By Dale Woodard on October 12, 2021.
The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s soccer team is in the win column and more than doubled their goals-for totals in the process.
The Horns edged the Alberta Pandas 2-1 in Canada West action Saturday afternoon at the University of Lethbridge Stadium for their first victory of the season.
Though they were unable to make it a sweep in a blustery rematch Sunday afternoon, Pronghorns Anneke De Klerk scored her first two goals of the season in a 4-2 loss as Lethbridge moved from three goals-for in their first six games to seven on the season and now sit at 1-7.
On Sunday afternoon, the notorious Lethbridge wind made its presence known on both sides
“The wind definitely dictated the game,” said Pronghorns head coach Macky Singh. “Five of the six goals were really wind-assisted. So it made it a bit of a challenge.”
Looking for a bit of payback after Saturday’s setback, the Pandas grabbed a 3-0 lead after the first half on goals from Paige Jamieson, Wanda Czebreszuk and Adrienne Poulin, all their first of the season.
De Klerk responded with her first of the season in the 55th minute, but Alberta went up 4-1 a little under eight minutes later on a goal from Nicole McKay.
But using Sunday’s wind warning conditions, De Klerk netted her second of the game and the season in the 81st minute.
Kaleigh Harris drew assists on both goals.
“The U of A were up for it after losing (Saturday),” said Singh. “Our girls were up for it, but giving up a goal from the corner in the first five minutes made it a bit of a challenge and then going into the half 3-0 down makes it a bit of a claw.
“But a credit to the girls. They came back and scored one and then (Alberta) scored with a wind goal. We managed to pull one back (and) in the second half we definitely competed better.”
De Klerk got things going in the second half with a shot from about 30 yards out that found its way past Pandas goaltender Ashley Turner.
“The ball just rolled to me perfectly and with the wind and everything, I’m left-footed and I just put it right in there. Everything just lined up,” said De Klerk.
The Pandas put nine shots on goal in Sunday’s win as Horns goaltender Bridie Harding made five saves.
Lucy Mundy had three shots on goal for the Pronghorn and Grace Taylor had three shots attempts.
On Saturday, Taylor got Lethbridge on the board a little over six minutes in.
Brooke Lang pulled the Pandas even in the 36th minute, but early in the second half Harris netted her second of the season for what stood up as the winner.
The Pronghorns outshot the Pandas 10-6 as Harris put four shots on goal and Munday added three.
Harding earned her first win with a five-save performance.
“It was good, we wanted the win and we did,” said Singh. “We wanted the win (Sunday) as well. It’s nice to finally get the win and hopefully we can pick a up a few more points. We have four more games left.
The Pronghorns join the men’s team next weekend Edmonton as they take on the MacEwan University Griffins before concluding the regular season at home Oct. 23 and 24 against the Mount Royal University Cougars.
“Hopefully we can get some points at MacEwan away next week,” said Singh. “That’s going to be challenging. They’re a good team. But if we come in ready to go who knows what could happen.”
De Klerk said Saturday’s win means the pieces are coming together for a Pronghorns team playing their first season under Singh.
“We have a new coach this year and a new way of playing,” she said. “I think it took us a couple games to start realizing exactly what that meant. But now that we have a better understanding we’re starting to see the goals.”
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