Rebels sit in fourth and final playoff spot after victory over CMU

By Cassidy Dankochik

Ronaldo Garcia had never played a competitive Futsal match before, but that didn’t stop him from playing the key role in the Red River College Rebels 3-2 victory over the CMU Blazers. The blazers had just tied the game late in the second half, but Garcia and the Rebels had a response. Garcia laid a perfect pass in for his second assist of the game.

Ronaldo Garcia fights off three CMU defenders in game action. This was Garcia’s first game and he didn’t disappoint, picking up two assists. / Cassidy Dankochik

“I just got the ball in the right spot and made the play,” he said after the game.

With the victory, the Rebels improved their record to 3-0-3, good for fourth place in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC).

Head coach Chuck Mrena knew this game was huge in the standings, and decided to make a change to try and throw the Blazers off their game.

“We know that CMU is very organized, so we tried to be a little unpredictable tonight to start,” he said. “We changed our goalie, which we felt gave us a different look. Not that our goalie was a problem, but we wanted to do something unusual.”

Red River College is the reigning MCAC champion, but is currently in a dogfight for the final playoff spot in the conference.

“About a quarter of the guys are new,” Mrena said. “I’ve got a roster of 12 and three or four of them have never played futsal. They didn’t see the field today, but they were able to watch the rest of the team.”

The Rebels opened the scoring against the CMU Blazers on Feb. 14 with a sliding play. / Cassidy Dankochik

For Mrena, the focus for the remainder of the season will be to prepare for the playoffs, but he is also focused on a long-term strategy for the program.

“Some of these guys will get to know the coaches, some of the guys who are the core players,” he said. “Hopefully that will help us into the fall.”

The Rebels have three games remaining on their schedule, with each one away from Red River College’s campus, before championship weekend at Assiniboine Community College on March 10-11.