The Lethbridge College Kodiaks have medals on the mind as the 2020 ACAC Futsal Championships begin on Friday in Lloydminster. The women’s team is among the gold medal favourites at the championship tournament, while the men’s team comes into action as the reigning ACAC soccer champions.
The eight-team tournament features two four-team divisions. In-division round robin games take place on Friday and Saturday. The top two teams in each division qualify for Sunday’s semifinals and medal games.
The women’s team begins play against Keyano College at 2:45 p.m. on Friday. They then take on the defending champions from Ambrose University and Olds College on Saturday. The Kodiaks just missed the playoffs last season, but return an experienced squad that has won back-to-back ACAC soccer bronze medals.
“I expect nothing more than the banner,” says Kodiaks coach Sean Carey. “I think that on paper, we probably have the strongest team that's going to be playing this weekend, but we have to put that on the floor. We're very strong on the outdoor game and we have a great defense when it comes to futsal, but we will need to find a way to put the ball in the back of the net.”
The men’s team made the championship round last season, but lost both the semifinal and the bronze medal game to finish fourth in the ACAC. The Kodiaks begin with a match against Ambrose University at 1:30 p.m. on Friday. They then face SAIT and the defending champions from Keyano College on Saturday. While the Kodiaks won the ACAC men’s soccer championship in October, the team has lost many of its core players and bring a new-look squad into the ACAC championships.
“I'm excited when they play together and work out as a unit,” says Carey. “If one of the players gives up the ball, the next player is right in there, trying to recover that ball. They work so hard for each other and they've become really tight.”
This is Lethbridge College’s fourth season competing in futsal. The women’s team won a silver medal in 2018, while last year’s fourth-place finish was the men’s team’s best result.
- Friday 2:45 p.m. vs Keyano College
- Saturday 2 p.m. vs Ambrose University
- Saturday 7 p.m. vs Olds College
- Friday 1:30 p.m. vs Ambrose University
- Saturday 11 a.m. vs SAIT
- Saturday 3:15 p.m. vs Keyano College