Oct. 28, 2018 – The Kodiaks men’s soccer team put forth an effort to be proud of in the ACAC Bronze Medal Game on Sunday, scoring a stunning last-minute tying goal before falling to the nationally top ranked SAIT Trojans in penalty kicks.
Facing a 2-1 deficit at half, the Kodiaks were forced to play the second half down a man after a red card was shown to leading scorer Wilson Ntignee just as the first half ended.
A team with lesser spirit may have folded but the Kodiaks played their best soccer while pressing for the equalizer, utilizing their speed to create havoc in the Trojans end.
Just when defeat seemed inevitable, Lethbridge managed to break through in the 89th minute.
Kodiaks midfielder Ben Knight stepped up for a free kick a few yards outside the Trojans box. The SAIT keeper made a diving save, but Taylor Laviolette pounced on the rebound to tie the contest, stunning the hometown crowd.
The game immediately went to penalty kicks after regulation, where SAIT made good on all five kicks from Krishneil Prakash, Brad Atherton, Dean Northover, Johnny Hutchinson and Nico Aravena.
Lethbridge College replied with goals from Ben Knight and James Britton before Jimmy Bukuru missed his shot over the net. Camilo Palacio and Tyler Bolen then scored, but SAIT would not let concede the advantage.
It was a heart pounding end to what was an entertaining game from start to finish.
The game was barely two minutes old before Lethbridge took the lead when the Trojans were called for tripping up a Kodiaks player in the box. Wilson Ntignee took the ensuing penalty kick and made good to put the Trojans in a hole.
SAIT got the equalizer 20 minutes later when Dean Northover tagged a corner kick in mid-air and fired it into the Kodiaks net.
Just before the half, the Trojans went up 2-1 on a play where the Kodiaks believed SAIT was off-side. In the confusion that followed, Trojans midfielder Johnny Hutchinson scored.
The bronze medal is second-straight bronze for the Trojans, who also achieved the feat last year with a 1-0 win over the Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder.
The Kodiaks will now rest for two weeks before they begin training for the upcoming ACAC Futsal season. Lethbridge College will host the 2019 ACAC Futsal Championships at the Val Matteotti Gymnasium in late March.