Men’s Soccer: Cascades limit T-Birds to scoreless draw
The University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team earned a point on the road against the No. 2-ranked team in the nation, fashioning a scoreless draw against the UBC Thunderbirds on Saturday evening at Thunderbird Stadium.
The Cascades were out-shot 7-2 by the host T-Birds, but keeper Alex Skrzeta and the UFV backline, led by Sukh Dhaliwal and Tammer Byrne, were up to the task.
UFV (2-1-1) maintained third place in the Pacific Division with a solid bounce-back effort in the wake of a disappointing 2-1 loss to the Victoria Vikes on Friday. UBC (4-0-2) stayed undefeated, and holds down second place in the Pacific.
The Cascades return to game action next weekend at home, as they welcome the MacEwan Griffins on Friday and the Mount Royal Cougars on Saturday. Both games kick off at 8 p.m. at MRC Sports Complex, Field 4.
“We knew coming in it was going to be tough, and that they would want to keep the ball and cause us problems,” UFV head coach Tom Lowndes said of the T-Birds. “We defended for our life at times, but to get a result against a quality team is positive.
“We didn’t keep the ball or move it as well as we did last night, but we were playing a very good team. We’ll take the point and move on to next weekend.”
The Thunderbirds had the bulk of possession in the first half, firing five shots compared to the Cascades’ one, but came up empty. UFV found some traction late in the frame, and were more dangerous going forward in the second half.
In the dying seconds of second-half injury time, the Cascades had a great chance to steal a victory when Daniel Davidson got on the end of Brady Weir’s cross. But UBC keeper Jason Roberts leaped to tip Davidson’s header just over the bar.
Afterward, Lowndes noted that his team now has three clean sheets in four games, matching their total from the entire 2015 season.
“I think the players have bought into the shape and how we want to defend,” he analyzed. “It comes down to work rate, and tonight, Tammer and Sukh were fantastic. When the top four defends well, it starts with them, and the whole team pitches in. That’s pleasing.”
Women’s Soccer: Cascades, Cougars battle to a draw in Regina
The University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team earned a draw in its first road game of the young Canada West season, battling the Regina Cougars to a 1-1 stalemate on Saturday afternoon in the Saskatchewan capital.
Cascades forward Gurneet Dhaliwal opened the scoring six minutes in, but the Cougars’ Brianna Wright leveled matters in the 30th minute, in what was the first conference game for Regina (0-0-1).
UFV (0-1-1) continues its road swing on Sunday in Saskatoon against the Saskatchewan Huskies (12 p.m. CST).
“Regina’s a hard-working team that made it frustrating for us,” Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht said. “It’s disappointing because the game was there for the taking for us today, and we just let our opponent hang around when we should have been able to take control.
“We scored six minutes in, and after that, we were playing really well but we couldn’t get that second goal. We allowed Regina to get a foothold in the game, and they hit a great shot from 30 yards out where there was nothing much we could do. In the second half, it felt like we hit the panic button early, didn’t get into our rhythm and didn’t have many quality chances.
“We’ve got to pick ourselves up and get ready for tomorrow.”
The Cascades got on the board after Amanda Carruthers sent a nice ball into the box from the left wing that Monika Levarsky fired on net. The shot was directly at Cougars keeper Ashton Lowry, who made the save, but the rebound landed right on the foot of Dhaliwal who put a quick shot past Lowry for her first goal of the season.
Regina would reply thanks to a beauty off the foot of Wright. Nikita Senko slipped a pass over to Wright who was moving down the central area of the field. Wright took a couple dribbles and hammered a perfectly placed strike from near the top of the box. Kayla Klim was well-positioned in net for the Cascades but her diving effort was no match for the third-year striker’s shot.
The second half passed with few good opportunities, although UFV had a chance in extra time to take back the lead. Carruthers took a feed on the left side of the box and had a decent angle at the net, but her shot hit Lowry right on and the keeper was able to hang on.
The Cougars outshot the Cascades 14-13 for the match, with seven Cougars shots and six Cascade efforts on target. Fifth-year centre back Tristan Corneil was UFV’s player of the game for the second straight outing.