Rebels women’s soccer team wins MCAC Championship
NOELLE VONG, CONTRIBUTOR
After an undefeated season, the RRC Rebels women’s soccer team is the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) champions.
The Rebels won all 10 of their regular season games, but team captain Jessica Lister said she knew at the beginning this roster could go all the way. In fact, she knew it after a 4-0 win against their rivals, the Providence University College Pilots, in their second match of the season.
“Right from that game, I knew that we were going to make it to the finals,” she said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better season.”
Lister was named the regular season MVP and said the final game against the Brandon University Bobcats during championships was the most nerve-wracking match she played all season.
“We knew Brandon was going to come out strong,” she said. “The atmosphere of the game was just intense, and I felt it from the very beginning.”
Brandon scored their first and only goal in the first half of the game.
By halftime, some players were upset and frustrated, but Lister said she stayed positive through the game and tried to motivate her teammates.
She said she reminded her teammates they were the only undefeated squad all season and that they deserved the gold, a sentiment Rebels head coach Doug Lawrie shared.
“I had confidence that we would eventually score with the number of dangerous attacking players on our roster,” he said.
With only 10 minutes left on the clock, the Rebels scored two goals to take a 2-1 lead and seal their Championship victory.
Kaelyn Vincent was awarded Championship MVP after scoring the game winner.
“I was happy to have scored, but I was even happier because my team deserved it,” she said.
Lister said she remembers how she felt when the ref blew the whistle to end the game.
“Everyone just ran to each other and started hugging,” she said. “We all felt like crying and everyone was equally as happy. It’s an amazing feeling.”
She said she credits Lawrie’s coaching skills for leading the team to the title.
“He just has so much faith, love and passion for the sport,” Lister said. “It makes you want to be a better player and to get out there and win, not only for yourself, but for him too.”
Lawrie said he’s currently recruiting players for next season, and he hopes to build another dedicated roster.
“Finding players willing to commit to varsity athletics is not easy,” he said, “but those that do always find it to be a rewarding experience.”