By Woodard, Dale on September 10, 2019.
The young University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men’s soccer team just got a tad older and wiser.
The Pronghorns duelled the Saskatchewan Huskies to a 1-1 tie in Canada West play Saturday afternoon at the University of Lethbridge.
Lethbridge’s Landon Veluw scored in the 74th minute on a nice tap-in to knot things up at 1-1 after the Huskies opened the scoring 35:59 into the game.
The teams exchanged chances over the final 16 minutes as well as extra time, but neither side could pot the winner as the Horns came away with their second point of the season that puts them a 0-3-2.
“It boosts our confidence a lot and it shows that we can compete in this league,” said Veluw, whose game-tying goal was his first of the season.
The Huskies took a 1-0 lead in the half after Gabriel Michael scored 35 minutes in.
But with little over 16 minutes left until extra time, Veluw was in the right spot on the Huskies doorstep on a crease scramble, footing home the equalizer.
“Benny (Benjamin Kutas) had it on the outside and he crossed it in,” said Veluw. “My teammate (David Velazquez) just gave it a nice tip into the middle and I had an easy tap in. It was just a matter of finishing it up.”
The Huskies outshot the Pronghorns 9-2 as Lethbridge goaltender Matthew Vandervoort made eight saves.
“I love the resiliency of this group,” said Pronghorns head coach Randy Bardock. “We had some kids out of position and we were trying some new things that we haven’t had a lot of time to work with. But the attitudes are phenomenal and the work week was great. We’re young and we’re going to make some silly mistakes at times, but I thought it was, by far, our most complete game of the year.”
The injury bug has forced some Horns to shift around on the pitch.
“So it has forced people to move into positions they are not necessarily comfortable with,” said Veluw. “But we’ve just come ready, came prepared and did our best.”
It paid off with Veluw’s goal in the 74th minute.
“It’s kind of funny,” said Bardock. “When you get a quality ball in the box good things happen. We have to fine-tune that because I thought we had a lot of other quality opportunities and some areas where we had them exposed where we either had a good ball and no run or not a great ball. I love these ways these guys play.”
The Pronghorns take it to the coast this weekend.
They’re in Langley Friday as they face the Trinity Western University Spartans and head to Vancouver Saturday to take on the UBC Thunderbirds.
“I think it gives them a lot of confidence,” said Bardock. “We’re such a different team when we know what we can do and we follow through on it. I really stressed that pre-game and they did a great job following through on that today.”
On the women’s side, the Pronghorns started their Canada West season with a pair of ties.
The Horns were in Edmonton Saturday and Sunday to face the Alberta Pandas and MacEwan Griffins, respectively.
On Saturday, the Pronghorns scored a pair of late goals to salvage a 2-2 tie with the Pandas before posting a scoreless tie with the Griffins Sunday to start the season 0-0-2.
On Saturday, the Horns scored twice in the final 23 minutes as Jesse Dueck and Tory Clements – in the 90th minute – helped Lethbridge earn the tie.
The Pandas outshot the Pronghorns 17-5 as Pronghorns goaltender Hanna Quinn made 14 saves.
On Sunday, the Griffins sent 25 shots toward the Pronghorns goal, but goaltender Chelsey Galbraith made nine saves. The Horns didn’t register a shot on goal in the tie.
The Pronghorns host their home-opening weekend Saturday and Sunday at the U of L Stadium.
They welcome the Victoria Vikes to town Saturday at noon before the UBC Thunderbirds pay a visit Sunday, also at noon.
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