By Dale Woodard on October 12, 2021.
For the last games of the regular season, there were some firsts for the Lethbridge College Kodiaks men’s and women’s soccer teams.
For some long-time veterans, those firsts were found in the back of the net.
Concluding their COVID-19 shortened, six-game Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference regular season Sunday at the Servus Sports Centre, the Kodiaks men downed the Ambrose Lions 3-0, while the women prevailed 6-1 over the University of Alberta Augustana Vikings.
The season is anything but over with the ACAC playoffs starting Friday for the Kodiaks men, who finish the regular season 4-2, and Sunday for the women (5-1). But for members of both teams Sunday, some long-time veterans scoring their first ACAC goals warmed up an otherwise cold, wet and windy day.
In the women’s game, third-year defender Ailsa Fallows scored her first ACAC goal.
Meanwhile, fourth-year Kodiak Meaghan Welby netted her first of the season in the 6-1 win.
In the men’s game, fourth-year veteran Chris Anton finally found twine.
“I saw a lot of character,” said Kodiaks’ co-coach Sean Carey of the women’s win, which gives them second in the South Division behind the 6-0 SAIT Trojans. “Under conditions like that they could have easily gone into a shell and not played. But we created a lot of chances and scored a lot of beautiful goals. It was nice to see some girls get off the mark today. We had a couple of girls scoring their first goals of the season.
“Overall, I thought the consistency of our play was what we expect from these girls, with willingness as teammates to go through walls for each other and that’s what we saw again today.”
Olivia DePasquale scored twice for the Kodiaks, while Ashley Sazalski and Jayna Timinski also scored for Lethbridge.
Timinski and Sazalski also had one assist each an Avery Mclean added two helpers.
Kodiaks goaltender Kara Kamai made two saves in the win.
Timinski said Sunday’s cool, windy conditions made for an adjustment.
“We had to really play in the win and we had to play really smart, so soccer IQ and lots of that,” she said. “We played really well with all of that, so I was really impressed with our whole team.”
Timinski comes to the Kodiaks as a first-year middle from Calgary
“It’s been amazing,” she said of the ACAC experience. “I love the coaches and teammates. It’s been great.”
The Kodiaks men’s win over the Lions which puts them at 4-2 and third in the South Division wasn’t one of their better outings.
“They played solid. They were a bit scrappy at times,” said Carey. “We weren’t happy with the kind of flow they had, the passing the moving. But at the end of the day you have to win the games and we came away with the win and Chris scoring first-ever Kodiak goal in his last-ever league game.
“It was great goal. He had a couple of easy chances and he missed. The goal brought it down from 20 yards out on the volley. He just hit it and it went flying into the net. The boys were so thrilled for him. He’s a left back and he doesn’t always get up the field. It was kind of nice for him to get off the schneid. That was phenomenal. The boys all dived on him.”
Ben Knight and Easton Beaulieu each had a goal and an assist.
Trey Lukye made three saves to earn the win and the shutout.
The men how get ready for their first post season game Friday when they host the Lions.
A win would earn the Kodiaks a date against the Red Deer Polytechnic Kings Sunday at SAIT in Calgary.
The Kodiaks women, looking to build on back-to-back bronze medals, will play Sunday in Calgary at SAIT against an opponent to be determined from Friday’s games.
“The girls have a legit shot this year, they really do,” said Carey, noting the one-and-done format.
“It’ll probably be SAIT in the final and if you get past that, you never. You just need to win that one game in front of you.”
As they look to get back to the medal round and build on bronze, Timinski said the veteran’s message is simple.
“Keep your head up and just keep going.”
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