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Blazers Helplessly Watch As Brandon Takes Final Playoff Spot With Win

There was nothing CMU could do but watch on Tuesday evening as the Brandon Bobcats locked up fourth-place and the final playoff position for this weekend's MCAC Women's Soccer Championships on Tuesday evening. The Bobcats leapfrogged the Blazers on the back of a 2-1 victory over the winless Assiniboine Cougars.

The matches between the Cougars and Bobcats had attempted to be rescheduled by the teams involved on two previous occasions, but due to poor weather and playing conditions even on the rescheduled date, a final match worth double the stakes was decided on by the teams and supported by the conference.

Despite the disagreement about the decision by many around the soccer community, Brandon's 1-1 draw with the second-place Red River Rebels on Sunday did alot for proving the Bobcats prowess against teams above them in the women's soccer standings. Along with the point taken against the Rebels, Brandon managed an early season win at home over the third-place Providence Pilots; two opponents that the Blazers were unable to take any points from in their two meetings with the Pilots and Rebels.

"That result (Brandon versus Red River) on Sunday helped ease our difficulty accepting that we would be out of the playoffs if Brandon beat ACC on Tuesday, as they were able to take points from two teams above us that we were unable to take points from", said the CMU coaching staff. "Yes, we held the upper hand in head to head with BU, but when it came to points taken from team's above us, we couldn't quite will ourselves into those points."

In their two head to head meetings, the Blazers and Bobcats shared a scoreless 0-0 draw at the Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex and CMU took a brief four-point advantage on Brandon on Saturday after the Blazers topped them 1-0 to move to 8 points.

Tuesday's final match of the MCAC women's soccer regular season saw the Bobcats take a 2-0 lead midway through the second half. An argument ensued between Cougar's coach Mark Murray and the match official that ended in the dismissal of the frustrated ACC boss. His antics may have inspired his team however, as the visitors pushed for a goal and drew within one in the dying minutes of the match.

A 2-1 final, good for 6 points, boosted Brandon to 11 points on the season (from a record of 3-2-5), 3 points above CMU in the standings who finished with 2 wins, with 2 draws and 6 defeats.

"For a really young team, we are both proud of the progress the team has made since September," echoes both CMU head coaches. "As a team and individually, we have faced some real moments of adversity this season, none bigger than what we faced this past weekend. We have leaned on each other for strength and support and we have pressed on and acheived what we could. As coaches, what more can you ask for."

With fourth-place secure, the Bobcats face the unenviable task of meeting the undefeated USB Rouges who locked up the top-seed two weeks ago. For the Blazers, a few weeks of rest and they will begin lacing up their futsal boots and turn their attention to their next opportunity to prove themselves. The MCAC Futsal season kicks off on January 11th with CMU versus the Brandon Bobcats.


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