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2016 MCAC Coach of the Year Awards Announced


After another excellent season in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference, the following coaches have been recognized as the 2016 MCAC Coach of the Year in their respective sports.


Jaenas Pangilinan - Women's Basketball - Red River College
Pangilinan's Rebels received some extra value late in the season when some key players became eligible, but the challenge of balancing a new lineup and changing gears late in the season was something Pangilinan worked to perfection. The Rebels won their last 4 games of the regular season to finish with an 8-4 record, good for a 2nd place ranking moving into the Championship weekend. After staving off elimination from a very tough PUC Pilots team in the Championship semi-final, the Rebels then topped the #1-ranked CMU Blazers who had only lost a single game all season. This was Pangilinan and the Rebels' 5th straight MCAC title from a squad that led the league in total rebounds as well as second effort points, and turned the ball over less than any other team in the MCAC.




Scott Kirkpatrick - Men's Basketball - Red River College
Much like the women's Red River basketball program, Kirkpatrick had to deal with a fluctuating roster due to eligibility of student athletes who don't start their program until the second semester. The men's Rebels team amassed a league-worst 2-10 record and appeared to have a very steep uphill battle if they were to succeed in the MCAC playoffs. But Kirkpatrick - and a healthy and complete roster in place for the first time all season - didn't waver. After the 2016 season's leading scorer, Garnett Mcleod, was unable to play in the post season, the Rebels found themselves in a dog fight semi-final matchup with the #1-ranked U of W Wesmen. The Rebels won 65-61 and then decisively bested Canadian Mennonite University in an 87-74 win in the final. From worst to first in the span of about a month, Kirkpatrick was able to put together a squad that was best in the league when it mattered most and win the program's 8th straight title.




Doug LawrieWomen's Soccer - Red River College
As far as records are concerned, Lawrie was at the helm of the best team, in any sport, in the MCAC this season. In his 5th season as head coach of the Rebel's women's program, Red River recorded a perfect 8-0 regular season before cruising through their championship semi-final game to face Brandon University. With their perfect season on the line, the Rebels found themselves trailing late in the game before conjuring up two unanswered goals and hoisting the trophy this season. Lawrie also coached the women's futsal team at Red River this season, who handed a heavily favoured, #1-ranked CMU Blazers futsal team a loss in the final on their home court. This too ended in similarly dramatic fashion, giving Lawrie every excuse to take a seat and relax this offseason. Lawrie is also currently president and head coach of the Hornets Soccer Club in the Winnipeg Women's Soccer League.



Justin Légaré
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Men's Soccer - Universite de Saint-Boniface
Légaré was no stranger to Les Rouges' foot sports this season, leading both the men's soccer and futsal teams to MCAC gold while also head coaching a very young and developing women's futsal program. With one of the most talented rosters in the MCAC, Légaré was tasked with keeping a very passionate group of players focused throughout the 2015-16 season and out of the referee's log book, something that had plagued Les Rouges in previous seasons. The men's soccer Championship Final featured Les Rouges and an extremely competitive and veteran-laden CMU Blazers squad, both of which carried a 7-1-2 regular season record and split their season series with a game apiece. It was Les Rouges who emerged victorious in a 2-0 decision, winning their second straight MCAC title.




Scott MastersonWomen's Volleyball - Providence University College
The Pilots boasted a healthy 16-4 record including going 53-23 in total sets all season. But this year's thrilling championship Final is as good a testament to Masterson's 2016 season as any. At home, Masterson's Pilots dropped their first two sets of the match to the #1-ranked University of Winnipeg Wesmen, neutralizing their home court advantage and getting themselves to within a hair of ending the season wearing silver. But Masterson's squad weathered the storm and came roaring back with a dramatic and emotional three-set rally to win the Final, and avenge the previous season's loss in the 2015 Final.




Jason Peters - Men's Volleyball - Providence University College
After coaching the men's program for the last 13 seasons, Peters entered his final season with Providence boasting a stellar roster and a great chance to leave the program on a winning note. And that's exactly what the Pilots did, dominating the MCAC regular and post seasons, hoisting the trophy on home court with a women's program who also wore gold. The Providence men lost just 9 sets to their 33 won all season, good for a 10-2 record to go along with their Championship trophy. Now with a Coach of the Year nod to go along with the rest of the hardware in 2016, it's safe to say that Peters leaves the MCAC in style while also leaving an indelible mark as a head coach in the conference.
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2016 Futsal Championships Recap: Déroulez les tapis Rouges!



The Red River College Rebels and Universite de Saint-Boniface Les Rouges entered Saturday's Championship Final game of the 2016 Copa De La Paz with some major differences.

Just hours prior, the Rebels had knocked off the most disciplined team in the conference in the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers, on the Blazer's home court, in front of a predominantly CMU-supporting crowd. And it was no fluke: the final score of 5-2 was a product of some extremely stifling defence and a couple of goals that looked to come straight out of head coach Jordan Goetting's playbook. The final tally, for instance, was a beautiful play off of a free kick in which Paulo Nonnenmacher met a pass from Derek Tessier - who made it look like an attempt on net - right beside the left post. It was the final nail in the Blazer's season and it stood as a great reminder of how dangerous every team can be in MCAC futsal.

Les Rouges had a much different birth into the final scoring early and often against a Brandon University team who couldn't match the passing and overall foot speed of USB from the first whistle, eventually falling to USB 11-5. USB, after all, was one of the most gifted teams in the MCAC. And not just the most gifted futsal or soccer teams, but one of the most talented teams throughout any sport in the MCAC. However, their passion and discipline have been known to collide head-first sometimes, making for a messy result and a player or two missing from their lineup. Last year's 2015 MCAC futsal final was a good example, when Les Rouges committed too many fouls and were left to watch as CMU won on their home court via a number of penalty kicks.

So when the #2-ranked Rebels and #1-ranked Les Rouges met yesterday in the 2016 Final, it was very much either team's game.

Understandably, Yahia Chihab, the tall and lanky pivot for Les Rouges, opened all scoring in the match. Chihab had an unbelievable season for USB, scoring the second-most goals in the regular season behind RRC's Derek Tessier and 5 goals in the semi-final win over BU alone. Chihab's goal scoring never looked to be a product of selfishness though, as his passing with USB's defence and wingers was just as remarkable as his ability to find the back of the net.




Speaking of Tessier, he was a huge factor in the match as well. Standing at just 5 feet 6 inches tall, Tessier's speed and shot has made him one of the biggest threats in his 2 seasons in the MCAC. His ability to beat defenders off the dribble makes him a dangerous scoring threat but the fact that he played much of this futsal season on defence goes to show how much of an all-round player he is.



However, it wasn't long into the first half of the match that the efforts of RRC looked to be futile. The defensive pairing of brothers Houssemeddine and Seifeddine Dhaoui were one of the best in the MCAC and they did a great job at neutralizing Nonnenmacher and Cesar de Costa Carvalho, two Rebels that had been having a great tournament so far.



By half, the Rebels were already several goals down and USB was doing an excellent job at controlling the play, along with their emotion. It was clear the memory of last year's final was not distant in Les Rouges' minds and they did a better job at not letting officiating dictate their moods. Once USB had reached their maximum number of fouls in the second half and each remaining foul meant a penalty kick for the Rebels, keeper Samir Achour was outstanding for Les Rouges, turning away a couple and allowing just 1 goal from kicks. At game's end, Les Rouges won the 2016 Copa De La Paz Championship with a commanding 10-5 victory.

USB's Seiffeddine Dhaoui was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.





2016 Futsal Championship: Rebel Gold



If you kicked a ball for the Red River Rebels this season, chances are you had a pretty good season.

After the women's soccer team went undefeated during the entire 2015 season, both the men and women Rebels futsal teams found themselves in this weekend's Copa De La Paz Futsal Championship Final.

The women came into the tournament ranked behind host Canadian Mennonite University, a team that featured one of the MCAC's most dynamic goal-scoring pairs in Marijka Yaschyshyn and Esther Schwarzkopf. And of course, the Loewen Centre throws a good shaker so the Rebels had their work cut out for them.

However, none of this seemed to interest the Rebels as they hammered out 3 unanswered goals in the first half.

After Stephanie Morris opened the scoring, Kaelyn Vincent found the back of the net before an own-goal made a gold medal on their home court look a whole lot more difficult for CMU. The size of Vincent in the centre of the court along with the speed of Jessica Lister and Kelsie Paul make the Rebels a constant scoring threat. And much like their semi-final game against Brandon University, RRC keeper Addison Zeltins played outstanding, making the extremely difficult position look easy. But CMU wasn't about to go quietly. Schwarzkopf and Yaschyshyn both buried shots less than a minute apart to put the building into a frenzy and the hope alive. Less than 10 minutes later Schwarzkopf found her second goal of the night, posing a huge possible upset. Upset? Wait, weren't they the first ranked team? Playing a group of athletes who went undefeated in the soccer season and won it all? It felt like both teams were up against the world when in reality they were both favourites. I love sports.




That put the Loewen into full chant mode and everyone in the crowd was now a ref, as students used pieces of a torn up sign to dole out their very own neon green cards. Things were going well for the home crowd - the comeback was alive. And that's when Kaelyn Vincent did a very Kaelyn Vincent thing.

Flashback: Vincent scoring the go-ahead goal through the hands of BU's keeper in November, the 2015 Soccer Championship Final. The Rebels had been losing all game and it was looking bleak, and Vincent's kick looked like a harmless play to get the ball deep because she was standing so close to half. But with a foot made from the hammer of Thor, Vincent put it through the keeper's hands stretched above her head. It was a bomb.
So it shouldn't surprise you that it was again Vincent who took a raucous crowd and gave them one more reason to shhhhhhhh, scoring off an odd little heel kick that went about as high as it did long but putting the Rebels up 4-3 all the same. That was soon followed up by an awesome goal by Lister where she divided the defence and one-timed a nice pass past CMU's Tegan Willick and all of a sudden another comeback with half the amount of time to do so was impossible. Rebels 5, Blazers 3. And so the Rebels won it all, again. If you kicked a ball for the Red River College Rebels this season, enjoy it - you had a great season.

Futsal Semi-Final Results

Women's: Canadian Mennonite University defeats Assiniboine Community College 6-4

The semi-final's opening frame saw some outstanding play by both teams but it was the connection of CMU's Esther Schwarzkopf and Marijka Yaschyshyn that elicited several Oohs and Ahhs from the fans on hand at the CMU's Loewen Centre.

ACC took the Blazers by surprise though when Shaelyn Langlois opened all scoring early in the first half. After CMU tied it up, the crowd was revived as Yaschysyn drilled a shot from about 25 feet out to go up 2-1.

CMU's Janelle Wride opened the scoring in the second half going right between the legs of ACC's keeper Kendall Omeljanow who stole several very good opportunities from the Blazers and was a huge part in keeping the game close.

Jill Beever scored with just over 12 minutes left in the match to make it 5-2, but the Cougars quickly responded with a goal in close by a sliding Tatiana Lopez-Beltran to make it 5-3.

It was CMU's sixth that was the goal of the match. Yaschyshyn tucked the ball around her left foot and then an ACC defender near mid court, then gave it off to a streaking Schwartzkopf who buried it underneath a sprawling Omeljanow.

With about 6 minutes left in the match Shaelyn Langlois got a rebound off CMU keeper Tegan Willick and made no mistake, cutting the Cougar's deficit to just two goals with four minutes to play.

The Cougars ran out of time for their comeback as the game ended with 6-4 Blazers victory. 

Esther Schwarzkopf and Kendall Omeljanow were named Players of the Game.


Men's: Universite de Saint-Boniface defeats Brandon University 11-5.
Les Rouges kicked the game off right when striker Yahia Chihab kicked a rocket from well past mid court, shooting from the right side of the floor and sticking it in the top left side of the net. Soon after, Shaun Hewins tied it up for the Bobcats when he snuck a low, rolling shot under USB's Samir Achour.


At 12:08 to go in the first, Raouf Samarou benefitted from the beautiful ball handling of  Chihab as he buried a no doubter into a wide open net created by Chihab.

At 10:18, third highest MCAC goal scorer Rheal Chartier scored from about 10 feet out, beating BU's keeper short side and putting the #1 Les Rouges in the driver's seat of the game.

At 8:20 Hewins scored again as he and Osian Edwards got down the court on a two-on-one, Edwards drawing the defender before dishing to Hewins who made no mistake.

After another goal from Chihab, Les Rouges entered halftime up 5-2.

The second half of the game was very much the same as the first, beginning at the 21:22 mark when Chihab scored yet again from a ridiculous angle in the left corner of BU's end, making it 6-2.

Once Aristide Berotie broke in alone and stuck one high in the corner of the net to make it 6-3 with 18:45 to play, USB's lead finally looked insurmountable. The game ended with a final score of 11-5, the most lopsided semi-final of the day.

Women's: Red River College defeats Brandon University 5-2
In what began as a very even matchup, it wasn't long before the Bobcats were facing a 3 goal deficit. Kira Smedvik scored the Rebels' 3rd shortly before halftime and when the two teams returned, Bobcat Aziza Kinnarath finally got her team on the board with about 19 minutes left to play.

The real story of this game though sat on either goal line; both team's keepers played outstanding matches and were forced to make some spectacular, crowd-pleasing saves to keep the game close. Red River's Addison Zeitins had pressure applied several times by BU's frontline and turned them away, especially in the second half. BU's Alison Cruse didn't get the win but she too stood on her head to give BU a fighting chance in the match.

When Kelsie Paul scored from the very centre of the court about 30 feet out to make it 4-1, BU's task looked nearly impossible.  BU's Jaycee Castle would add one of the nicer goals of the match with a tidy header, but that's as close as the Bobcats would get to the Rebels.

Keepers Cruse and Zeitins both were awarded as Players of the Game.

Men's: Red River College defeats Canadian Mennonite University 5-2
It was the MCAC leading scorer Derek Tessier that opened the game's scoring for Red River and defensive stalwart Andrew Letkemen that notched the game at 1 for CMU.

Red River's speed and intensity appeared to shock the home crowd right out of the gate, and they were loud and supportive but often watching the Blazers trail. By taking the crowd out of it, the Rebels looked spectacular in dismantling a team that clearly had Championship Final aspirations.

When TJ Shultz scored a beauty to make it 3-1 for the Rebels, the crowd seemed to notice that this could be CMU's last game of the year. When Cesar de Costa Carvalho made it 4-1, it was clear the CMU Blazers would need a miracle to get the kind of chances needed to even the score. Veteran Simon Dueck appeared to do just that when he put one in for the home side and ignited the crowd. But soon after, Derek Tessier took a free kick for the Rebels in CMU's end and what had appeared to be a shot on goal, was instead a beautiful pass to the side of the net for a waiting Paulo Nonnenmacher.

Rebel Philandro Norton and Blazer Simon Dueck were named Players of the Game.



2016 Futsal Championship Preview




11:30 am #1 CMU Blazers vs #4 ACC Cougars (Women)
The Cougars will be in tough tomorrow when they face the Blazers to kick off the 2016 Championship. Besides having an extremely difficult name to spell, Blazer standout Marijka Yaschyshyn has had 8 huge games in the MCAC this season netting 13 goals. An interesting matchup will be Yaschyshyn facing one of ACC’s stronger players, Ashley Scott, who is a sound defensive player and will hope to limit the crowd noise alongside ACC's offensive threat and teammate, Kate Broadhead. This should be an excellent first match to start the day.
1:00 pm #1 USB Les Rouges vs #4 BU Bobcats (Men)
Les Rouges are one of the most dangerous rosters entering the weekend featuring the heads-up play of Yahia Chihab and the 2015 MCAC Soccer Championship Finals MVP, Seifeddine Dhaoui. Les Rouges probably still remember last season’s futsal final, when they lost a high scoring nail-biter to the host CMU Blazers. However, they will not want to take BU’s Osian Edwards and Taylor Blue lightly; the Bobcats may not have as robust a roster as USB does at times but the Bobcats beat their cross-town rivals, the ACC Cougars, to finish off their season and will be heading into Winnipeg looking for an upset.

2:30 pm #2 RRC Rebels vs #3 BU Bobcats (Women)
In what is a rematch of this season’s MCAC soccer final, the Bobcats will look to prove that they are better than the two points they sit back from RRC in the 2016 futsal standings. BU’s Aziza Kinnarath will be noticeable as her ball handling and quick feet are perfect for the futsal court. From the Rebels are a number of the usual suspects who helped RRC to an undefeated soccer season in 2015; Kaelyn Vincent, Jessica Lister and Kelsie Paul can’t be left with too much space or opponents will pay the price. Vincent scored the third-most goals in the MCAC this season, behind Yaschyshyn and BU’s Jaycee Castle. The Bobcats will look to get Castle up and running early so that she can add to her 17 goals (!) in 8 games played this season.

4:00 pm #2 RRC Rebels vs #3 CMU Blazers (Men)
Wrapping up the semi-finals could very well be the most exciting game of the day when the host Blazers take on the MCAC’s leading scorer, Derek Tessier, and his RRC Rebels. The Rebels are a very dangerous team that could upset any team they play this Saturday, but will have to do so around the excellent body positioning and ultra-mega communication of the CMU Blazers. Led by old timers like Simon Dueck, Michael Breton and Andrew Letkemen, the Blazers bring a tonne of experience and a fundamentally strong unit into their semi final matchup tomorrow. Arguably the most well-positioned and dynamic teams in the men's division. This - combined with the hostile environment of the Loewen - will make any game against the Blazers a tough matchup tomorrow. You’re gonna wanna catch this one.

As this year's entire Championship is being held on Saturday, the women's final will being at 6:00 pm followed the the Men's Final at 7:30 pm.

Volleyball Championships 2016: Pilots dominate final for a PUC sweep

Men's Volleyball
Providence University College defeats Red River College 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-22)




Volleyball Championships 2016: Pilots upset Wesmen in wild 3-2 redemption of last year's Final


Women's Volleyball
Providence University College defeats University of Winnipeg College 3-2 (23-25, 19-25, 25-16, 25-18, 15-8)