With six games remaining in the ACAC regular season, the Lethbridge College Kodiaks’ women’s soccer team is eyeing top spot in the south division, and they will have some key players returning from injury to help the cause.
“We had a really strong start to the season, taking six points in our first weekend, and then we kind of slowed down midway,” said Kodiaks captain Brooklin Bellavance. “Which is too bad, but we had a couple of players get injured, including myself, and another one of our starting 11 — but we should both be back in this weekend to take it to Olds and SAIT.”
The fourth-year defender is part of a back end for the Kodiaks that’s only allowed four goals against through six games; an area of the squad’s game that co-head coach Sean Carey believes has been their biggest strength.
“We haven’t conceded many goals at all,” Carey said, “which is a testament to our back line, all the girls that have played defence, our goalies.
“Defence wins championships, and that’s what we try to preach all the time to our team.”
Bellavance believes the roster is the strongest that she’s been a part of since starting with Lethbridge College.
“We have a strong starting 11, so there isn’t a single spot on the field this year that we have a weakness in,” she said.
“It’s nice to have a team where everybody’s on the same page, everybody is the same, soccer-IQ-wise, everyone has good touches and we’re able to link plays like we have in no other year. So that’s really exciting.”
The Kodiaks are 4-1-1 to start the year, with the team’s sole loss coming against the SAIT Trojans (2-2-1) on Sept. 22. The 2-0 defeat was a wake-up call for the Kodiaks, who will get their chance for revenge against SAIT this weekend.
“I think we just got a little complacent last time,” Bellavance said. “So it’s up to us to step up our game and play like we know how to play.”
The coming weekend will be massive in terms of momentum in the standings for the Kodiaks, as they face SAIT and then the Olds College Broncos (5-1-0), who sit two points up on them in the standings.
The Broncos’ single loss has been against Lethbridge College.
The Kodiaks fell out of the CCAA ranking for the first time this season despite their second-place ranking, and according to Carey, now is the time to prove that this group means business.
“We have the group of girls, it’s in our hands now,” he said.
“If we win out, we get first. So that’s the challenge that we need to portray to our girls, and it’s not outside of the realms of them being able to do that,” Carey added.
“It starts this weekend,” Carey said. “These are two tough games… so we just need to keep doing the things that have been successful, and let the football do the talking.”