Huskies soccer teams well positioned heading into playoffs

By in Sports & Health

From Oct. 13-15, the men’s and women’s soccer teams at the University of Saskatchewan each played two away games. The weekend rang in the end of the season for the men’s Huskies, but the women’s Huskies still have two more games left.

In the first men’s soccer game, against the Calgary Dinos, they came out with a 3-0 loss. Their second game was against the Mount Royal Cougars, ending in a 1-1 tie. The first game of the weekend for the women’s team was against the Fraser Valley Cascades, where they tied 2-2. In the second women’s game, against the Trinity Western Spartans, they were handed a 5-0 loss.

After the weekend, the men’s soccer team is ranked 7-5-2 for the season and second in the Prairie Division. The women’s soccer team is sitting at 5-3-4 and third place in the division. Both teams have clinched a playoff spot.

Going into the weekend, Bryce Chapman, head coach of the men’s team, was confident in their standing.

“So far, the season’s been quite positive. I would say we’ve put ourselves in a good spot heading into the last weekend of [the] regular season,” Chapman said.

The men’s soccer team has done well over the 2017 season, and Chapman believes they are well positioned as they head into playoffs after their last weekend of the regular season.

“Every week is a challenge in Canada West. It’s one of the strongest divisions in the country. We had a young group this year, with a lot of first-years, so they’re going through a learning process [as to] how to compete in Canada West,” Chapman said.

As for the women’s team, Head Coach Jerson Barandica-Hamilton believes the team could have done better, but they are happy with where they stand in the division.

“Our season has gone relatively well. It hasn’t been perfect, in that we have lost some games that we would have liked to have won, but we have managed to react very positively to adversity and have been on a positive trajectory of getting better with each game,” Barandica-Hamilton said. “We are content with where we are at, currently, and are excited with the growth that our young team has [shown] over the season.”

Barandica-Hamilton explains that, going into the last few weekends before playoffs, the team is still improving as the season progresses.

“The exciting part with this group is that we have been consistent with our growth and have strived to get better after each game, which I do believe we have done,” Barandica-Hamilton said.

The women’s soccer team still has games on both Oct. 21 and 22, against the Manitoba Bisons and the Winnipeg Wesmen, respectively. They believe they have positioned themselves well, and they will strive to keep improving during their practices heading into their last weekend of the regular season.

“We have been a very attacking-minded team, so now it’s important that we capitalize on all the chances we have created and that we also buckle down defensively, as the line between success and failure becomes very fine during playoffs,” Barandica-Hamilton said. “We will continue to work hard in training and strive to be focused on the process rather than the end goal, to keep us focused on where we want to be come November.”

After the past weekend, the men’s team has finished their regular season, and the Canada West men’s soccer playoffs will start on Oct. 28. For the women’s team, after their two remaining games, the Canada West women’s soccer playoffs will begin Oct. 27.

With the men’s team at second and women’s at third in the Prairie Division, both teams are looking good as they come to the end of the regular season and head into playoffs.

Lyndsay Afseth / Staff Writer

Graphic: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor