UFV Sports Saturday – Men’s Soccer Claim Canada West Bronze

Abbotsford (with files from UBC Thunderbirds communications) – Men’s Basketball: Dhillon, Cascades heat up in third quarter to beat UBCO

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team put on a sensational second-half shooting show to wrap up a weekend sweep of the UBC Okanagan Heat.

The Cascades trailed the Heat 37-32 at halftime, but came out of the locker room absolutely on fire. They went on to shoot an obscene 90 per cent from beyond the arc and 73.9 per cent overall from the field in the second half, en route to an 84-69 victory at the Envision Athletic Centre.

The Cascades, coming off a 79-67 win over the Heat on Friday, improved to 2-0 on the young season, while UBCO fell to 0-2.

“I think we just looked at each other at halftime and said ‘Hey, we’re not going to let this happen,’” UFV head coach Adam Friesen said afterward. “Kevon [Parchment] and Vijay [Dhillon] said ‘We’re going to take control of this game, we’re going to try and set the pace and be the leaders of this group.’”

Dhillon led all scorers with 26 points on the night, including six treys. Mark Johnson picked up 21 points and Parchment poured in 20 of his own.

Dean Johnston set the pace for the Heat, going 8-for-12 from the field en route to 19 points, while Randall Mosca notched 11 of his 14 points in the final frame. 

The Cascades built a 15-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, but UBCO’s Johnston and Mitchell Goodwin combined for 19 points in the second to stake their squad to a 37-32 lead heading into the break.

UFV came out of halftime looking like a completely different team.

The Cascades’ aerial attack ascended to altitude in the third quarter – they went 12-for-14, including six three-balls, from the field. At the other end of the floor, the Heat shooters went cold, going just 2-for-12. The end result was a 62-44 lead for UFV, after outscoring their opponents 30-7 in the quarter.

UBCO turned things around offensively in the fourth, dropping in 25 points, but ultimately the deficit was too much to overcome, especially against an opponent that seemingly couldn’t miss.

“I think the effort was there for the whole game, but that second half, I haven’t seen a shooting performance like that from us in my time here,” said Friesen. “When shots start to fall, everyone starts getting a little more confidence and the hoop seems to be a bit bigger for everyone.”

The Cascades remain at home and welcome the MacEwan Griffins to the Envision Athletic Centre for two games next weekend. Game 1 tips off at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, while the second game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start on Saturday.

Up next for the Heat is a two-game series at home vs. the UNBC Timberwolves. They tip off at 8 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Women’s Basketball : Heat earn weekend split, edge Cascades 63-59

The UBC Okanagan women’s basketball team salvaged a weekend split at the Envision Athletic Centre, defeating the host UFV Cascades 63-59 on Saturday evening.

The Heat delivered the inaugural Canada West regular season victory for rookie head coach Claire Meadows, and both teams sit at 1-1 after opening weekend.

Emily Kanester paced the Heat with 17 points, including three triples. Chloe Kennedy and Claire Elliott rounded out UBCO’s double-digit scorers with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Kayli Sartori lead UFV in scoring with 17 points and added five assists on the night, while guard Shayna Cameron followed up her 27-point breakout performance in Friday’s 68-50 win over the Heat with 16 points and five helpers of her own.

Cascades first-year forward Taylor Claggett was a force in the paint and posted her second career CIS double-double in as many games, swallowing up 14 rebounds to go along with her 14 points.

“I didn’t think we came out with the same energy and the defensive presence that we had last night,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “Okanagan really took advantage of that, they came out they were excited to play. They made some tough shots early and got a bit of a lead, and then we were playing from behind the rest of the game.”

Both teams put 15 points on the board in the first quarter, but an 8-0 run for UBCO midway through the second gave them a 30-22 lead. The Cascades managed to cut the deficit to six before heading to the locker room with the Heat owning a 34-28 advantage.

The Heat came out of the break and extended their lead to 12, but the Cascades would spend the rest of the quarter chipping away at the deficit and entered the final stanza down by five.

Sartori gave the Cascades their first lead since the opening frame with six minutes remaining in regulation, but UBCO’s Elliott would tie the game on a clutch three-pointer just minutes later. Some key defensive stops by the Heat allowed them to regain an advantage they would not relinquish the rest of the way.

“There’s a lot of new faces in our lineup and we learned a tough lesson tonight. Come to the game prepared and execute, and if you don’t do that, you’re going to lose in Canada West,” explained Tuchscherer.

Tuchscherer had praise for rookie standout Claggett, who has carried the momentum from a strong preseason into conference play.

“Taylor has had a great start to her career here, she battles really hard,” he said. “There were a couple of things for her to learn from, [but] she’s not going to be making those mistakes moving forward. We’re very excited about what she’s bringing to the table.”

The Cascades now look ahead to a home series vs. the MacEwan Griffins next weekend. Game 1 tips off on Friday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. at the EAC, followed by a 5 p.m. start on Saturday.

The Heat host their home openers next Friday (6 p.m. start) and Saturday (5 p.m.) vs. the UNBC Timberwolves.

Men’s Soccer: Cascades claim Canada West bronze with 2-1 win over Spartans

For the second time in three years, the UFV Cascades are Canada West men’s soccer bronze medalists.

The Cascades earned the final spot on the conference podium on the strength of a 2-1 win over the Trinity Western Spartans on Saturday evening at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium.

Connor MacMillan had a huge night for UFV – the fourth-year midfielder from Chilliwack opened the scoring on a penalty kick in the 46th minute (off a foul in the box that he drew), and he later set up Michael Mobilio for what turned out to be the game-winning goal in the 72nd minute.

The Spartans made the Cascades sweat down the stretch, as Aidan Moore scored in the 84th minute to cut the deficit in half, but UFV hung on for the victory.

“I’m really proud,” Cascades head coach Tom Lowndes said. “They’re a fantastic group to coach, and I think we deserved it over the course of the season. It’s huge for the program, and a really nice way to finish the season.”

Both UFV and TWU were coming off deflating semifinal defeats on Friday with national championship berths on the line. The Cascades had fallen 3-0 to the Final Four host UBC Thunderbirds, while the Spartans had dropped a 2-1 decision to the UVic Vikes.

The first half between the two Valley rivals was a defensive struggle, as neither team could really break into the final third to create many quality scoring chances.

In the 28th minute, the Spartans got one of their first really good shots on target, as from 25 yards out, midfielder Elijah Adekugbe sent a terrific free kick at UFV goalkeeper Alex Skretza. Skretza was up to the challenge, as he made a great stop moving to his left.

The Cascades got a nice opportunity to create some havoc with a set-piece of their own in the 43rd minute, when a long-range kick found its way into a crowded Trinity Western 18-yard box. Amidst the heavy traffic, Spartans keeper Andrew Hicks did well to track the ball in the air, and just managed to punch it away from danger before the Cascades could pounce.

Coming out of the halftime break, the Cascades wasted no time breaking the scoreless deadlock. MacMillan took a deep run into Trinity Western territory and weaved his way into the Spartans’ box, only to be hauled down for a penalty kick. He stepped up to the spot and made no mistake, beating Hicks clean.

It took 25 more minutes, but UFV eventually got the all-important second goal. On a throw-in from the right sideline, MacMillan made a fantastic play to receive the ball, turn and deliver a quick chip into the path of Mobilio, who finished with authority from in close.

Trinity Western finally got on the board when forward Cody Fransen lobbed it up to first-year man Aidan Moore. The midfielder did well to race onto the ball in space down the right flank, and wire a shot past Skretza.

But the Spartans couldn’t find the equalizer, and UFV walked away with the win – and Canada West bronze. It matched the best-ever conference finish for the Cascades, who had also taken third in 2013 under former bench boss Alan Errington.

“It was a slow start for both teams – you could tell, emotionally, how much yesterday’s games took out of us and Trinity,” said Lowndes, who took the helm of the Cascades this season after Errington’s retirement.

“As the first half wore on, we got a foothold in the game and started to press them a bit more. We didn’t want halftime to come. And then obviously getting the penalty right after halftime kind of lifted us.

“As we like to do, we made it interesting at the end by letting them back in. But we defended well, and we saw the game out. Fantastic result for the boys.”

MacMillan said his “head wasn’t in it” in the first half, as he was still processing the disappointment of Friday’s semifinal defeat.

I wanted to make nationals really bad, and I felt like this was the year to do it,” he explained. “Tom took me off part-way through the first half and him and (assistant coach) Mike (Newton) talked to me and said, ‘We’ll put you back in in the second half – just make a difference and play the way we know you can play and the game will go well.’ I just took their advice, and it helped. It feels good (to win bronze).”

After the game, the Cascades hoisted right back Colton O’Neill – the lone fifth-year player on the squad – into the air in celebration of the final game of his university career.

O’Neill said that winning another Canada West medal was a “nice way to end the five years.” He was caught by surprise, though, when his teammates sent him airborne.

“It was a bit crazy to be honest, but it was a nice gesture by the guys,” he said with a chuckle. “They’re really good friends, so it was nice of them to do something like that for me. I’m just glad they didn’t drop me.”

Lowndes reflected on O’Neill’s legacy on the occasion of his last game as a Cascade.

“There’s not much you can say about Colton O’Neill that hasn’t already been said,” he said. “The kid’s a winner. Fantastic player, a privilege to coach, an all-around first-class person. And by far, for me, probably the best player to ever play for this program.”

 

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