June 20th, 2024

Kodiaks soccer teams come up victorious in home openers

By Dale Woodard on September 22, 2021.

The Lethbridge College Kodiaks women’s soccer team opened their Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season with a pair of high-scoring games, the second of which rivalled that of a low scoring football game.

The Kodiaks men’s team, meanwhile, managed to rebound from a tough start and end their weekend on a winning note.

Add it up and it’s a 2-0 start for the Kodiaks women and a 1-1 start for the men as the ACAC opening weekend took the pitch.

The Kodiaks women started the weekend with a 4-0 win over the Red Deer Queens in Red Deer and followed that up with a wild 12-6 win over the Olds Broncos Sunday back at the Servus Sports Centre.

The men started with a 5-1 loss to the Red Deer Kings Friday, but regrouped in time for their home opener Sunday to edge the Broncos 2-1 on a winning goal by Charlie Block.

On Sunday, the Kodiaks women opened up an 8-1 lead at the half. They added another four goals in the second half, but were outscored as the Broncos struck for five second half goals and the teams combined for nine tallies in each half.

“It was one of the wildest games I think I’ve ever been involved in,” said Kodiaks co-head coach Sean Carey.

“Especially at this level. You get up 11-1 and the next thing you know you look at the scoreboard and it’s 11-5. It was just a lot of rookie mistakes in the back. We put some new girls in to get them some experience and some minutes. They learned from that because they were not happy at the end of the game, obviously, and we weren’t happy because goal difference could be a significant thing this year. So we weren’t happy.”

Kylie Bolton led the Kodiaks with four goals and Olivia DePasquale added three. Megan Morrison, Avery Mclean, Ashley Sazalski, Malorie Hanson and Krista Van added singles for Lethbridge.

Felicia Rodney and Tiona Paton each had three goals for the Broncos.

“Olds has Felicia Rodney, who is one of the best players in our whole league. You can’t give her time and space on the ball. We talked about that before the game and the girls forgot about it in the second half,” said Carey.

“At the end of the day it’s about the three points and we got those three points. We just hope we learn from those mistakes near the end.

“But on the offensive side we’ll take the positives. We created lots of chances and had numerous opportunities. There was some clinical finishing from Kylie and Olivia. We were thrilled for some of the girls to get off the schneid and get that confidence rolling now and into this coming weekend, because this is a huge game coming up.”

On the men’s side, the Kodiaks found a way to bounce back with a 2-1 win over Olds after Friday’s 5-1 loss in Red Deer as rookie Block netted the winner in the 67th minute.

“It was just lots of resilience,” said Carey. “We got back to that mindset we had a couple years ago, refusing to lose and going out there and doing whatever it takes to get those three points.

“Some of my leaders had a really good game, Ben (Knight), Easton (Beaulieu) and Jaden (Veluw).

The Broncos opened the scoring a little over four minutes in before Veluw tied it in the 53rd minute.

“Jaden chipped in with the tying goal from a corner kick. We needed the leaders to lead,” said Carey.

Block then provided the late-game heroics.

“I’m so happy for Charlie Block to get the winning goal,” said Carey. “He’s worked hard in training and he’s a local guy. It was only his second game and he got a screamer for the winning goal. I’m just happy for him to have the confidence right there to be able to get the shot off from 30 yards and find that top corner to give the boys the three points. I’m proud of those kids for coming through.”

The Kodiaks are back at the Servus Sports Centre Friday for a crucial showdown against the Medicine Hat Rattlers.

The women’s game is at 3 p.m. with the men to follow at 5 p.m.

The Rattlers women’s team is 1-0 and the men are 0-1.

“I’m expecting the girls to come out with a lot of fire,” said Carey. “After what we said to them after the game on Sunday, they know it’s a critical game against Medicine Hat Friday. It’s short week and you have to be ready for Friday. We’ll be reiterating what’s expected in terms of the defensive and offensive side of the ball.”

With their win Sunday, the Kodiaks have some swagger back.

“They have some confidence now,” said Carey.

“They’re not used to losing. That’s only their third game in three seasons that they’ve lost. For them, we have to keep building from Sunday and be able to take care of Medicine Hat because that’s a game they should win. I’ve watched Medicine Hat play this year and they’re very young, but I think if our guys play the way they should play we should be able to take that quite confidently. But who knows? In this league anybody can beat anyone.”

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