Winnipeg (with files from David Larkins, Winnipeg Athletics) – The University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team battled to secure its first point of the young Canada West season, tying the Winnipeg Wesmen 2-2 on the road Friday evening.
Tavia Jasper and Sarah Parker scored for the Cascades (0-2-1), who look to notch their first win Saturday at the Manitoba Bisons (6 p.m. Central time / 4 p.m. Pacific).
UFV head coach Rob Giesbrecht felt his charges had the momentum for most of the game, but suffered a lull during the last 15 minutes of the first half – a stretch which yielded both goals for the host Wesmen (0-1-2), via Maeghan Lindsay and Shae-Lynn Dodds.
“You can’t do that in Canada West,” Giesbrecht noted. “Second half, I thought we were the better team but I don’t think we created enough high-quality chances. At the end of the day, our execution let us down.
“We’re disappointed to drop points, but credit to our opponents – they were hard-working and made it tough for us, and they took advantage of the opportunities we gave them.”
The Cascades opened the scoring in the 10th minute. Harneet Dadrao sent a corner kick into the box, and Simi Lehal flicked the ball to the back post where rookie midfielder Jasper was there to bang it home. It was the first career Canada West goal for the Langley, B.C. product.
The Wesmen swung possession their way late in the half and were rewarded with a pair of goals. First, Jasper was yellow-carded inside box in the 37th minute, which led to a penalty kick for Lindsay. The fourth-year forward struck with confidence and the Wesmen pulled even.
Six minutes later, Dodds benefited from a rebound to her foot and she one-timed in for her second goal of the season.
In the 51st minute, Parker got on the end of Brittney Zacharuk’s corner, coaxing it across the goal line for her first of the campaign to draw the Cascades level.
UFV first-year keeper Andrea Perkovic made five saves on seven shots on goal, while Madison Fordyce made four saves on six shots for the Wesmen.
“I’m proud of my girls for how the played for most of the game,” Giesbrecht said. “We just need to keep our foot on the gas the entire time and not have a lull. It’s tough to learn these lessons without getting the points – we’ve got to start banking some points pretty quick.”