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Men’s Soccer Double Up
Freemen go two for two in weekend match-ups
Sept. 12/10 - A much improved side from North Central University made the trip north of the border this past weekend hoping to dethrone the four-time defending NCCAA regional champs Providence Freemen. While their play was enough to keep Freemen supporters on edge at times, in the end it was Providence who was able to come out on top while utilizing their full bench in both occurrences, as they took Friday’s game 5-0 and then finished the weekend with a 4-2 victory Saturday afternoon.
Friday’s game saw a well-prepared Rams side take advantage of a heavy wind advantage to pressure the Freemen side throughout the first half. The Freemen, playing their first match of the season, struggled to get their feet under them while the Rams attacked with an offensively minded 3-4-3 attack. It was NCU who then proceeded to get the best quality opportunity in the half, as they fired on consecutive shots within the 18-yard box late in the half, but freshman keeper Kyle Perry stood tall to the challenge.
However, the Freemen side began to click early on in the second half as they came out with fire lit beneath them, and Andry Giesbrecht opened the season’s scoring as he put away a well-hit free kick around a five-man NCU wall. The Giesbrecht brothers then played a game of ‘anything you can do, I can do better’ as Mario Giesbrecht quickly put away a cleverly played ball by Miguel Fictoria, which was shortly followed by Andry volleying a ball put on by Kaiten Critchlow, which was then followed by Mario putting away a free kick of his own. The 4-goal gap then gave Coach Ward an opportunity to clear out the remainder of his bench, and newcomer Martial Galay responded by putting away his first as a Freemen as he volleyed his own rebound into the top right of the net. Forward Brendan Wiens then finished the game with a defensive highlight as he cleared a ball off the goal line, Perry earned the clean sheet in his debut, and the Freemen rolled to a 5-0 win.
Saturday’s game saw a ferocious start as the Rams came out quickly and put on a shot on their opening drive. Freemen keeper Perry then made the save, sent a ball down the wing which was one-touched to Andry Giesbrecht, and the ‘South American Sensation’ made no mistake as he buried a shot across the net to put the Freemen up early. Mario then once again followed suit as he took a pass from Yohannes Asrat, barreled down the field, and rifled a shot behind NCU’s keeper. However, NCU still had some fight in them as they put away a crossed ball to come within one. Wiens then replied late in the half by putting away a rebound to put the Freemen up 3-1.
In the second half Fictoria once again dazzled fans as he cut through defenders and fed a ball through that led to Mario’s second of the game. The Freemen then had multiple scoring opportunities that were called off on what seemed to be phantom offsides, but it was NCU who was able to capture the game’s last goal as they put away a rebound to end the game’s scoring at 4-2.
As both games saw the Freemen’s full roster get substantial playing time, there is little doubt about the improved depth on a strong Providence side. However, even with the success over the weekend, both games showed that the Freemen are far from reaching their potential, which is a very promising fact.
The Freemen next return to action on Wednesday when they host Steinbach Bible College.
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