Kodiaks With a Strong Win Over the Rattlers
Credit: Dylan Purcell – Lethbridge Herald
Logan Tataryn was at his best on Saturday at Servus Sports Centre field, stopping everything in his path. It was just part of a team-wide effort as Tataryn and his Lethbridge College Kodiaks teammates beat the Medicine Hat College Rattlers 1-0 to
improve to 2-6 in a mostly disappointing season. Cole Runge scored early for Lethbridge, which showcased a solid defensive game, devoid of the mistakes and mismarking which has plagued thesquad all fall. Despite pressure — and about a dozen late free kicks — the Kodiaks held on to beat the 4-3-1 Rattlers. The difference, according to Tataryn, had nothing to do with schemes or formations. “Passion, I think we played with a lot more passion today than we have in a lot of the games this season,” he said. “We wanted it, we wanted to beat Medicine Hat. It feels good.”
“We finally showed what I have been telling these guys all along, that we are a team that should be in the playoffs,” said Lethbridge coach Joe Mauro. “We’re talented, but we’ve had some bad luck in some games, we’ve made some mistakes that cost us other games but today the players showed how good they can be.” Mauro echoed Tataryn’s sentiment, adding that it wasn’t anything he did that got the team focused. “I wasn’t going to yell and scream and try to get them fired up,” said Mauro. “I left them alone because they know what to do. We’ve been telling them all year ‘Don’t try to win the game yourself. Trust your teammates. Play with passion, play with energy. “Now they do it and they see what happens.”
Diminutive goalkeeper Rob Balcom was called on a few times late, including a dangerous pass from one of his own defenders which resulted in a freight train collision with a Rattler. Balcom, the team’s third-string keeper, was shaken up but returned to make three good stops after that point. He was called into duty after Mauro had to bench a handful of players for the game.
Mauro said the group which did play earned a lot of respect for their work. “The group I did have, I thought they played a great game. We could have a scored a few more goals, but we created chances, lots of chances. The whole team, I thought, played an exceptional game with lots of short passes, especially along the wings. We told them we wouldn’t be able to move through the middle of the field, Medicine Hat is too good up the middle. But we knew if we were smart, we could get the ball down the wings and create chances and hold the ball and that’s what we did.”