Lakers banking on history as Strathmore come calling

Ashley Akinyi of Lakers Hockey Club (centre) in action against Rachel Wangui (left) and Harriet Atieno of USIU-A during a past KHU Women's Premier League match in Kisumu. [Washington Onyango, Standard]

Lakers Hockey Club will be hoping to register their second win of the 2022 Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Women’s Premier League season when they host leaders Strathmore University Scorpions tomorrow at Simba Club in Kisumu. 

The Lakeside-outfit are second from the bottom of the seven-club league after registering one win, one defeat and a draw but Lakers team manager JP Otieno is banking on their impressive history against Strathmore to inspire them to victory. 

Speaking to the Standard Sports yesterday, Otieno said they understand the style of play the university side are used to deploying and that they are ready to counter them. 

Lakers saw off Strathmore 3-2 in a five-goal thriller the last time the two sides met in Kisumu in September 2019 after previously holding them to a 1-1 draw in April the same year. 

“We are ready for Strathmore. I have seen a lot of talk because we are in the relegation zone that we are not in the same caliber as them but we want to assure fans that we are still a force to reckon with,” said Otieno. 

“Lakers have played only three matches compared to others who have played seven games. So, I feel we are still in the battle and to achieve our goal of competing for the title I believe the journey starts with a win against Strathmore.” 

Lakers beat newbies Wolverines 1-0 and drew 0-0 against Sailors in May. 

This was after they had lost 1-0 to United States International University Africa (USIU-A) in their opening match of the season. 

On the other hand, Strathmore head coach Meshack Senge agreed that the long stoppages his team has encountered for the last two months will affect their momentum but they are determined to start afresh. 

Strathmore, USIU-A, Blazers and Lakers have not played for the past four months after a number of their players were involved with the national women’s hockey team that did duty at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. 

“It has been four months since we last played and definitely the momentum we had and chemistry will be affected ahead of the big test in Kisumu. We know Lakers is a strong team and can hurt you if you play without a plan. Therefore, we will not underrate them,” said Senge. 

“We are top after four wins in four matches and our goal will be to pick from where we left off in our last match. The battle has resumed and our objective remains to win the league.” 

Strathmore are top of the log with 12 points and are yet to conceded a goal this season. They have defeated Sliders (2-0), Wolverines (1-0), Sailors (2-0) and defending champions Blazers (2-0). 

Meanwhile, champions Blazers who are joint second with USIU-A on seven points will host newbies Wolverines today at City Park before playing bottom-placed Sailors tomorrow. 

Blazers have played four matches where they have lost one, drawn one and won two. 

In the men’s Premier League, Western Jaguars will host Strathmore University at Eregi Teachers College as Greensharks tackle Sailors. 

Defending champions and leaders Butali Warriors will face third placed Wazalendo tomorrow. 

 

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