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Women’s Futsal Prepares For First Copa Championship Defense

It's a new position that Women's Futsal find themselves in. Veteran head coaches Cara Isaak and Lianna Bestvater know it and so do fifth-years Marijka Yaschyshyn and Camille Plett. The team itself have won back to back Championships, an MCAC Futsal victory twelve months ago and then an MCAC Soccer win last October. Saturday will mark the first step the Blazers will make in defending a trophy as they prepare for semifinal action in the 2019 Copa de la Paz.

Playing in her final weekend at CMU, Plett believes that the team's confidence and energy will come from their team unity and belief in each other; "In the futsal finals last year, I remember just before we went into the game we a came together and we were all so high on emotion and ready to go out and win it – I've never experienced that buzz in a sport-setting before – it really makes me tingly and emotional thinking back to it", said the former Manitoba Bison player to transferred to CMU for her final two years of her university sport eligiblity, who ended her futsal career by winning her second consecutive MCAC Golden Boot with 22 goals scored.

Plett and the Blazers will certainly have their hands full this weekend facing a first-round opponent that they have been unable to defeat in the 2019 regular season and the Championship hosts, Red River Rebels. Led by the Conference's third-highest goal-scorer Logan Bresciani, the Rebels handed CMU a major setback on January 25th when they beat the Blazers 7-2 in the Loewen Athletic Centre; a result that ended CMU's 16-consecutive match winning streak.

Last weekend, the Rebels and Blazers met at Red River College in the final round of 2019 regular season action, with the rival teams sharing points in a 1-1 draw. "The court at Red River is almost twice as long as what the other courts in our league are, so we will need to be aware of the additional court space and modify the defensive system that we normally play," said Isaak. "They (Red River) have one player who is a really good finisher who can score from anywhere so we will need to key in on her and limit her shots and they are also quite physical and strong at the back so we will need to move the ball quickly to create our own chances to score."

A key at the back for the Blazers is reigning MCAC Women's Futsal Most Valuable Player, fifth-year team captain Marijka Yaschyshyn. The veteran fixed defender believes that a team-focused mentality will be where her leadership words are directed as CMU prepares for the semifinals. "We need to make sure that we play together and have fun and work well together and gel," she explained. "When we are having fun, we play better and we work well together."

The #1 ranked Blazers steps on the court at Red River College at 11:00am on Saturday morning to face the Rebels. Ranked #2, the CMU men will take the court later in they day at 5:00pm in a matchup with the #3 Providence Pilots. CMU defeated their opponents in both regular season meetings by scores of 8-2 and 11-4.


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