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Birthday Boy Gives Presents
Captain Walker scores clinching goal in 3-1 victory over CMU, adds 2 against CUSB
Coach Ward took his team into the weekend hoping to see strong performances after a tough loss to Jamestown on Thursday evening. After a slow start in the first half against the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers, Coach Ward was able to inspire his team to regain their attractive soccer style, and the Freemen went on to win two important MCAC matches.
Saturday’s game in Winnipeg saw CMU strike first as they used their patented long throw set-play to put one behind goaltender Brennan White and take an early lead. The Freemen then responded as “Super” Mario Giesbrecht muscled his way into the penalty area and put a bullet behind the Blazers keeper. Later in the half, the Blazers had a chance to regain the momentum as CMU midfielder Hassan Kamara was awarded a penalty shot, but Freemen keeper Brennan White was up to the challenge and robbed CMU of the go ahead goal. The half ended with the teams tied at one.
After an inspired half time pep talk from Coach Ward, and a changing of strategy and formation, the Freemen came out in the second half with more intensity and gained control of the game. It was Captain Tory Walker, celebrating his 21st birthday, who led the way as he touched a Kaiten Critchlow cross into the right side of the net to put the Freemen up by one. Miguel Fictoria then finished the scoring by deflecting a Giancarlo Calla corner high into the air and over the CMU keeper to finish the scoring at 3-1.
The Freemen then had a Sunday afternoon appointment in Otterburne against the always difficult College Universitaire de St-Boniface Voyageurs. However, the Freemen came out with much more intensity and purpose than the prior day and held control of the game from start to finish. “Super” Mario scored three of the Freemen’s six first-half goals, and Captain Walker, still celebrating his birthday weekend, put away two of three scored in the second half to lead the Freemen to a 9-0 victory over CUSB.
The weekend match-ups left Coach Ward optimistic about the type of soccer that his squad is playing, especially with so many injured players ineligible to play.
“The CMU game was a tough game.” Coach Ward commented. “I didn’t think we played the type of soccer we liked to, but they played in a way that disrupted the way that we like to play, and they came out strong when we did not. But it was good to see us come back from being a goal down, and it’s always good to earn a win away from home.”
“Against St. Boniface it was nice to be back home. I thought we came out strong. We played well all game, and I was happy with the effort.”
“Three tough games in four days is hard and the players gave it all they could.”
Weekend Player Stats: Mario Giesbrecht 4G 1A, Tory Walker 3G 1A, Giancarlo Calla 1G 1A, Kaiten Critchlow 1G 1A, Yohannes Asrat 2A, Miguel Fictoria 1G, Joel Janke 1G, Adam Mywaart 1G, Jon Patterson 1A, Jonathon Dyck 1A
Injuries: Andry Giesbrecht, Curtis Sawatzky, Miguel Fictoria, Thomas Kaethler
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Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada, R0A 1G0
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