April 23rd, 2024

Pronghorns men’s soccer seeing growth as playoffs loom

By Lethbridge Herald on October 3, 2023.

Herald Photo by Justin Seward niversity of Lethbridge PronghornsÕ Simon Rolfson attempts to take control of the ball while be grabbed on to by Mount Royal University CougarsÕ Alex Kemsley during Canada West menÕs soccer action at U of LÕs Community Sports Stadium in this September file photo.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men’s soccer team appear to  be on the upward slope in many facets of their game as the regular season winds down and playoffs loom.

“We’ve had a lot of good moments and then a few surprises,” said men’s soccer head coach Davin Haigh.

“But I think that’s expected. The team has a different identity this year in terms of I think the league respects them a bit more. So they’re not used to having that expectation of like supposed to be winning.  So they’re learning. Again we’re young in the sense (of) our development as a group, but I think they’ve shown  me a lot of maturity in the sense  that they want the responsibility of being a team that competes for playoffs. So we’re taking it week-by-week, but I think that reality has crept in for them and now it’s like another expectation, another responsibility. So we’re seeing a lot of growth and maturity in the group, which is …awesome.”

Haigh has seen the cohesion and the belief get stronger as the season has gone along.

“I think we knew that we were going to compete,” said Haigh.

“The issue was … that we can see it in everyone, because we’ve used a lot of subs. I think we’re one of the teams that every game we try and use all the subs, so guys are rotating in and getting time. A lot of our players have now had a taste of it and they’re all hungry to try and like break that starting roster. So we have like (an) internal competition that’s really strong, like falls into our cohesion as a group.”

Haigh feels the team has had lessons through the wins and losses.

“And I think it’s a good balance for this group because of where they’re at in their pathway,” said Haigh.

“Like what the season has been for us, this journey, has been constant learning. But it’s on both sides of the victories and the losses and it’s helping them mature as a group.”

The Horns men’s team sits in third place in the Prairie Division and potentially if the standings sit as is , they’ll play either the University of Victoria or Trinity Western University in the other conference and if they slide down to fourth will play the first place UBC Thunderbirds.

“I mean, we like all those matchups because we played very well against UBC this season,” said Haigh.

“I know it’s different in playoffs. People are going to say oh it’s a different animal, but I mean when I look at our team, we’re so hungry. I think the occasion will probably bring another side of us that will only show people how good the guys actually are. I think playoffs are going to suite us quite well.”

The team’s record is at 3-4-4 with three games to go in the regular season.

The Horns will be back in action against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies on Oct. 14.

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