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Getting a kick out of this season: MRU women's soccer team finishes first for the first time

Since joining the Canada West league in 2012, the Mount Royal women's soccer program has always had to fight for respect.  This year the rest of the team's league can give the Cougars a tip of their cap.

That's because for the first time ever, the Cougars are the regular season prairie division champs. 

Fifth-year captain Alexi Watson says it's a huge accomplishment for the program.

"I know just talking to the team we're super excited," Watson said.

"We've always been recognized as underdogs so it's like a bit step for us."

The Cougars finished the regular season with a 10-3-1 record but they did need some help in securing first.

MacEwan University, the defending national champs,  had a player ruled ineligible for 11 of their games and all of those results were forfeited.

Cougars head coach Tino  Fusco says it was a tough break for MacEwan but he gives his team full credit for taking advantage.

"That's what we told the team," Fusco said.

Cougars head coach Tino Fusco says it was a tough break for MacEwan but he gives his team full credit for taking advantage.

"You know we got ourselves in a role that was a second place finish and then of course when things happened you know it's just the way the ball bounces."

No matter how it happened, Watson says it's not going to take away from the great season the Cougars have had.

She says this first place finish is going to do a lot for the program and that this team was by far the closest she's been on.

"We're a family and I've never felt that with this team before," she said.

"Like everyone loving and caring for each other.  You know there's always drama within teams for sure but this year it's just like the chemistry is there and everyone just wants to compete and challenge each other and hold each other accountable.  I think that was a big change for us."

Mount Royal will now await the winner of a play-in game between the University of Victoria and Thompson Rivers University.

Fusco says it doesn't really matter who they play in the quarter final.

"We've played Thompson Rivers University once and we'd like to play them again.  We never played the University of Victoria and we'll see what it looks like," he said.

"Ultimately it doesn't really matter.  Playoffs are a new opportunity to continue to play and whoever we get we're going to put our best foot forward."

The one game the Cougars played against Thompson Rivers was a 2-0 setback.

Mount Royal will host the quarter final at 1:00 p.m. on October 29th at Mount Royal University field. Top Stories

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