The Providence men’s futsal team entered the MCAC Championships as the third seed and faced the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers in their semi-final matchup. During the regular season, the Pilots were 0-2 against the Blazers, falling by scores of 8-2 and 11-4. Though the scores were lopsided, the Pilots entered the playoffs with confidence. The Pilots had earned a regular season record of 5-0-5 and were led by MCAC All-Conference defender Braeden Owen, a third-year student from Langley, BC.
In the first half, the Pilots seemed to surprise the Blazers, as they were able to earn an early goal to take a 1-0 lead. The Pilots followed that with excellent defensive play to hold off the offensive powerhouseBlazers for the rest of the half.
With two minutes into the second half, the Blazers were finally able to get one past Pilots’ goaltender Jay Thielman, and settled into a scoring streak. The Blazers’ goal was quickly followed by two more, a 3-1 lead they maintained until only 10 minutes were left in the game. At that point the momentum began to shift and with 5 minutes remaining the Pilots scored to bring the score up 3-2.
Continuing their efforts, the Pilots employed an unusual tactic and brought their goaltender, Thielman, into the offensive half to help create a “power play” situation. Although risky, this move allowed them to get back in the game and, with 3 minutes left, Thielman himself scored a game-tying goal!
After an electric back and forth game, the teams were forced into overtime; a game that would decide who would move on to face the undefeated Brandon University Bobcats. Overtime would be two 5-minute halves, with no golden goal.
In overtime, the Blazers struck first taking a 4-3 lead. The Pilots persisted, earning several, scoring opportunities but were not able to capitalize.
At the end of overtime, the Blazers were able to hold on for to their 4-3 win and moved on to the MCAC Championship final. Pilots goaltender, Jay Thielman, earned Player of the Game for the Pilots with his great defensive and offensive efforts.
With this loss, the Pilots’ futsal season came to an end.
Reflecting on the game, Coach Passi commented, “It was a phenomenal game to be part of. The atmosphere was awesome, the intensity was sky high. Unfortunately, due to the nature of futsal, the bounces didn’t go our way when it truly mattered. The guys performed the game plan really well and came very close to knocking off a very powerful team. I was truly proud of the effort and fight the guys showed.”
This also brings to an end the 2018-2019 competitive seasons for all Providence Pilots teams. The Pilots will hold their annual awards banquet on Friday, March 22.