May 21st, 2024

Kodiaks will play another day

By Dale Woodard on October 16, 2021.

The Lethbridge College Kodiaks men’s soccer team got the wakeup call they needed and now they’ll play for another day.

Facing the Ambrose Lions for the third game in a row, the Kodiaks overcame slow start to defeat the Lions 4-1 in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference play Friday afternoon at the Servus Sports Centre.

With the win, the Kodiaks head to Red Deer Sunday to play the Kings in the ACAC quarter-final at 3 p.m.

The Kodiaks were 4-2 in the regular season to take third place in the ACAC South Division. The Kings were 4-1-1, good for second and a bye to Sunday’s semfinal.

Still, the Kodiaks had to deal with a Lions team that kept things close early on Friday before the hosts were able to pull away in the second half.

“It was definitely a slow start, but we came ready in the second half and we got the job done, for sure,” said Lethbridge’s Hayden Devoy, who scored the Kodiaks’ second goal, which also stood up as the winner, and added an assist. “I think it was just the intensity. We pressed them more. We definitely talked more and just put the ball in the back of the net.”

Ben Knight got the Kodiaks on the board on a penalty kick in the 28th minute, but the Lions pulled even on a penalty kick of their own from Aristotle Cruz.

Devoy netted the game-winner in the 55th minute before Tj Bodunrin and Kofi Assuming rounded out the scoring for the Kodiaks in the 61st and 85th minute, respectively.

“They definitely came ready to play,” said Devoy of the Lions. “The intensity definitely changed. They were fighting out there and they wanted it, but we pulled through.”

Kodiaks head coach Sean Carey said it’s tough to play the same team three times in a row as the Kodiaks defeated the Lions 7-0 and 3-0 to end the ACAC regular season.

“We knew they were going to come out with some fire. We warned the guys to begin with and I don’t think they expected that kind of response from Ambrose. But in this league, no team is a pushover. I think it’s going help them moving forward. I think that lesson learned, that you just can’t expect to go out there and beat any team. I was proud of the guys.

“We made four changes at halftime and tried some things to have a different balance and it worked for the most part, especially defensively. But I think for most of the second half, once we started to get some momentum we started to look like our old selves again.”

Knight added two assists for the Kodiaks and goaltender Trey Lukye stopped six of seven shots.

The win sends the Kodiaks north to Red Deer to face the Kings.

The Kings beat the Kodiaks 5-1 to kick off the ACAC season Sept. 17 in Red Deer.

“We’re a newer team with new guys in the program,” said Bodunrin. “We hadn’t gelled yet, but we’ve had a long season. We’ve had a tough season and resilient players and I believe we’re going to take it to them this time. We have a lot of guys who have surprised everyone this year.”

“We’re really getting into our stride right now. We started rough in Red Deer and we took it on the chin, but we bounced back and we’re riding the wave. Against some of the best teams like SAIT, we took a defeat, but we played a hard-fought game. I think we’re getting into our stride.”

Like Friday, that season opener last month also served as a wakeup call.

“I thought we were star struck a little bit,” said Carey. “We don’t expect to lose any game and I think they went in there with the expectation we were going to win and I think some of our young guys were a little naive. They know now going to Red Deer they have to be the hardest working team on the field. I think the chances will be few and far between for both teams. I think both teams have come a long way and now I think we have a legitimate shot to get through that game and get to the South Conference final. I think that’s the goal for these guys, they’ve said it all along. Especially with a young group of guys, I’m so proud of our rookies and how our senior guys have just carried them along. They’re always talking to them. The balance we have this year is exciting. It’s exciting for this program even moving past this year.”

The SAIT Trojans (6-0) will host the Medicine Hat Rattlers (2-4) in the other semifinal Sunday in Calgary.

The Kodiaks women’s soccer team will hit the Servus Sports Centre pitch Sunday at 3 p.m.

The Kodiaks, who finished 5-1 on the regular season to take second in the South Division and earn a bye to Sunday’s semifinal, will take on the Red Deer Queens. The Queens beat the University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings 7-3 Friday in Red Deer to earn a berth in Sunday’s final.

The first place SAIT Trojans (6-0) will host the Medicine Hat Rattlers (3-3) in the other semifinal Sunday.

The South Division and North Division finals will take place Oct. 23 at a location to be determined.

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