Women fall short in MCAC playoffs ; men struggle after opening win

By Jake Maurice

Kezia Balzer was one of two Rebels named to the MCAC all-conference team for her play this season. SUPPLIED BY MCAC

WOMEN: 6-2-2, Lost 3-0 in MCAC semi-final to PUC Pilots

The Rebels women’s soccer team’s strong 2019 season was undone by an injury to their top defensive player in their final regular season match. With a short bench, the Rebels fell short in the MCAC semi-final.

Ashley Paterson was head coach Doug Lawrie’s top choice for shutting down the opponents best. With Paterson out and Makayla Myer, the league’s leading scorer, on the other side of the field, the situation looked grim.

The situation became a reality and Myer scored a hat trick to lead the Providence University College Pilots past RRC.

Two of Myer’s goals were breakaways, with no Rebel on the field able to match her speed.

Makayla Myer uses her speed to create a scoring chance for the PUC Pilots in the MCAC semi-final match against the RRC Rebels. SUPPLIED BY MCAC

Though the Rebels didn’t achieve the results they wanted, Lawrie is still incredibly proud of his group.

“They had a phenomenal season,” said Lawrie. “We had a lot of great outings this year and it’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to come through with the big win.”

Lawrie said the team’s compete level is what impressed him most about this year’s squad. The Rebels played a full 90 minutes every game, no matter the score.

“They played whistle-to-whistle. I was quite proud of them for that,” said Lawrie.

The Rebels didn’t get the team award they wanted, but individuals were rewarded for their play and coaching prior to their semi-final game.

Lawrie was named the MCAC women’s coach of the year, while Paterson, alongside Kezia Balzer, were named to the MCAC all-conference team.

The Université de Saint-Boniface Les Rouges went on to beat the Pilots 2-0 in the MCAC championship game.

MEN: 2-0-8, missed playoffs by 12 points

The Rebels men’s soccer team struggled throughout the 2019 season, with their only two wins coming against the winless ACC Cougars. NIK KOWALSKI

It was a disastrous season for the Rebels men’s soccer team as they missed the MCAC playoffs once again.

The team won just two games, both against last place the Assiniboine Community College Cougars. In one of those wins, the first match of the season, the Cougars were playing with ineligible players because they weren’t able to field a full team. The Rebels and Cougars were the only teams with less than three wins.

RRC topped the Cougars 4-2 in that opening match, but warning signs were already apparent. The team only managed one shot in the second half, three of their goals were scored by one player, and the team looked gassed in the second half.

As the season progressed, the same warning signs were there and things got worse for RRC.

Injuries and recruitment issues forced the team to forfeit three matches, and the team could not find any scoring throughout the season.

Eric Harder scored four goals for RRC this season, tying him for tenth most in the league. NIK KOWALSKI

The Rebels had seven goals in their two games against the Cougars; they had two goals in the other eight games combined.

The team hit rock bottom when they lost back to back games by a combined score of 15-0. They fell 8-0 to the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers and 7-0 to the PUC Pilots. The losses ended any hope of a playoff berth.

Striker Eric Harder was the team’s lone star. He scored four goals this season, which tied him for tenth most in the league. No other Rebel had more than one goal.

The Rebels had no players named to the MCAC all-conference team. 

Brandon University won the 2019 MCAC Championship, their first in school history for men’s soccer.

Both of RRC’s soccer teams fell short of the ultimate prize this year, with both teams ending their season in the same way as the previous year — without a playoff win.