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Women’s Futsal Turns A New Chapter; Underdogs Become Favourites

There has been a gradual improvement for the women's futsal team since they first stepped on the court in November to host the 2015 Canadian Grasslands Cup and finished in fourth-place in the four team tournament. Three months later, the squad prepares for another run at a trophy, but with a new confidence and expectation.

The Blazers began their 2016 Copa de la Paz tournament with two wins in Brandon. 6-4 winners over the Brandon Bobcats in their opening tournament round-robin match and 5-3 winners over the ACC Cougars.

"Our rookies have pushed the veterans to step up all season and it is making us better," said second-year CMU goalkeeper Tegan Willick.

The success hit a small bump when CMU returned home in early February to host the Grassland Cup Champions, Red River Rebels in the third match of the campaign for both teams. Goals came in abundance for the preseason futsal and outdoor champion Rebels, en route to six goals as they outscored CMU 6-2.

"We learned from that game that we had to shift our mindset. Red River was a mental block for us," added Willick, "we had to learn to see Red River as  a team that was as beatable as we were beginning to see all the other teams in the conference."

Since dropping points in their opening match with the Rebels, the emerging Blazers find themselves on a streak of five-matches without a loss, good for a round-robin record of six wins, one draw and one defeat totalling nineteen points and their first #1 ranking entering this Saturday's Championship.

"There is a whole new focussed energy in our team." Willick continued, "We've never looked at a tournament with a complete belief that it is ours for the taking. The work we've put in is really gratifying now when we see the results."

The Blazers kickoff in semifinal action late Saturday morning at 11:30 am against the fourth-ranked ACC Cougars. Despite only taking seven points from eight matches, the Cougars have been in the hunt for points in every game. CMU has outscored ACC 8-5 in their combined matches so a trip to Saturday evening's final is no guarantee for the Blazers.

"We just need to put the ball in the back of the net," said a confident first year co-head coach Cara Isaak, "If we play our game and keep possession, we know we will create lots of chances. We just need to capitalize on them."

With a win in Saturday's semi, CMU would advance to the 6 pm Women's Copa de la Paz Championship against the winner of the other women's semifinal, featuring the Red River Rebels and Brandon Bobcats. All matches will be broadcast live on CMU Blazers Livestream and admission for the full-day event is $5 for adults and $4 for seniors and students.



Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association