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UFV Friday Sports Wrap

Abbotsford, BC – WSOC: Corneil’s curling corner lifts Cascades past WolfPack

As she placed the ball for a corner kick in the 81st minute of Friday’s clash with the Thompson Rivers Wolfpack, UFV Cascades left back Tristan Corneil wasn’t terribly thrilled with how her evening was going.

By her own assessment, she’d been struggling with her free kicks all night. And to compound matters, roughly 15 minutes earlier, she’d unleashed a long drive from the left wing that went over the outstretched arm of TRU keeper Taylor Shantz, off the crossbar, curled high in the air, bounced off the turf just in front of the goal line, and spun back into the net. But the apparent goal was waved off – the officials ruling the ball had gone out of bounds.

The next swing of her left foot, though, improved Corneil’s mood considerably.

She launched a ball that curled directly on goal, and Shantz and UFV left back Jade Palm went after it. The ball went off Shantz’s hands and dropped to the turf just inside the goal line to give the Cascades a 1-0 lead.

That would be the final margin of victory at Abbotsford Senior Secondary, as the CIS No. 7-ranked Cascades improved to 2-0-1 on the season. The WolfPack fell to 2-2-1.

“It was getting frustrating,” Corneil acknowledged with a smile afterward. “On that last corner, I was like, ‘I need to put this in . . . (UFV head coach) Rob (Giesbrecht) going to take away my corner kicks if I don’t score this goal right now!’”

The Cascades are back in action at Abby Senior on Saturday – they host the UBC Okanagan Heat at 5 p.m. The WolfPack visit the Trinity Western Spartans in another 5 p.m. start.

The first half was evenly matched with both teams playing strong defensively and trying to feel each other out.

The WolfPack came out and pressed offensively for the opening minutes of the second half, with fifth-year forwards Katie Sparrow and Jaydene Radu both testing Cascades goalkeeper Kayla Klim from in close. Sparrow saw her effort on goal smothered by Klim while Radu’s shot sailed high.

That was as close as TRU would come.

UFV’s attack came to life as they the worked the ball quickly out of transition and moved forward with purpose.

The Cascades thought they had broken through in the 65th minute on Corneil’s shot from distance, but referees convened and determined that the ball was briefly out of play before landing.

Corneil, though, would find her goal in the 81st minute.

“She could have had two today,” Giesbrecht noted afterward. “The decision of an assistant referee or a head official, those are beyond our control. When you think you’ve scored and it’s called back, you can’t let it frustrate you. You’ve got to keep going, keep doing the positive things, and we did. I guess justice was served with Tristan getting the late winner.

“It was a grind, and we knew it was going to be a grind. TRU is a team that always puts a good shift in and makes it frustrating for us. They’re well-coached, quite well-organized, and difficult to break down. I thought their keeper was really good today, and we knew it would have to be something special to beat her.”

Corneil said she was trying to score directly from her corner kick, and she credited Cascades goalkeeper Dennis Aere for spending a lot of time working with her on her kicks over the summer.

“We’d go out and practice my free kicks from every different angle,” she said. “He really helped me and encouraged me a lot. It’s really good having him on the bench being like, ‘Hey T, you have this. We did this all the time.’”

MSOC: Cascades edged 3-2 by Thunderbirds

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team dropped a wild 3-2 decision to the UBC Thunderbirds in their Canada West home opener Friday night at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

It was a frantic, back-and-forth affair as both teams took turns testing the opposing goal, and racking up 24 fouls and four yellow cards amongst them in the process.

“It was kind of a game of two halves,” Cascades head coach Tom Lowndes analyzed. “First half, we were lackadaisical. We kind of sat off them a little bit and weren’t as close and as tight as we needed to be.

“In the second half, we came out and pressured them. When we got the second goal, it was a momentum change. We were pressing them for a good 35 minutes in the second half, and to be brutally honest, we were unlucky not to take something from the game.”

The CIS No. 7-ranked Thunderbirds opened the scoring the 16th minute off the foot of Sean Einarsson. UBC forward Gagan Dosanjh drove hard down the left wing before playing the ball into the box and found Einarsson charging. His left-footed strike found the netting to the left of Cascades goalkeeper Alex Skrzeta.

The Thunderbirds would double their lead in the 30th minute after Dosanjh’s strike took a tricky deflection off UFV defender Tammer Byrne. All Skrzeta could do was watch the looping ball sail over his head and into the goal.

UFV would get one back in the latter stages of the first half. A well-executed give-and-go down the left flank between Daniel Davidson and Justin Sekhon allowed Davidson to get in behind the T-Birds’ back line and deliver a cross to Kree Byrne. Byrne laid out to deliver a header back across the goal.

UBC started the second half much the same way they began the game. In the 50th minute, Harry Lakhan stretched their lead to two after an errant Cascade clearance from a UBC corner kick fell to him just outside the box. Lakhan struck a rocket off the inside of the post, past the outstretched arms of Skrzeta.

It wouldn’t take long for the Cascades to answer back. James Najman capitalized on a ball into the box from second-year midfielder Mason Thompson, setting the stage for an exciting finish. After beating UBC goalie Chad Bush to the ball, Najman struck the ball into the net over the prone keeper to cut the Thunderbirds’ lead to one.

The two teams would exchange chances for the remaining minutes but neither one could find another goal. The win boosts UBC’s record to 1-0-1 while the Cascades now sit at 1-2-0 on the season.

Next up for UFV is a return to Abbotsford Senior Secondary on Saturday night, when they will try for their first home victory of the season vs. the Victoria Vikes. Start time is 7:30 p.m.

Najman noted that despite facing a pair of two-goal deficits against the formidable T-Birds, the Cascades never quit.

“We knew to keep going and fighting,” he said. “And once that second goal came, the fire started going within the team. We started getting so hyped up for the game, and we put everything we could onto the field. It was unfortunate that it didn’t end up 3-3. We had our chances to keep going, but we got unlucky. But we know we can come back from this and we can get a win tomorrow.”

WBB: Dinos rally past Cascades in second half

It was a tale of two halves for the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team in their first exhibition game of the fall.

In the opener of a two-game preseason set at the Envision Athletic Centre on Friday evening vs. the Calgary Dinos, the Cascades got off to a solid start. They built leads of 19-12 and 32-25 at the end of the first two quarters, and limited the visiting Dinos to 35 per cent shooting from the field.

In the second half, though, Calgary’s offence ignited. They shot 62 per cent from the field the rest of the way, en route to a 69-57 win.

The two teams clash again on Saturday at 6 p.m. on the Abbotsford campus.

“It was a good test for a lot of our new kids tonight, playing an experienced, long Calgary team,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer analyzed. “We had some successes early in the game, and then in the second half, things fell apart a little bit for us and the game got away.”

The third quarter was the Cascades’ undoing – the Dinos out-scored them 24-11 in the frame, and Tuchscherer termed it a “really sloppy” stretch for his squad at both ends of the floor.

“You’re kind of trying to adjust on the fly with a bunch of new players, and that’s a bit of a challenge,” he noted.

UFV’s Kayli Sartori, back for her fourth season with the Cascades after taking the 2014-15 season off, led the squad with a game-high 25 points. Thompson Rivers transfer Sydney Williams chipped in with nine points on 3-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc, and fellow transfer Shayna Cameron (formerly of Quest University) scored eight points.

Claire Colburne paced a balanced Dinos attack with 14 points, while Anmol Mattu (13 points), Kelsey Lund (11) and Kristie Sheils (10) also scored in double figures.

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