UFV Sports Friday

Women’s Soccer: Spartans edge Cascades on Robertson’s late goal

ABBOTSFORD – A goal from Jenaya Robertson in the 83rd minute lifted the Trinity Western Spartans to a 2-1 victory over the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades in the first game of the Canada West women’s soccer regular season on Friday evening.

Playing in rainy conditions at MRC Sports Complex, the Spartans (1-0-0) opened the scoring early in the second half on a penalty kick by Isabella Di Trocchio, but the Cascades (0-0-1) equalized less than seven minutes later courtesy Danica Kump.

Trinity Western, No. 3 in the CIS national rankings, got the winner after Seina Kashima sent a ball through the box that eluded a series of Cascades defenders and came to Robertson at the top of the box. She unleashed a shot that found the bottom right corner, just out of the reach of UFV keeper Kayla Klim.

“I’m really proud of the girls for how hard they fought,” Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht said. “I thought we played really well at times, but broke down once or twice, and you can’t do that against a team of the class of our opponent tonight. But I liked how we got back in the game, and started to use some of our athleticism and pace going forward.”

The scoreless first half was a soggy affair – a steady drizzle began in the 25th minute, and became a downpour as halftime neared.

The Spartans were awarded a controversial penalty kick in the 50th minute – UFV defender Karlee Pedersen was judged to have handled the ball in the area, but the home team felt the ball had in fact hit her in the chest. In any event, Di Trocchio stepped to the spot and sent a hard shot towards the bottom right corner. Klim got a piece of it, but the ball trickled off her fingertips and inside the post.

Monika Levarsky and Kump combined to level the score for the Cascades. Levarsky was sent in on the left side, and whipped the ball across the goalmouth to a hard-charging Kump, who blasted a shot under a diving TWU keeper Ally Williamson.

The Cascades found some traction at that point, but were unable to net another, opening the door for Robertson in the late going.

The next games for both the Cascades and Spartans come on the road next weekend. UFV faces the Regina Cougars on Saturday, and the Saskatchewan Huskies on Sunday. The Spartans play the inverse schedule, taking on Sask on Saturday and Regina on Sunday.

Men’s Soccer: Cascades win home opener behind Davidson’s goal

ABBOTSFORD – A first-half goal by Daniel Davidson ensured that the University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team emerged victorious in its first league game at its new home pitch.

Davidson’s goal came in the 35th minute, and stood up as the game-winner as the Cascades earned a 1-0 triumph over the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on a rainy Friday evening at MRC Sports Complex.

The WolfPack (1-2-0), coming off an impressive 4-0 victory over the Victoria Vikes last Sunday, made a push in the second half, but were unable to convert against a Cascades squad (1-0-0) which was playing its first Canada West regular-season match after an opening-weekend bye.

“The first game is always a little bit nervy – the preseason is a lot different,” Cascades head coach Tom Lowndes noted afterward. “The lads came out with a lot of energy, which we knew they would. I think first half, we were really good, scored a really good goal and could have had a couple more.

“And then the second half, the tide changed a little bit. We had to defend for long periods, but good teams defend as a unit and defend well, and I think we did. It’s always nice to get that first win in the first game of the season.”

The Cascades were buzzing in the first half – Davidson nearly opened the scoring in the 26th minute when he got his head on the end of Connor MacMillan’s corner, but he sent it off the crossbar.

The third-year forward made good later in the half, though. After TRU keeper Claye Harsany made an initial save, the ball came to Davidson just outside the box, and he unleashed a shot which found the bottom corner.

Michael Mobilio nearly made it 2-0 shortly thereafter, but his shot from close range off a feed from James Najman hit the post.

The WolfPack, after being outshot 8-4 in the first half, managed a 5-4 edge in shots after the break but weren’t able to get anything past UFV keeper David Hicks, who was making his Cascades debut. One of their better looks came when they earned a free kick just outside the UFV box, but Mitchell Popadynetz sent his shot into a wall of Cascades defenders.

Lowndes was pleased with the way his backline, led by centre backs Tammer Byrne and Sukh Dhaliwal, held up against the WolfPack’s dangerous duo of Justin Donaldson and Ryan Glanville.

“Defensively, we were very solid,” he noted. “They had a couple of chances, but I liked our shape as a back four. They have a couple players who are a real handful and scored a lot of goals on the first weekend, and the way that we defended and limited their chances was very, very pleasing.”

The Cascades are at home on Saturday evening, taking on the UBC Okanagan Heat (8 p.m., MRC Sports Complex, Field 4), while TRU visits the Trinity Western Spartans (6:15 p.m.).

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