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CMU Blazer Athletics

Will Anderson: October’s Lionheart Sports Male Athlete Of The Month

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Congratulations to Will Anderon of Men's Soccer on being selected the CMU Lionheart Sports Male Athlete of the Month for October. The first-year midfielder quietly went about his work anchoring the Blazers midfield from the bottom of the four-man diamond. The product of Winnipeg's Bonivital Soccer Club and Focus 9 Soccer Academy, Anderson's technical and tactical abilities are his strengths but it is his ability to read the play that allows his teammates the freedom to push forward to attack while providing them cover defensively.

"Will is one of the most talented first-year players in our team," said head coach Anderson Pereira. "He is very skilled and smart. His tactical awareness is great which makes it easy for him to be well positioned and make the right decisions on and off the ball. His intensity while defending is always high, his tackles are quality and when he has the ball at his feet, he is very calm and smart in his distribution, making it easier for the rest of the team to play as a unit."

Where it is often the "hands" and the "feet" of the body of a soccer team that most often receive the accolades, Anderson would represent the "spine" of his team; he holds things together and provides a foundation and structural path to put the individuals on the field into a cooperative-motion. During the month, Anderson anchored his team to wins over Red River and USB but missed part of CMU's 1-1 draw with Providence and the final regular season match of the season, a 5-1 win over the Rebels, after being sent off on October 20th, pulling down a Pilots' attacker from a clear path to goal.

It was during these final weeks of the season that the CMU coaching staff focussed their attention not on scoring goals, but on preventing them and Anderson would become a key figure in their tactical success. Both Providence and undefeated-Brandon scored the lion-share of their goals against CMU with quick counters. Anderson would need to protect the space between the midfielders and the back-four while also being aware of when to engage in a challenge thereby limiting the quality of the chances for his opponents.

During the regular season, the Bobcats and Pilots proved to be the two top-scoring teams in the conference. But over 180 minutes of MCAC playoff soccer, only one goal would be scored against the Blazers and that strike coming six-minutes into the semfinal. The next 174 minutes would produce nothing for CMU's opponents. Despite the Bobcats averaging 6.1 goals per-game in the regular season, they came up empty in the Men's Soccer Championships thanks to a defense-first focused team led by Anderson.

Men's Soccer ended a Championship drought dating back to 2005 after defeating Brandon 1-0 on October 28th. It was the first time the Bobcats were held off the scoreboard in 2018 and the first time a team was able to win against the top-seeded team.

 

 

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