On September 8 and 9, the University of Alberta Bears soccer team plays a home-and-away doubleheader against the Mount Royal Cougars. The first game takes placed at 2 pm in Edmonton, at Foote Field. Here’s our preview for the series. Enjoy the reading.
Calvin the Cougar is hangry. Since the Pandas soccer team dispatched of the Lady Cougars 3-0 in an August 26 exhibition affair, Calvin (the Mount Royal mascot) has consumed copious amounts of red wine. The thing is, he drank way too much, had a hangover for most the next week, barely ate and has since lost eight pounds. When he went to Subway on Sunday for a footlong tuna melt, the shop had closed. The weekend hours are 9 am till 6 pm, and he arrived at 6:03. Monday was a holiday, and Calvin didn’t feel like going for a grocery shop at the local Safeway. So here we are, several days later, and Calvin is a hangry cat.
This weekend, Calvin’s facing a familiar foe: the University of Alberta. This time, however, the Bears are in town. Calvin used to live in the Rocky Mountains (we’re talking the 1990s), somewhere around Grande Cache, and he had a few runs-ins with Bears, most of which were Grizzlies. On one occasion, he met a bear named Keenan and they duked it out in a freestyle rap battle. Keenan lost himself in the moment and won. Calvin ran away and got lost in the mountains.
So here we are, years later, with September 8 and 9 fast approaching, and Calvin can redeem himself against the Bears. But “It’s not gonna be easy; it’s gonna be really hard,” as Noah from The Notebook says. Why, exactly? Well, the Bears return much of the team from 2011 that nearly won the CIS National Championship (they wound up fourth in the nation). The Cougars, on the other hand, are spending their first year in the Canada West Conference. They had some solid years in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, but the Canada West is a different beast. It’s like moving from a rap battle against Winnie the Pooh to facing, well, Keenan.
The Bears feature a loaded squad, anchored by Osmo Bimba on defence, along with Scott and C.J. Gilroy, Zenon and several other talented players. They have a forward named Marcus that knows how to score goals. Last year, when the Bears opened the season against Lethbridge, the game was tied at 0-0 until Marcus exploded for several goals in the second half.
Calvin knows that he should “Never Say Never.” MRU is a solid team and they could pull off an improbable win against Gilroy and co. But if the result is similar to the 3-0 thumping against the Pandas, the Rocky Mountains, Chateau Lake Louise and some smooth Veuve Cliquot are only a Greyhound bus away.
What do you think about the weekend to come? How will the Bears perform against the hangry Cougars?