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Alberta Golden Bears look to make third time a attraction towards UBC in Hardy Cup

A College of Alberta Golden Bears soccer program that has been a decade within the making beneath Chris Morris is about to look in its first Hardy Cup since 2010

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That is no Cinderella story.

Extra just like the one with the three bears.

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One was too scorching. The opposite too chilly. And this one, they’re trying to get good.

A College of Alberta Golden Bears soccer program that has been a decade within the making beneath Chris Morris is about to look in its first Hardy Cup since 2010.

And if it looks as if an in a single day success, given final week’s 40-17 win over the College of Saskatchewan Huskies within the Canada West semifinal was Morris’ first playoff win as a head coach, you then haven’t been paying shut sufficient consideration.

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“We’ve been first rate the previous couple of years,” mentioned Morris, whose squad has made the playoffs three out of the previous 4 years, following an extended and prolonged drought for this system. “In Canada West, everyone’s good, so simply attending to the playoffs means you’re a fairly good group. Clearly, we’ve received some elite gamers right here who will get drafted and all that kind of stuff. However that’s what everyone in Canada West has.

“So, I don’t actually see it as being solely this 12 months. I believed we had been actually good final 12 months, after which we received decimated by accidents midway via the 12 months. That was robust. I get it, everyone sees it as the primary time we gained a playoff recreation, however we’ve been knocking on the door for some time right here.

“I’m very comfortable that we received to win that recreation and get the monkey off our backs. Now, it’s simply we wish to see how far we will go collectively.”

On Saturday (2 p.m., CanadaWest TV) the Bears shall be at UBC enjoying for the 86th Hardy Cup and the convention banner it accompanies.

It will likely be the sixth playoff assembly between the Bears and T-Birds, and the primary for the reason that 1987 Hardy Cup. The truth is, all 5 of their earlier playoff collisions have been over the Hardy Cup, with the Bears incomes a 4-1 benefit.

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However whereas historical past is on Alberta’s aspect, this season has been lopsided out of their favour, with UBC (6-2) sweeping the season collection and handing the Bears (6-2) their solely two losses and seize the highest playoff seed.

“We’ve performed nicely all 12 months. Simply to UBC are the one video games we’ve misplaced,” mentioned Morris, whose aspect fell 54-37 on the highway Sept. 22 and 23-10 at Foote Area on Oct. 28. “They’re a extremely good group they usually’ve given us greater than we will deal with the primary two occasions we performed them.

“We predict we will play higher, in order that’s going to be our goal, is simply fear about ourselves and see if we will simply put our greatest product on the market.”

The regular-season matchups wove two opposing storylines.

“It’s humorous, the primary time we performed them, our offence performed fairly good however our defence didn’t play nicely,” Morris recounted. “The second time we performed them, our defence performed rather well and our offence didn’t play nicely.”

Up to now, the Bears’ porridge has been too scorching after which too chilly, leaving just one choice, in accordance with the story.

“In the event that they beat us a 3rd time and all three phases of the sport play nicely, then hats off to UBC, proper?” Morris mentioned. “We’d prefer to play our greatest recreation and see the place we go together with that.”

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The Golden Bears have six convention all-stars, together with two unanimous picks to the offensive group in centre Daniel Shin and operating again Matthew Peterson, whereas UBC have an unbelievable 14, together with offensive lineman Theo Benedet and quarterback Garrett Rooker, who led CanWest with 283.3 passing yards per recreation and 16 touchdowns.

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“We’re pleased with the place we’re at however we’ve received some fairly vital work to do right here and we predict we will match up rather well with UBC. We’ve simply received to play nicely,” Morris mentioned. “We haven’t performed our greatest recreation but. We performed actually, actually good towards Saskatchewan.

“This can be a nice group of children, they work extremely arduous 12 months spherical. They take a number of delight in enjoying their greatest soccer and we haven’t finished that but this 12 months. Let’s do this. If we will put that product on the sector and play our highest recreation, then we’re comfortable.

“And the outcome shall be what the result’s.”

CanWest will announce its main award winners Thursday, with Peterson within the operating for some heavy obligation {hardware} together with his conference-leading 141 dashing yards per recreation.

E-mail: [email protected]

On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge

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