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The Providence Freemen Soccer team was awarded the Sportsmanship Award for their conduct at the NCCAA Div II Men’s Soccer National Tournament in Florida.
The award is given by the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA) and voted on by the referees at the national tournament.
“[The criteria] is a combination of how many, (or how few), red and yellow cards the team receives during the tournament and the general attitude and behaviour of the team towards the officials, opponents, and fans,” said Martin Ward, head coach of the men’s soccer team. “We only received one yellow card in three games, which is very good for a highly competitive tournament.
“We have also worked hard this year on being very disciplined in our behaviour on the field and in playing with the right spirit,” said Ward. “We know that we are ambassadors for Christ and our school, and when we play at a national tournament in the US we are ambassadors for Canada as well.
Ward also thinks that the players have learned that making an effort to play with the right spirit makes the game more enjoyable for everyone.
“We had a lot of other schools cheering for us at the tournament, partly because the combination of our skill and our attitude makes us fun to watch,” said Ward.
Ward credits team captain Yohannes Asrat and assistant captain Kaiten Critchlow as being instrumental in leading the team to play with exemplary sportsmanship. The team placed fourth out of eight teams at the Florida tournament. This is the third year in a row that the Freemen have finished in the top four but the first time they have been awarded the prestigious sportsmanship award.
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