After being defeated 5 – 0 by Jedinstvo FC at Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex on Aug. 24, Interlake Impact came back with some heat in the following game, defeating the Rangers F.C. at Buhler Recreation Park 9 – 0 on Aug. 29.
“We are having a pretty good season,” Benny Wiens, the team’s coach, told The Interlake Spectator on Aug. 31. “We were hoping to finish in the top two, but that will be difficult to accomplish at this point.”
The Interlake men’s soccer team is currently ranked third in Manitoba Major Soccer Leagues Outdoor 5th Division.
“I’m happy with the team’s performance,” Wiens continued. “We might not be where we wanted to be in the standings, but we have definitely played well this year.”
Defender Josh Friesen said that he feels with all of the injuries and attendance struggles throwing wrenches into the team’s plans, it forced them to learn and play better positional soccer as a team.
“We’re up against a bunch of really good teams, so every game was a battle,” Friesen explained. “I was impressed with everyone’s play this year.”
AJ Reimer was diagnosed with colon cancer this year, but despite that, he still opened the season with the team and played amazing soccer, according to Friesen. “He had surgery and is going through the chemo and recovery associated with that,” he continued. “Reimer’s a huge reason I joined the team, and the whole team misses him and wishes him a speedy recovery.”
Wiens said that he was very appreciative ofAbe Rempel for rejoining the team and playing goalie.
“Our regular goalie is out for this year, Abe stepped up and has had a great season with us,” Wiens explained.
Friesen said that he felt his team-mate, Dean, has been a rock anchoring their defensive core. “Eric Plett is always fun to watch,” Friesen continued.
“He’ll bring down any pass. Harder is lightning McQueen on steroids. It’s been a great year and all the players have grown a lot throughout the season.”
Friesen said he really enjoyed this year’s outdoor season. “From Fort Garry Brewing company sponsoring us with a case of their special lite beer, to team teasing (Charles you were offside), to building a team that all wants to learn and play together better I would say it was a really fun year of soccer.”
As the outdoor season winds down, Wiens is considering playing in the indoor league but isn’t sure if they will make the commitment.
“The last couple of years we have gone to some indoor tournaments but never actually played an indoor season,” he said.
The teams next game is at Buhler Recreation Park in Winnipeg on Sept. 8 at 2 p.m.