Cougars earn one last win before playoffs begin

Cougars earn one last win before playoffs begin

LETHBRIDGE – In the final game of the regular season for both teams, the Mount Royal Cougars held on for a 2-1 win over the Lethbridge Pronghorns in Canada West men's soccer action.

With the win the Cougars finish the season with a 5-8-1 record and will head into the playoffs as the Prairie Division fourth seed. Following a season-ending loss the Pronghorns finish the season with a 0-11-3 record.

Orest Ndabaneze and David Schaefer scored the Cougars, while Jaden Veluw replied for the Pronghorns.

Off a Cougar set piece just outside the Pronghorns 18-yard box, Moe El Gandour had a look at goal but freshman keeper Jack MacSteven was in perfect position to make an easy save.

In the 35th minute, Orest Ndabaneze was sprung by a slick pass from Daniel Harrison. Just being able to stay onside, Ndabaneze broke in alone and slid a shot past MacSteven to open the scoring.

Through 45 minutes, shot attempts favoured Mount Royal 10 to 9, while the Pronghorns had three corners compared to Mount Royal's two.

Off an early corner, Marcus Menzies got a head on a swing ball from Primeau but the MRU keeper, who came in at half, Evan Kaake was able to get a hand on and push it to touch.

Only minutes later the Cougars doubled their lead. Hafiz Mahjor miss-hit a shot that went straight to David Schaefer, who turned and ripped a shot to top left corner.

If not for the play of MacSteven, the Cougars would have added to their lead. With Jake Vickers breaking in alone, MacSteven charged off his line to a make a stellar sliding save.

With a set piece just outside the Cougar's penalty area, Alasdair Coyle curled a ball around the Cougar wall with a well-placed shot but Kaake kept the Pronghorns off the scoreboard with a nice diving save.

However, on the second of consecutive Pronghorns corner kicks, Jaden Veluw climbed the latter to head home Primeau's corner to cut the Cougar lead in half with 15 minutes to play.

Pushing for the equalizer, Freshman Danilo Morales had a clear shot from the middle field form 15-yards out but again Kaake made another strong diving save to keep the Cougars up a goal.

Off a corner kick in just before stoppage time, Kaake saved the game for the Cougars. Marcus Menzies got a foot on a bouncing ball, but Kaake snatched the ball off the goal line.

With the strong second half, shot attempts slightly favoured the Pronghorns at the final whistle, 17 to 15 and the Pronghorns had eight corner kicks in the second half alone to finish the game with eight. The Cougars had three corner kicks in the match.