Cougars men’s soccer shuts out the Wolfpack in bronze medal run
By George Potter, Staff Writer
The Mount Royal University (MRU) Cougars men’s soccer team had a successful regular season, being on the top 10 rankings of U Sport in men’s soccer. On Oct. 30, they were able to take down the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Wolfpack to move on to the semi-finals of the playoffs and seal a home-field advantage. After a 1-0 loss to the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Cougars beat the University of Fraser Valley (UFV) 2-0 to secure a third place finish.
This playoff run comes off the heels of a great regular season. The individual performances of Moe El Gandour and Justin Anderson-Louch earned them spots on the Canada West first all-star team, and El Gandour won the Player of the Year award. The Canada West second all-star team saw Dane Domic and Caden Rogozinski represent the Cougars, and Ethan Keen made the all-rookie team. Sydney Danielewicz of the women’s soccer team made the Canada West all-rookie team as well.
Oct. 30 was the first must-win playoff game for the Cougars. Seventeen minutes into the game, Dawid Dudek would score the Cougars their first goal on an assist by Miguel Da Rocha.
Cougars star El Gandour had a great chance to score on the Wolfpack, but goalkeeper Jackson Gardner was up to the task. The period ended at 1-0 Cougars.
With the high stakes of the playoffs setting the mood, sometimes the crowds can get a bit rowdy. In this game, a fan who was blocking the view of some spectators was asked to either move or sit down. He didn’t listen until he was addressed by the clothing he was wearing, provoking him into picking a fight with some of the other fans. He would immediately be removed from the game. The other fans expressed how much they would not, in fact, miss him.
The second period was a goalkeeping clinic by MRU’s Sterling Kerr and TRU’s Jackson Gardner, with both posting shutouts in the frame. With only three minutes remaining in the game, the Cougars would score their second goal thanks to David Schafer who was assisted by Niklas Liebach. The final score would be 2-0 in the Cougars’ favour and they were able to move onto the next round of the playoffs. The two MVPs of the game were the Cougars’ Dudek and Wolfpack’s Junior Agyekum.
MRU would go on to fall just short against UBC in the semifinals, but end the underdog run of UFV to claim the bronze medal.