Kodiaks Athletics

2019-ACAC-Futsal-Championships.jpg Lethbridge College is proud to host the 2019 ACAC Futsal Championships from March 15 to 17 in the Val Matteotti Gymnasium.

Nine men's teams and nine women's teams are playing a combined 40 games over three days to determine the conference champions.

Here are the results from Sunday's semifinals and medal round games:




Semi #1 | 8:30 a.m. | KEY (A1) 2 vs AMB (B2) 3

FUT-01-KEY-AMB-web.jpg It’s the scenario every player imagines – and Kaitlin Vail got to live it out in real life. With her Ambrose Lions tied with the Keyano Huskies with under two minutes remaining in the ACAC women’s semifinal, Vail stepped to the line for a penalty kick and fired a goal to the middle of the net. It was the winner as Ambrose earned a 3-2 upset victory over the previously undefeated Huskies.

After the teams traded first half goals, Keyano went ahead seven minutes into the second half as Blanca Palavecino knocked in her second goal of the game and fifth of the tournament. However, the Lions ramped up the pressure and finally converted as Kara Friesen expertly headed in the tying tally from right in the goal mouth to square the game at two. That set up Vail’s heroics as Keyano was whistled for a foul with just 1:40 remaining in the contest. The goal was Vail’s second of the game and it put the Lions into today’s gold medal match at 4:30 p.m. The Huskies will play for bronze at 1:45 p.m.

Ambrose: Vail 2, Friesen
Keyano: Palavecino 2

Players of the game:
Ambrose: Janelle Perry
Keyano: Emma Jones

Semi #2 | 11 a.m. | SAIT (B1) 2 vs TKU (A2) 3


It was easily the most dramatic finish of the tournament to this point. Down by a goal with under 40 seconds to play, The King’s University Eagles stormed back for a 3-2 win over the SAIT Trojans to earn a berth in the championship. Taylor Hrycun scored twice in the final 40 seconds, including the game winner with just one second remaining, to give the Eagles the victory.

The teams traded goals in the first half, with SAIT opening the scoring and King’s answering back just a few minutes later. That set up an exciting second half where the action really ramped up. SAIT netminder Amy Offredi was called upon early. First, she stopped a Gabriella Rocque free kick from near centre court, then charged out to deny Kalie Maskell who found room to run down the right wing. Then it was Eagles’ goalie Sarah Berglund’s turn to shine as she turned away hard shots from both wings, and got some help from teammate Hrycun in a defensive role on a 2-on-1 that drew a hug from her netminder.

SAIT finally solved Berglund with just over 7:30 to play. Sage Meyers was stopped on her first shot, then headed the rebound off the post that left the ball laying loose for Rachelle LaBranche who made it 2-1 Trojans. That cued the late game fireworks. With only 37 seconds left on the clock, King’s took advantage of a corner kick, as Hrycun found the rebound to chip in the tying goal. Then with the clock winding down, Hrycun used some fancy footwork to create space before firing the winner just inside the far post. The King’s Eagles will face the Ambrose Lions in the gold medal game at 4:30 p.m. The Trojans will face Keyano for bronze at 1:45 p.m.

King's: Hrycun 2, Croft
SAIT: Lee, LaBranche

Players of the game:
King's: Taylor Hrycun
SAIT: Madelaine Lee

BRONZE MEDAL GAME | 1:45 p.m. | KEY 1 vs SAIT 5

FUT-7-BRONZE MEDAL-web.jpg Knowing it would be their final games of the season, the SAIT Trojans and Keyano Huskies waged a spirited battle with the bronze medal on the line. The Trojans, who were mere seconds away from appearing in the gold medal game, made sure they left Lethbridge with a medal, earning a 5-1 victory.

SAIT grabbed a 1-0 lead at the half on the strength of a Skye Gordon goal. In the second half, the Trojans earned some breathing room as Jaime McPherson snuck a shot in under the bar to make it 2-0. But that padding lasted just 25 seconds before Blanca Palavecino fired in her sixth of the tournament to bring Keyano back within one.

With 10:00 left in the half, SAIT once again found the back of the net as a long shot by goalkeeper Amy Offredi snuck just over the line to make it 3-1. The Trojans, who were shocked by a last-minute comeback by King’s University in the semifinals, made sure history would not repeat itself this time around as Mataya Blackney scored with 3:30 left and Taylor Zimmer scored with 10 seconds remaining to make it 5-1, which is how the game finished. The bronze medal is a great showing for the Trojans who are in their first season of ACAC futsal competition.

SAIT: Gordon, McPherson, Offredi, Blackney, Zimmer
Keyano: Palavecino 

Players of the game:
SAIT: Jaime McPherson
Keyano: Isabela Bustos Chaba

GOLD MEDAL GAME | 4:30 p.m. | AMB 3 vs TKU 1

FUT-WOMENS GOLD 2.jpg The Ambrose Lions came into the day as underdogs, but roared loudly on the court to claim the ACAC women’s futsal gold medal. The Lions built an early lead and never looked back in a 3-1 win over The King’s University Eagles to claim the championship at Lethbridge College.

The Lions opened the scoring midway through the first half, with two goals in just 20 seconds. Maria Hernandez and Meg Buchanan each found the back of the net to make it 2-0. That was the only scoring in the opening period.

In the opening minute of the second half, the Lions added to their advantage as Buchanan tapped in her second of the game as Ambrose looked to be in firm control, up 3-0. But this tournament has proved no lead is safe and King’s began to fight back when Aimee Tiemstra sniped a goal midway through the half to cut the Lions lead to two. The Eagles came within inches of getting within one when Tiemstra’s free kick bounced off the wall in front and right to Kaylee Croft who banged a shot off the post.

The Eagles final chance to cut into the lead came with just over 40 seconds remaining when Tiemstra received a penalty kick, but Lions netminder Janelle Perry made the save of the game, diving to her right, to preserve the 3-1 victory.

This is the first championship in Lions women’s futsal program history and just the second medal for the team, following a bronze in 2015. The Lions Bethany Herman was named tournament MVP.

Ambrose: Buchanan 2, Hernandez
King's: Tiemstra

Players of the game:
Ambrose: Rachel Wolf
King's: Kaylee Croft



Semi #1 | 9:45 a.m. | KEY (A1) 8 vs LETH (B2) 2

FUT-2-LETH-KEY-web.jpg The hosts hoped a little home court magic would help them on the way to an upset – instead, the Keyano Huskies showed the skill that earned them top spot in their pool and earned their way to the gold medal game. The Huskies dynamic skill was on full display in an 8-2 win over the Lethbridge College Kodiaks.

The Kodiaks struck first in the game, as Ben Knight drilled a free kick from just inside half court to make it 1-0 Lethbridge. But Keyano would tie it, then go ahead on an odd one as Eduardo Filho blocked a shot in his own end that flew all the way down the court and into the Kodiaks net. The Huskies added one more before the break and led 3-1 at half.

The Kodiaks again came out firing to start the second half, as Wilson Ntignee hit the post but James Britton was there to clean up the rebound and cut the Keyano lead to one. However, the Huskies bit back immediately, as Filho’s third of the game made it 4-2, before a beautiful rush down the right side by Djokira Konate was finished with a perfect shot inside the far post to put Keyano up 5-2. With the Huskies up 6-2 after Filho’s fourth goal of the match, the Kodiaks last great gasp was thwarted by Keyano netminder Julio Meirelles who stopped Ntignee, then Knight with a great diving save. The Huskies advance to the gold medal game at 5:45 p.m., while the Kodiaks will play for bronze at 3 p.m.

Keyano: Filho 4, Koebsch 2, Konate, Miguel
Lethbridge: Knight, Britton

Players of the game:
Keyano: Julio Meirelles
Lethbridge: Jaden Veluw 

Semi #2 | 12:15 p.m. | OLDS (B1) 4 vs LAKE (A2) 5

FUT-5-OLDS-LAKE-web.jpg The Olds Broncos looked unbeatable throughout the round robin, but Lakeland College proved anything can happen on the court. The Rustlers offense came in waves and goalie Zach Wagner stood tall in net as Lakeland pulled off a 5-4 upset to advance to the ACAC championship game.

The Rustlers opened the scoring with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half. Cutting to his left, Chase Cal reversed track, shooting against his body to freeze goalie Jaxson Simon as he slipped the shot just inside the right post for a 1-0 lead. Olds pushed hard for the equalizer, with tournament scoring leader Fabian Gromenida getting a pair of back-to-back great chances off steals, but Rustlers goalie Zach Wagner was equal to the task, keeping his team ahead by one at the break.

Sensing an upset may be in the works, the Olds Broncos came out firing in the second half. After some strong saves by Wagner, Landon Murphy was finally able to deposit a loose ball for his sixth of the tournament, tying the game at one. The pesky Rustlers would not go quietly, as Josh Hatzenbuuhler took advantage of a free kick to restore the Lakeland lead. It lasted for less than two minutes, however, before Luiz Guimaraes deflected a side kick off a Rustlers player and in to tie it at two. But Lakeland just kept on coming, with Hatzenbuuhler and Cal scoring just over a minute apart to make it 4-2. Gromenida got Olds back within one with his 11th of the tournament, but a beautiful individual effort by Cal for his hat trick restored the two-goal edge. Wagner took it home from there, stopping Guimaraes on a penalty kick to preserve the upset. The Rustlers advance to face Keyano for gold at 5:45 p.m. Olds will play Lethbridge for bronze at 3 p.m.

Lakeland: Cal 3, Hatzenbuuhler 2
Olds: Murphy, Guimaraes, Gromenida, Wolff

Players of the game:
Lakeland: Chase Cal
Olds: Fabian Gromenida 

BRONZE MEDAL GAME | 3 p.m. | LETH 7 vs OLDS 8 (OT)

FUT-9-BRONZE MEN-web.jpg Two southern Alberta rivals teamed up for an instant classic that represented all that is great about the sport of futsal. Skilled plays, ferocious comebacks and heated emotion were all on display in a game that couldn’t be contained to 50 minutes, as the Olds College Broncos earned the ACAC bronze medal with an 8-7 overtime victory over the host Lethbridge College Kodiaks.

Once the game’s first goal came, it didn’t take long for the second and third to follow. Ten minutes into the game, the Kodiaks scored twice in 55 seconds, first on a great pass from Wilson Ntignee to Jaden Veluw, then on a beautiful rush and chip shot by Jimmy Bukuru. But the Broncos replied just 40 seconds later on a long blast from Abu Bangura to cut the Kodiaks lead to 2-1. Late in the half, Ntignee was once again the set-up man, feathering a pass to James Britton for a tap-in and a 3-1 halftime lead.

The second half was like a ping pong match with the team’s trading goals. With the score 4-2 midway through the frame, Gromenida showed off the skill that has allowed him to pile up goals in bunches this weekend, with a deft touch through two sets of legs to make it 4-3. Ntignee replied as he ripped home his ninth goal of the tournament from the centre court line to restore the two-goal lead. The Broncos continued to push, as Luiz Guimaraes scored to make it 5-4, but he received a red card for an altercation immediately afterwards, costing his team its second-leading scorer. Moments later, Ntignee made another beautiful pass to set up Bukuru’s second of the game to make it 6-4 Kodiaks. But the Broncos had a late comeback brewing as Landon Murphy scored, then Olds was awarded another penalty kick with just 44 seconds remaining, that Gromenida scored to complete his hat trick and tie it at six, forcing the 10 minute overtime period.

Early in the extra frame, Ntignee received a red card, which gave Gromenida his third penalty kick of the match. He made no mistake for his fourth goal of the game and tournament-leading 15th, putting the Broncos up 7-6 for their first lead of the game. This time it was the Kodiaks who fought back, as a corner kick found Veluw in front for his second of the match to tie it 7-7 with under 2:30 to play. But with just 23 seconds left on the clock, the Broncos went ahead to stay as Nicolas Depot wired a shot into the top corner to give Olds the win.

This is the second-straight ACAC medal for the Broncos after they earned a bronze last season.

Olds: Gromenida 4, Bangura, Guimaraes, Murphy, Depot
Lethbridge: Veluw 2, Bukuru 2, Britton, Knight, Ntignee

Players of the game:
Olds: Fabian Gromenida
Lethbridge: Kohl Wandyka

GOLD MEDAL GAME | 5:45 p.m. | KEY 5 vs LAKE 0

FUT-MENS-GOLD 2.jpg The Keyano Huskies are used to winning championships and looked determined not to leave Lethbridge without the banner this season. The Huskies won all five games they played at the championship tournament to win back-to-back ACAC titles. They capped the weekend with a convincing 5-0 win over the Lakeland Rustlers in the final.

The Huskies shot out to an early lead they would never relinquish. Gabriel Koebsch scored just five minutes into the game to open the scoring, and Eduardo Filho followed with a drive from right up the middle just 90 seconds later to make it 2-0. Filho scored on an almost identical drive later in the period to make it 3-0 and put Keyano in control. Before the end of the half, Koebsch added his second of the game and the Huskies went to the break with a 4-0 lead.

The Rustlers offense had been firing throughout the end of the round robin and in the semifinal earlier in the day, but it never found its groove against the Huskies. Goalie Julio Meirelles earned the shutout as he was in the way of everything Lakeland threw at him. Neto Miguel scored the only goal of the second half to secure the Huskies victory.

The Huskies are an ACAC futsal dynasty. The victory makes it back-to-back championships for the team and six gold medals in seven years. The team has medaled in all eight years the futsal has been an ACAC sport. Keyano’s Eduardo Filho was named the tournament MVP.

Keyano: Koebsch 2, Filho 2, Miguel

Players of the game:
Keyano: Eduardo Filho
Lakeland: Mackenzie Longpre