Lambton College varsity soccer got the 2017-18 season underway with a pair of games on the road.
Women's soccer dropped their opening game 2-1 to Mohawk in Hamilton. After four days of training, and being a new team, this was a great result. Mohawk was good and created numerous scoring opportunities but the Lambton keeper was sensational (one of the best performances by a keeper that Coach Simmonds has seen in a long time).
The team gave up the winning goal on a penalty. Defensively, the Lions were solid as their two centre backs, MacKenzie Colbran and Kristen Faragher, cleaned up many of the attacks. The squad had good game shape with the starting eleven. Both Lauren Shaw and Maria Vani created opportunities to score on the counter attack and Coach Simmonds felt that with a little more composure another goal was available.
The women then fell in their second game of the season buy a score of 7-0 to a very strong St. Clair Saints team.
The score was not a reflection of how the game was played. Lambton never gave up and battled for 90 minutes. There were opportunities to score several goals and with a little more confidence Coach Simmonds believes the team could have made the score closer. The team is a work in progress and even though the score looked ominous, Coach Simmonds believes that he has a team with enough talent to make the OCAA playoffs.
After a brief training camp, the Lambton College Men's Soccer team traveled to take on the Mohawk Mountaineers. In a game typical of an OCAA opener, both teams found clear cut scoring chances difficult to come by in the early going. Despite seven Lions' making their OCAA debuts, Lambton College offered a strong, well-organized defence.
The hosts from Mohawk were able to find a break through in the 38th minute when a shot from distance deflected off a Lions defender and past Aidan Calcutt. "It was an unfortunate goal," said Lambton assistant coach Adam Lakey. "It was one of the few times we didn't close down quickly enough. We were late in our rotation and unfortunately the deflection caught our goalkeeper wrong-footed".
The second half saw Mohawk gain more possession of the ball, but without creating too many dangerous chances. With the game winding down, and as Lambton pushed forward to find an equalizer, Mohawk found an insurance marker on the counter-attack. A cross from the wing found an unmarked attacker at the back post for a 2-0 Mohawk lead. "Goals like this can happen when you are chasing the game," Lakey said. "We were pushing to try and get something from the game and it left us exposed at the back. Overall, we were very happy with our team shape and organization, particularly considering how long we've been together as a group. It just shows you how difficult this league is to get results in".
In his first career OCAA start Calcutt made nice saves in Lambton goal. Lambton registered eight shots on the Mohawk goal.
In their second OCAA game of the season, a slow start and a strong opposition goalkeeper proved too much for the Lambton College men's soccer team to overcome as they dropped a 3-0 decision to the St. Clair Saints in Windsor. Three different Saints players found the back of the net in the opening 26 minutes as they jumped all over the Lions early. "We came out flat after the trip to Windsor and unfortunately St. Clair was able to take advantage with the 3 early goals," said Lambton Head Coach Shane Bettridge. "As the half was coming to an end we started traded chances and were energized with some timely substitutions!"
The second half saw the Lions take the play to St. Clair as Lambton was able to control much of the possession and create a number of scoring chances. However, the Saints goalkeeper and a couple of tight offside decisions meant that the Lions were unable to find the score sheet. "The 2nd half was completely different and we were able to control majority of the play," said Bettridge. "But the Saints were able to sit back and defend their lead and we couldn't find the back of the net. With the weekend off and guys getting back to full strength we look forward to our next game."
Aidan Calcutt made six saves in the contest for the Lions. Lambton recorded 6 shots on goal, with four coming in the second half. The Lambton College Men's Soccer team travels to London on Wednesday September 20th for their next OCAA game.