Monday, February 5, 2018
The Providence Pilots soccer teams went into last weekend knowing the right results would take them to Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference regular season titles. The women needed to win both their matches, and the men required points from each of their two outings.
Both succeeded, finishing their schedules in first place. The Pilots women, having lost their first three matches of the campaign, finished a strong 6-1-3 while the men cruised to an 8-1-1 record.
On Saturday the women found themselves in a tense contest with Canadian Mennonite University. Both sides were still in the hunt for top spot, but in the end the Pilots prevailed 4-2 on the back of a Julika Kehler brace. The men, meanwhile, earned a 1-1 draw with a CMU side desperate to secure a play-off spot thanks to a Jorge Vilchis goal.
On Sunday both Pilots squads faced Assiniboine Community College. The Providence women dominated their match, winning 4-0, while the men prevailed 7-1. Emily Harder scored twice for the women and Juan Laufarie notched a hat-trick for the men.
“I’m so proud of how far we’ve come. We started the season with three losses but have now ended as the top team going into the play-offs,” remarked Raychel Algera, a defender on the women’s team. “Everyone on the team works hard for each other, and that’s what I love most about playing with these girls.”
Added women’s head coach Tory Walker: “We knew all season we were one of the best teams in the league, and I kept reminding the girls that they needed to provide it to themselves and to the league that we belong on top.”
The play-offs will begin with semi-final matches on Saturday that will pit the Pilots women against Brandon University and the men against CMU at Winnipeg’s Ralph Cantifio Soccer Complex.