able to get past the strong defensive unit of Red River. Brittany Heaman opened the scoring on a beautiful cross from Danielle Sanjenko. Elena Rempel finished off her dominant weekend with a steal up the middle and rocketed the shot off the far post and in to make it 2-0 which ended up as the final score.

"We knew it would be a difficult game, in regards to breaking down the defense, but we stuck with our plan and it paid off," Coach Giancarlo Calla after the Red River game.

The Sunday game for the Men was played in a frigid north wind but the loyal fans who braved the weather were rewarded by a warming display of attacking soccer by the Pilots. They didn’t have to wait long for the goals when a beautiful passing move between brothers Adrian and Arvid Neufeld ended with a chip across goal for Mitchell Martens to head home the opener after 3 minutes. Conner Wiebe then took center stage with goals in the 16th and 41st minutes to lead Providence into halftime with a 3-0 score. Martens opened the scoring in the second half using the wind to curl the ball into the goal direct from a corner kick. He then completed his hat-trick in the 71st minute, running onto a Troy Lydiate pass and burying it in the corner of the net. It has been difficult to keep Arvid Neufeld off the score sheet this year and he duly obliged with his 13th MCAC goal (18th in all games) in the 76th minute. Jon Janke scored a thumping header from a corner kick in the 83rd minute to round out the scoring. The Pilots defense limited the Rebels to just 2 shots in the game to help goalie Liam Hodges to his 5th shutout of the season in the 7-0 victory.

“This was our best all round team effort of the year. We played some attractive soccer this weekend and although the offense tends to get the attention when you score a lot of goals it is the foundation of confident defending and hard work in midfield that sets up wins like this. We are working well together and looking forward to the MCAC championship next weekend,” explains Coach Martin Ward following the successful weekend.

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