This past weekend our Rattlers soccer teams took to the pitch to battle the Olds College Broncos on Saturday and the SAIT Trojans on the Sunday. The women came out with 4 points after tying Olds 0-0 and defeating SAIT 2-0. After this weekend the women currently sit in in a three way tie for the third and final playoff position with 12 points tied with Red Deer and Augsutana. The men meanwhile dropped both games by the score of 2-0 to the same Broncos and Trojans teams. These results have the men sitting in 4th position 6 points behind SAIT for the final playoff spot. Both men and women have 4 games remaining starting this weekend for the final home game of the season on Saturday against Ambrose and Sunday on the road against Lethbridge. Below is a recap of the games this past weekend.
Women' Soccer vs Olds
From falling snow, to sunny skies, a week went by and the Medicine Hat Soccer Pitch transformed from a barren wasteland to a beautiful oasis for the match between the Medicine Hat College Rattlers and the Olds Broncos. With the southwest corner of the province still blanketed in snow the Medicine Hat had a clear pitch with the sun shining. The Game opened with both teams winning corner kicks within the first 5 minutes. An aggressive pace saw the teams pushing forward quickly and often. With the first 5 minutes off the clock, the teams seemed to settle into a more controlled game. The Rattlers were able to hem the broncos in their own end, but were unable to break down the Broncos final line of defense. After a quick transition attack the Broncos won a free kick deep in the Rattlers end. Rattlers Keeper Amanda Overing easily handled the poor attempt at a cross. The Home side continued to control the play keeping the ball in the Olds end preventing the Broncos from gaining any momentum. The Broncos seemed to wake up a little more and the game moved from the Olds end more to the midfield. Both sides started to break through with long runs, but neither was able to generate solid scoring chances. With 10 minutes remaining in the half, the Rattlers strung together a few scoring chances, the best of which coming off Grace Porter's foot off an Aleena Matthews cross. As the game neared half, the game started to slow down a bit, this seemed to be due to both teams looking forward to half. As the half ended in a scoreless tie.
The second half started with more intensity than the first half ended. The Broncos came out of the gate applying pressure on the ball and forcing the play into the Rattlers end. This time it was the Rattlers trying to counter by sending one or two faster forwards downfield with the ball. Able to push forward from her back line, Jadyn Fode came close with a ball just sneaking over the bar. As the Half passed 10 minutes, the Rattlers dominated both shots on goal and time of possession, but the scoreboard still read zeros. The Rattlers used their momentum to again start to dominate the game, hemming the Broncos deep in their end. This resulted in a few glorious chances again. Grace Porter hammered a cross from Aleena Matthews again but again came up empty handed on a great save from Bronco Jewels Hallock. As the clock wound down to zeros neither team was able to break through and score resulting in a zero zero tie.
The ACAC Players of the game were Emma Hatcher for Olds and Aleena Matthews for Medicine Hat.
Men's Soccer vs Olds
The Medicine Hat College Rattlers welcomed the Olds College Broncos to town on a warm sunny Saturday. The game got off to a very fast start with Rattlers Forward Raouf Mohamed stole the opening pass and ran down the side, earning a corner for the home squad. The broncos quickly recovered and were able to generate a weak shot at the other end. Both teams seemed unsure of themselves early, not confident in their first touch. This lead to scrambles from both teams. A rattlers scramble almost cost them early as the Broncos generated a great chance just 7 minutes into the game. What should have been a goal, was an incredible save from Joao Batista to keep the visitors off the scoresheet. Again the Broncos broke through and again Joao Batista kept the rattlers in the game. The teams continued to play at a very high pace and the Broncos were able to generate a bunch of chances. A wonderful strike on a free kick from just outside the penalty area, Fabian Gromenida buried the ball in the corner. This sparked the rattlers for a quick burst down the field. Unable to capitalize they again came away empty handed. As the half moved into the later stages the play became more controlled and deliberate. Much more passing as opposed to long runs with the ball. As the half came to a close the score remained 1-0 broncos, still a close match.
The second half started just as the temperature started to cool off, the Broncos remained red hot. Scoring just over 1 minute into the half, Nigel Stebanuk buried a shot after a long solo run from almost half. The Speedy Olds forwards continued to burn the Rattlers back line. The home side could not seem to make the final touch to get in that finishing position. As the half moved into the middle portion, the play seemed to be confined to the Rattlers end. The Rattlers however, continued to show flashes of brilliance in moments pushing deep and quickly into the Broncos end. They still however ended up empty handed. Olds had the majority of good scoring chances and the large Medicine Hat field helped their speed game. As the game clock wound down the result was all but final. The Rattlers could not generate any scoring chances and any they did were poor quality. The Broncos wrapped up a 2-0 win and upset the Rattlers at home.
The ACAC Players of the game were Wilson Ouattara for OC and Colin George Kirkland for MHC.
Women's Soccer vs SAIT
The SAIT Trojans headed east from Lethbridge to play their second game in two games, this time at the Medicine Hat College Rattlers Pitch. The Rattlers played to a scoreless draw the day before against Olds and hoped for an even better result today. The Rattlers showed this in a very hot start with early chances coming off the foot of Maisa Rebello. Her skill on the ball propelled her to gain several opportunities. The Rattlers Continued to press with both Rebello and Shelby Bach generating shots. This lead to multiple corner kicks. Kaylei Hole came up from her back line position to finish off a Jadyn Fode corner. This put the Rattlers up 1-0 15 minutes into the game. This did not slow the home side as just 10 minutes later Jadyn Fode curled a corner kick just inside the back post. This seemed to wake up SAIT a bit as they came back down the field to generate 3 chances. Goaltender Amanda Oevering and defender Jadyn Fode, continually shut down the attack. As the half entered the later stages, SAIT's pressure increased and the half time whistle blew without further incident. The home side Rattlers held on to a 2-0 lead entering the break.
The second half started off looking much different than the first. SAIT was controlling the play early and was able to keep the Rattlers hemmed in their end. This did not result in any particularly good chances as the Rattlers were collapsing back to prevent any good chances. As the first 10 minutes ticked by the play began to even out again. The Rattlers pressure seemed to generate a scoring chance every time they got the ball deep in SAIT's end. The Trojans never seemed to generate good scoring opportunities on their trips down the floor. The Rattlers started to again control the pace and play in the midfield. This resulted in more and more time ticking off the clock without allowing SAIT to have any great chances. The Rattlers burned more time off until the final whistle where they emerged victorious 2-0.
This was a huge momentum building moment as the Women have tied two nationally ranked teams and won this last game with a clean sheet against a high powered team. With the season moving closer to playoffs this put the Rattlers in a good position for the second season.
The ACAC Players of the game were for SAIT, Jade Evans. And for the MHC Rattlers it was Captain and all star Kaylei Hole.
Men's Soccer vs SAIT
The Medicine Hat College Rattlers played host to the SAIT trojans. This was a huge match as the Trojans sat just ahead of the Rattlers on the standings. The game looked to be a very fast paced aggressive start to the match. Within the first two minutes multiple fouls had already been called. After an exceptionally dirty challenge saw SAIT midfielder Eduardo Filho receive a yellow card just minutes in. The rough play settled down a bit from here. The game was very back and forth with both teams using tremendous speed to generate the bulk of their chances. After allowing a few in their own end, the Rattlers turned up the energy and moved the bulk of the pay down to the SAIT end of the field. This lasted for only a few minutes before the majority of the play moved back to the middle. Neither team had any amazing chances but the best came from SAIT. A monster shot came from the top of the box, but Keeper Joao Bautista was able to get just a finger on it pushing it up and off the bar. The Rattlers responded with a few odd man rushes but were unable to generate any shots on target, with a few sailing just over the bar. Late in the half, a yellow card on SAIT sweeper Bradley Atherton grabbed on to Raouf Mohammed who was almost sprung on a breakaway. The free kick came up empty, and the teams headed in to the half with no score.
The second half started with an intensity that matched the first. A very evenly matched game, neither team seemed able to generate any momentum. Both teams came up with a few breakthrough runs and plays to generate a few shots on goal both ways, but neither team had legitimate scoring chances. One however came from SAIT on a scramble in front of the Rattlers net. The defense however was able to shut down the chances and keep the game scoreless. The teams were looking more desperate to score, playing more high risk balls in and taking more chances. The Rattlers forwards were able to produce a few long runs from half. A great chance came off one of these but again the game remained scoreless. SAIT broke the deadlock with 15 minutes remaining with a well placed strike off the foot of Zachary Michaud. Immediately following the goal, Medicine hat launched a rush down into the SAIT end. What appeared to be a foul went uncalled and the Rattlers again came up empty. A glorious chance to tie unfortunately wasted. SAIT went into lead protection mode and used their ball control to keep the ball deep in the Rattlers end. This prevented the Rattlers from making any other plays than long runs in from half. The Trojans put the game away in injury time scoring again to make to 2-0. This was the final as time ran out on a Rattlers Comeback.
The ACAC Players of the game were Yusuph Kalenga for SAIT and Colton Pacheco for MHC.