Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
LETHBRIDGE – Down a goal with seven minutes remaining, the Alberta Golden Bears scored twice, including the winner in the 89th minute to come from behind to clip the Lethbridge Pronghorns 2-1.
2016 Canada West Player of the Year Ajeej Sarkaria received a pass deep in the Pronghorns penalty area and cut into the middle, making no mistake to give the Bears their third win of the season.
It was the second game in a row that the Pronghorns surrendered the winning goal in the final minutes and see their record fall to 0-4-0 on the season. The Bears remain perfect early in the Canada West season and improve to 3-0-0.
Sean Gaiesky scored for the Pronghorns and Easton Ongaro scored the other the Golden Bears goal.
'Horns goalkeeper Nolan French finished the afternoon with four saves, while his counterpart Connor James also made four stops in the win.
Opportunities were hard to come by for both teams in a scoreless first half, with neither defence allowing much space in their own zone, Alberta held a slight advantage in a ball possession and shot attempts. Alberta had five shot attempts with three on goal, while the Pronghorns had three attempts and forced senior Bear goaltender Connor James into one save.
Easton Ongaro had the most dangerous chance in the opening 45 minutes for the Golden Bears but his low drive was easily handled by a diving French.
The Pronghorns best chance of the half came off the foot of newcomer Faith Marufu. Breaking down the right flank, Marufu looked and saw James off his line but his long range chip sailed just over the crossbar.
Following a handball in the box, the Pronghorns were awarded a penalty in the 55th minute. Captain Sean Gaiesky put home his first goal of the season, beating James to the low right corner.
Off a long throw only minutes later, Thomas Hammerton nearly doubled the Pronghorns lead but his header rattled off the far post.
With only seven minutes to play, the Golden Bears leveled the game at one. Ongaro took a pass deep the Pronghorns box, turned and fired a shot that eluded Pronghorn keeper Nolan French to the low left corner.
Still pushing for their first win of the season, the Pronghorns nearly leveled things a couple minutes later but senior goalkeeper Connor James swatted Jaden Veluw's header off the line to keep the game tied.
Stats at the final whistle favored the Pronghorns slightly, picking up 10 shot attempts in the second half to finish with 13 on the day compared to the Bears' 12. The Pronghorns also had six corner kicks, all the second half, while Alberta finished with four.
The Pronghorns will be on a bye next weekend and return to conference action in two weeks hosting the UBCO Heat and the Trinity Western Spartans. Alberta will return home to host the Calgary Dinos and Mount Royal Cougars next weekend.
Photo by: MPP Photography