Lethbridge – With their playoff hopes on the line, the Lethbridge Pronghorn men's soccer earned a full six points and completed the weekend sweep of the Saskatchewan Huskies with a 2-1 win.
The six points move the 'Horns within one point of the Huskies for the final playoff spot in the Prairie Division. The 'Horns record now improves to 5-6-1 on the season, while the Huskies fall to 5-5-2.
Looking to rebound from yesterday's loss, the Huskies had the first quality chance in the ninth minute. Coming off his line, 'Horns keeper Nolan French attempted to punch a Huskie cross away but the ball deflected off a Huskie attacker and narrowly bounced wide of the net.
After scoring the insurance marker yesterday, Rushworth got the 'Horns on the board in the 16th minute on the 'Horns first chance of the day. Kendell Wiens found Rushworth just inside the penalty area and Rushworth hammered a shot to the top right corner for his fourth goal of the season.
The play continued to go back and forth, with both teams having opportunities to add to the score. Huskie Tyler Redl got his foot on a cross deep in the 'Horns penalty area but his attempt just slid wide. Marcello Gonzalez also had a great chance to bring the Huskies level but after beating one defender, 'Horns Dom Rigaux raced back to break up Gonzalez's attack.
Kyle Angerilli had the only other Pronghorn chance of note in the opening half but his long range shot was handled by a diving Greg Buckley.
Both teams had five shot attempts in the opening half, but the Huskies missed the mark on each shot. The 'Horns forced Buckley to make two saves in the half.
The Huskies came out of the gate firing, forcing French to make two quality saves in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Redl had a good look from top of 18-yard box but French dove to his right to make the save. Mitchell Bauche had the other shot on goal.
In the 56th minute Rushworth narrowly missed doubling the 'Horns lead. After Stephen Primeau let the ball through on a cross from the outside, Rushworth got a good shot off inside the penalty area but his attempt deflected off a Huskie defender and just went wide.
The Huskies did get the equalizer in the 65th minute, Redl was taken down in the penalty area and Bauche stepped up for the penalty. While French guessed the right direction, Bauche beat him to low right corner.
In need of a win, the 'Horns pushed forward and Rushworth was rewarded with his second of the game and third on the weekend. Rushworth intercepted a clearing attempt, made one defender miss and picked to low left corner for his team leading fifth goal of the season.
For the final minutes and injury time, the Huskie pushed for the equalizer but the 'Horns defence held strong and turn away all Huskie attacks. With Huskies pushing forward, Nico Pasquotti had a glorious chance to seal the game, but Buckley made a stellar sliding save to keep the Huskies with in one, but time would run out on the Huskies
The 'Horns finished with 11 shot attempts to the Huskies 13. Both French and Buckley finished with three saves each.
The 'Horns head out on the road next weekend, traveling to Edmonton to face the division leading Alberta Golden Bears and MacEwan Griffins. The Huskies will also be in Edmonton to face the Griffins and Golden Bears