June 18th, 2024

Kodiaks futsal sights set on ACAC finals

By Dale Woodard - Lethbridge Herald on March 2, 2022.

The Lethbridge College Kodiaks men’s futsal team has set themselves up nicely for the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Futsal Championships.
Thanks to Jaden Veluw, they also made themselves a highlight reel, Twitter presence as well.
The Kodiaks men’s and women’s futsal teams kicked off two years away from action due to the COVID-19 pandemic with the first of two group-stage match days Saturday in the hunt for a berth in the Futsal Championships.
The Kodiaks men went 2-0 with 7-5 and 10-4 wins over the Medicine Hat Rattlers and the Ambrose Lions, respectively to get off on the right foot in regards to earning a spot at the ACAC championship, something they can do in round two in a little under two weeks.
The Kodiaks women started with a close 3-2 loss to the Rattlers, but answered back with a 5-2 over the Lions and remain in the running for a spot in the championship.
The second round goes March 12, also at Ambrose University. Only the top finisher in the pool will advance to the ACAC championship tournament, which will be held March 16, possibly hosted by SAIT, but still undetermined.
On the men’s side, the Kodiaks not only turned in an unbeaten record, they made the highlight reel on a goal from Veluw against Medicine Hat in which he inadvertently banked a shot off a Rattlers opponent and as the rebound came back to him, rocketed a mid-air shot through traffic and into the back of the net.
“It’s probably the goal of the year,” said Kodiaks head coach Sean Carey. “He went to hit it to the net from a kick-in, just to try and get a deflection. It hit the defender, bounced up and he comes in and smacks it on the volley and straight by the keeper. It’s something special. We have (graduating Kodiak and soccer player) Ben Knight coaching with us now. Ben is quite confident in his abilities and he said ‘Yeah, that’s better than what I’ve scored.'”
For the Kodiak women, it was about shaking off the early jitters after a close loss to Medicine Hat and finishing on a winning note against the Lions.
“Especially in that first game, I felt like it had a big impact on us and it affected the result, but come two weeks from now I think we’ll be ready to seek revenge on Medicine Hat,” said Carey. “I really believe we were, by far, the better team. We must have outshot them three-to-one. We had some quality chances, we just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. We fell behind 1-0 and tied it up. We fell behind 2-1 and tied it up and it was just a defensive lapse in the last seven seconds that allowed their best player to be open in front of the net and they found her with a pass and that’s all she wrote.”
But the Kodiaks managed to end the weekend with a win over the Lions that should set them up for a shot at an ACAC championship berth at the second group-stage match day March 12.
“We basically took the game to Ambrose,” said Carey. “The Ambrose goalie got Player of the Game and I felt like we started to find more of the game I expect our girls to play. So it was definitely a better showing from them. It was nice to get those three points on the board and our fate is back in our own hands now. We can get two wins in two weeks and that should put the girls through. It will go down to goal difference. We just need to beat Medicine Hat by more than one goal and that’s a guarantee we go through providing we beat Ambrose in the second game.”
After the weekend the Kodiaks women have a plus-two goals-for and against difference, which ties them with Medicine Hat, who beat Ambrose 3-2
“It goes head-to-head first,” said Carey. “So if we’ve beaten them and they’ve beaten us it goes goal difference between the two. If we beat them by two goals or more, and provided we beat Ambrose, then we’ll be able to go through.”
The Kodiaks men started the day with a 7-5 win over Medicine Hat, a game which Carey said his team could have found the back of the net more than they did.
“We totally dominated that game. There were a couple of goals that I think Ethan (Demers) in net would want back, but overall, their goalie stood on his head. There could have been 15 goals, but we had some great looks and great opportunities. They spread their goals around pretty well.”
A win against the Lions March 12 will send the Kodiaks to the ACAC championship the week after, said Carey,
“We need to beat Ambrose in our first game because Medicine Hat can’t catch us. So if we beat Ambrose in the first game we’re home free.”
Should they clinch their trip to the ACAC championship in mid-March, Carey likes the men’s chances.
“The boys have a real legit chance of winning this year if they can keep their heads,” he said. “The teams that have qualified are Portage, Kings University and SAIT. It would be nice to see, especially for players like Jaden and Chris (Anton) to bring home another banner before they hang up their boots.
“It’s in our hands and hopefully we can get both teams there.”
Veluw’s goal can be viewed on the Kodiaks Twitter page at https://twitter.com/LC_Kodiaks/status/1498344213578076161

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