Horns soc­cer at home this week­end

Lethbridge Herald - - HERALD SPORTS - Dale Woodard LETH­BRIDGE HER­ALD

It was the breather the Univer­sity of Leth­bridge Pronghorns men’s soc­cer team needed.

After a pair of close losses dur­ing their home-open­ing week­end Sept. 1-2, the 0-4 Horns re­turn to the pitch to­day when they host the UBC Okana­gan Heat and Trin­ity West­ern Spar­tans to­day and Sun­day, re­spec­tively, in Canada West play at the Univer­sity of Leth­bridge Sta­dium. Game time is 2:15 p.m. both days.

After a pair of heart­break­ing 2-1 losses to the MacEwan Univer­sity Griffins and the Univer­sity of Al­berta Golden Bears at home two weeks ago in which the visi­tors each scored in the dy­ing min­utes to record the wins, a bye week last week­end to re­group was ideal.

“I think we’ve tried to help our first-years ad­just,” said Pronghorns head coach Randy Bar­dock prior to team prac­tice on a chilly Thurs­day evening at the U of L Sta­dium. “We’ve got a huge group of first years. So we’ve ad­justed things a bit to help them fo­cus at bit more on school and not get too phys­i­cally and men­tally drained. We’ve had great prac­tices. The in­ten­sity has been per­fect. The work rate is ev­ery­thing that you want. We’re just try­ing to work on our sys­tem a bit more and get guys more com­fort­able with each other be­cause our train­ing camp was re­ally kind of a mix of ev­ery­thing. It’s been good to have a con­sis­tent train­ing ses­sions for a cou­ple weeks.”

Sean Gaiesky and Thomas Ham­mer­ton were the goal scor­ers for the Pronghorns in the home-open­ers.

“I think this last week off was huge for us,” said Ham­mer­ton, in his third year. “I think we were able to rest up a cou­ple of in­juries, so we’re re­ally look­ing for­ward to this week­end. We know they’re two tough teams com­ing. We know we can com­pete with pretty much any team in the league. So we’re ex­ited, we’re ready to go and we’ll see what hap­pens.”

Ham­mer­ton cred­ited his first-year team­mates for con­tin­u­ing to make the Canada West ad­just­ment.

“They’re do­ing great,” he said. “I re­mem­ber my first year, it’s one of the most ex­cit­ing times and why you want play. I think for those guys, it’s build­ing off ev­ery prac­tice and ev­ery game, when­ever they get the min­utes they can. They’re al­ways ex­cited to come to prac­tice and they’re ready to get in for some time.”

Bet­ter still, the Pronghorns will have a few more bodies to go to this week­end with first-years David Ve­lazquez and Ryan McMurtry re­turn­ing.

Mar­cus Men­zies will see limited time and Corey Frecka is still a few weeks away.

“We’ll have a cou­ple back who will be able to con­trib­ute,” said Bar­dock. “We’ll have one that will be iffy and one that will still be out. But the over­all health of the group is so much bet­ter. The break came at a per­fect time.”

The Heat (1-3-2) en­ter the week­end on a two-game los­ing streak, drop­ping both games last week­end on the coast. They lost 4-3 in Vic­to­ria on Fri­day be­fore los­ing 3-1 at UBC.

The Spar­tans bring a 2-1-2 record into the week­end.

Both games will also be streamed live on

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