Men's Soccer Squeaks Out Another Point In Injury Time
For the second consecutive Saturday, Men's Soccer were able to recover a draw just before the referee's final whistle. It began on September 30th in Brandon, when a second half goal had the Bobcats expecting a home field win only to see Ryan Jensen spoil the party in the 92nd minute to draw CMU level in a 1-1 tie.
With only 1 win to go with 3 ties and 1 defeat, the Blazers sat on just 6 points after 5 matches entering Saturday's meeting with the first-place USB Rouges. The defending MCAC Champions, winners of all five matches in their 2017 schedule to date, found CMU difficult to break down until Derek Tessier converted for Les Rouges midway through the first half to open the scoring.
Moments later, Yahia Chihab made it 2-0 for the home team as he picked a corner against Blazers' goalkeeper Chris Giesbrecht who could do little to prevent the goal.
A tactical change early in the second half gave CMU opportunity to create scoring chances and when third year midfielder Robbie Friesen broke behind the USB defense and made the game 2-1, momentum began to tilt the field in favour of the visitors. With 5 minutes of regular time remaining, Rouges goalkeeper and current MCAC Athlete of the Week for Week 4, Eriq McMurray was issued a straight red card by the referee for violent conduct that occurred during a tussle in the moments leading up to a CMU corner-kick.
After a significant delay that saw Greg Meconse standing over the ball at the penalty spot for over 6 minutes, his attempt failed to draw the team's even when his blast bounced off the right post and out of play.
With what looked like 3 points clearly in the bag for USB and the referee's watch deep into injury time, the Blazers gave one more resilient push. In the 94th minute, a corner-kick gave CMU a last chance. Roy Miller's right footed delivery found Jaime Hamilton's run to the back post and the fifth year captain steered in the CMU equalizer; 2-2! Final whistle.
With the draw, CMU moves into a third-place tie with the Brandon Bobcats after six matches played. The tie was the Blazers fourth of the season and though their head coach would rather have some three-point results, he was satisfied with the effort of his team on Saturday. "We were down a few key players with injuries and our team was able to still find a point against a first-place team," said Russell WIllms, "it was a good game for us to build something from."
The 2-2 tie sets up some serious excitement for next weekend's match-up as the 2017 MCAC schedule as Les Rouges and CMU are set to take the pitch again on Saturday at the Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex in their final meeting of the regular season. USB will be without their #1 goalkeeper for the contest as McMurrray serves his one-match ban for being sent off.