By Lethbridge Herald on October 25, 2023.
By Justin Seward
The Lethbridge College Kodiaks men’s soccer team will look to their strengths as they open up their quest for an ACAC championship today in Edmonton against NAIT.
After opening up the season with four straight wins, the Kodiaks are heading into the championship on slump, where the team lost four of their final six games.
“The men has potential to do well,” said Michael Racz, Kodiaks assistant coach.
“We won our first four games and since then we’ve kind of had some struggles. So I think just refining … the things that got us success. We’ve got some very talented players in the midfield and making sure that the ball’s getting to them and getting to their feet, so that we can go forward with our strength is going to be kind of the key. I think like I said, focusing on our strengths is going to be the critical piece for us having success this weekend.”
The coaches sat down with the team after the regular season finale against Medicine Hat on Sunday and talked to them about how what happens in league does not really matter.
“We’re going to playoffs,” said Racz.
“It’s kind of a blank slate. None of the results, you know, not the losses and not the victories really impact us at championships … It’s a chance for us to test ourself against a good team and I think it’s about just finding that kind of little bit of mental fortitude to make sure that the mistakes that have kind of troubled us in the past aren’t the same ones that we’re making now. I think using the setbacks that we have is learning experiences and looking to correct some of those mistakes, I think can be a powerful tool for us because we’ve made those mistakes when it wasn’t as important. And now looking to correct them and use the potential that we do have to drive us forward.”
The Kodiaks will look to fifth player Ben Knight to lean on during the championships.
“This is kind of going to be his last stance I guess you could say,” said Racz.
“So he’s been a critical piece. He was on the team that made it to nationals a few years back. So he’s a veteran player that has been there before and knows what it takes, and we’re just looking for him to use his leadership skills to help some of the younger athletes kind of push forward as well.”
Kick-off for their quarterfinal match is at 5:30 p.m. tonight.
Fans can follow along at www. acac.ab.ca under men’s soccer in the championships tab.