Late goal lifts VIU past Kodiaks

Late goal lifts VIU past Kodiaks

Recap written by Jamin Heller, Kodiaks Social Media and Marketing Coordinator 

Nov. 6, 2019 – A gutsy comeback effort fell short for the Lethbridge College Kodiaks men’s soccer team on Wednesday, as their CCAA national title aspirations came to an abrupt halt after a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Island University Mariners at Vaso's Field in Oshawa.

The Mariners’ dramatic game winning marker came in the 87th minute off the foot of Billy Bagiopoulos, as he found an opening at the top of the box and placed a wicked strike that narrowly evaded the sprawling arms of Kodiaks keeper Cody Ferguson.

It was a devastating turn of events for the ACAC champion Kodiaks, who had just tied the game in dramatic fashion minutes earlier thanks to an Owen Beers header.

Making their first ever CCAA national championship appearance, the Kodiaks were quickly introduced to the increased intensity and pace of the national tournament. 

Both sides took a while to feel each other out throughout the first 45 minutes of play. While VIU had much stronger possession numbers, neither team generated many quality chances throughout a scoreless first half.

The PACWEST wildcard winners got on the board first just four minutes into the second, thanks to a header from Diego Corlazzolieader.

Corlazzolieader played an innocent looking cross from midfield perfectly, rainbowing the ball past Ferguson for a 1-0 lead.

The goal served as a wakeup call for the Kodiaks, who began playing with a touch more desperation.  

Despite pushing the ball forward with more urgency, the VIU back line was holding steady. Just as things began to look perilous, Lethbridge’s big breakthrough came off a Ben Knight free kick in the 80th minute. 

Dangerous off set pieces all season, the ACAC player of the year fired the ball inside the box, where Beers connected with a powerful header that ripped into the net to tie the match, sending the Kodiaks bench into a frenzy.

Unfortunately for the Alberta side, the jubilation was short lived.

Even after conceding the 2-1 goal, the Kodiaks refused to give up, coming close to tying the match again at the death. Their best chance came off a corner kick in extra time, with Beers knocking a difficult header just above the cross bar.

Braydon Jetten was named the Kodiaks player of the match after a particularly strong performance in the Kodiaks midfield. 

The quest for bronze begins 

The Kodiaks now move to the bronze medal side of the national tournament, where they will face the RSEQ champion Champlain Saint-Lambert Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers lost in heartbreaking fashion themselves, falling in penalty kicks to the Humber Hawks.

Game time is set for 10 a.m. EST (8 a.m. MST) from Oshawa.