Red And Green: Christmas Comes Early In MCAC Men's Soccer Semis
There was alot of expectation from the men's soccer team for 2014, but after a few midseason slip ups the Blazers found themselves sneaking into the playoffs on the final weekend of the regular season and now charged with the unenviable task of taking the pitch against the conference's top-ranked and undefeated USB Rouges this Saturday morning in the MCAC Men's Soccer Semifinals at Providence University College in Otterburne,
Last Saturday, in need of a win or tie against the Red River Rebels in their final regular season game to hold off the charging Brandon Bobcats and secure their place in the conference semi-final, CMU collected two goals each from Andrew Letkeman and Jonah Langelotz, coupled with an RRC own-goal forced by Langelotz, to take three points and a convincing 5-0 win over the team that spoiled the Blazers home opener on September 7th.
"It was definitely a big win for us," said, fourth-year captain Langelotz, "it showed what kind of team we are and what kind of soccer we are capable of playing."
An added reason for optimism is that the Blazers managed to score three goals and hold the lion-share of possession against Red River, while down to ten men for the final 60 minutes after Afonso Arrais was dismissed for being the last defender and obstructing a goal-scoring opportunity.
"Things definitely worked out for us when we needed them to," said CMU head coach Russell Willms, "every team wants to being riding a wave of self-belief as they enter the meaningful games and I am happy to see us peaking as a group at the right time of the year."
In two previous meetings with USB, the teams played to a scoreless draw at Whittier Park and two weeks ago Les Rouges took maximum points is a 1-0 win at John Scouras.
"We are well aware of what we need to prepare for and who we need to key on to give ourselves the best chances of winning," explained Willms, "but ultimately we will need to focus on what we can do when we have the ball and how we can create more chances to score goals."
Likewise, the CMU women also qualified as the four-seed for Championship weekend on the final day of the season as they watched the Brandon Bobcats defeated ACC last Sunday, 1-0 to eliminate the Cougars and ensure the Blazers place in the conference semis.
CMU will face USB in men's soccer in Otterburne on Saturday morning at 11 am. The CMU women kick-off with the top-ranked Providence Pilots at 1:30 pm.