UFV Weekend Sports Wrap

Abbotsford/Bellingham Men’s Soccer – The Western Washington Vikings handed the University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team its first loss of the preseason by a score of 2-0 on Saturday.

The Cascades had gone 2-0-1 on a stateside road trip earlier in the week, but came up short on a sweltering afternoon in Bellingham, Wash.

Eleazar Galvan, in the 19th minute, and Wesley Stark, in the 44th, scored the Vikings’ goals – both coming from close range on balls crossed into the box. Alex Skrzeta played the first 45 minutes in goal for the Cascades, and David Hicks took over in the second half.

UFV head coach Tom Lowndes wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance in the first half against their NCAA Div. II opponent, but felt the Cascades were better after the break.

“We didn’t defend as a unit (in the first half),” he said. “We gave them too much space and too much time to play, and some bad defending on the two goals had us down at half. After halftime, we started to dictate the play more and looked stronger defensively. We had some chances, but weren’t able to put them away. Still, the standard wasn’t where we need it to be, or what I expect from us.”

The Cascades have two more preseason games remaining. They host the Simon Fraser Clan on Thursday, Aug. 25 (7 p.m., MRC Sports Complex, Field 4), and visit the Seattle Pacific University Falcons on Saturday, Aug. 27 (2 p.m., Interbay Stadium).

UFV opens the Canada West regular season against the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on Friday, Sept. 2, and host the UBC Okanagan Heat on Saturday, Sept. 3. Both games kick off at 8 p.m. at MRC Sports Complex, Field 4.

Women’s Soccer Saturday- The University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team turned in another strong preseason performance on Saturday, defeating the Seattle Pacific University Falcons 4-1 on the road.

Monika Levarsky spearheaded the Cascades’ attack with a pair of goals, and Amanda Carruthers and Brittney Zacharuk added singles. Emily Harold (first half) and Kayla Klim (second half) split the goalkeeping chores.

The victory boosts the Cascades’ record to 2-1 on their current exhibition swing through Washington state. They earned a 4-2 win over the Western Washington Vikings on Wednesday, followed by a 2-0 loss to the St. Martin’s Saints on Thursday. All three opponents are NCAA Div. II programs.

UFV wraps up the jaunt with a Sunday tilt against the NCAA Div. III Pacific Lutheran University Lutes in Tacoma (4 p.m. kickoff).

“Strong performance by us today,” Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht analyzed. “I’m really proud of how hard we worked and how well we executed. SPU is an excellent team and this was great preparation for our upcoming season.”

Levarsky set the table for the Cascades’ first goal, winning the ball back from the Falcons and sending it ahead to Carruthers, who scored on the breakaway.

Zacharuk made it 2-0 with a calm finish in the area, and Levarsky converted a penalty kick after Shayla Phipps was fouled in the box, giving the Cascades a 3-0 lead at halftime.

Levarsky notched her second of the game early in the second half, and Seattle Pacific got one back in the latter stages.

“Monika Levarsky continues to be an attacking force for us – her pressing and finishing was outstanding,” Giesbrecht said. “Brittney Zacharuk had an excellent game in the midfield, she was strong on the ball, took her goal very well and worked extremely hard.”

Women’s Soccer Sunday – The University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team wrapped up a successful exhibition trip through Washington state with a 2-0 triumph over the Pacific Lutheran University Lutes on Sunday afternoon in Tacoma.

Third-year forward Monika Levarsky opened the scoring for the Cascades – her fourth goal of the four-game jaunt – just 35 seconds into the game on a solo run. Amber Korner made it 2-0 in the 14th minute off a pass from Shayla Phipps, and keepers Kayla Klim and Alexis Gore combined to keep the Lutes off the board.

“Great start to the game,” UFV head coach Rob Giesbrecht analyzed. “We were assertive in our attack and created many high-quality goal-scoring chances in the first 15 to 20 minutes. We lacked the execution to extend our lead but did possess the ball well. We were able to get everyone into the game today and give lots of time to players who hadn’t played a lot in our previous games. Good way to end our trip.”

The win boosted the Cascades’ record to 3-1 on the road swing, coming as it did on the heels of a 4-2 win over the Western Washington Vikings, a 2-0 loss to the St. Martin’s Saints, and a 4-1 win over the Seattle Pacific Falcons. Western Washington, St. Martin’s and Seattle Pacific are NCAA Div. II programs, while Pacific Lutheran is a member of NCAA Div. III.

Giesbrecht’s side wraps up the preseason with a home date against the Concordia University Cavaliers, another NCAA Div. II squad from Portland, Ore., on Saturday, Aug. 27 at MRC Sports Complex, Field 4.

The Cascades open the Canada West regular season Sept. 2 against their local rivals, the Trinity Western Spartans (5:30 p.m., MRC Sports Complex, Field 4).

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