CMU Blazer Athletics

2016 Women’s Soccer Preview

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It is less than twenty-four hours before Women's Soccer kicks off their 2016 MCAC Campaign and it couldn't come soon enough! The Blazers are still riding high after their finest conference season in recent years, on the pitch and on the court.

Leading the squad into the new season is fourth year defender and two-time All-Conference selection, Kyra Neufeld (pictured). She along with fellow veteran April Klassen, who returns to the lineup after some significant time off with injury, have high hopes for a team that is growing together in experience and performance.

Back through front, the Blazers are a strong side. Sophomore midfielders Anna Lysack and Naomi Klassen were relentless runners and technically-sound passers who distribute the ball well and defend together as well as any pair in the province. CMU will have a big boost with Marijka Yaschyshyn back to full fitness. Yaschyshyn's road to recovery took more than one year, but after a return to play late in the 2015 season, the determined second-year player led her team in goal scoring for the 2016 MCAC futsal season and helped power the Blazers into the Copa de la Paz Final. Fans can expect Yaschyshyn to finally leave her mark on an MCAC outdoor soccer season.

After setting a team record by scoring six goals in eight matches as a 2015 rookie, time will tell if Esther Schwarzkopf can keep up or possibly improve on her torrid scoring pace. The Winkler, Manitoba product showed good chemistry in linking up with Yaschyshyn during the futsal season, so expect to see the dynamic duo in close quarters on the pitch this weekend.

With a season under their belts, co-coaches Lianna Bestvater and Cara Isaak have had one full season to impart their ideas into the squad and both coaches have sites set on October 30th when they hope their Blazers will challenge for their first Melanie Layton trophy (CMU last won the MCAC Women's Soccer banner in 2010, prior to the intoduction of the new trophy in 2015.)

CMU travels to Providence tomorrow to kickoff with the Pilots in Otterburne at 1:00 PM. They return to Winnipeg for their home debut at the newly named Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex (formerly the Winnipeg Soccer Complex) for a 1:30pm kickoff on Sunday with the defending 2015 MCAC Champions, Red River Rebels. 

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