Horns soccer at home this weekend
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
Follow @DWoodardHerald on Twitter