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UFV Sports Friday

Abbotsford -Men’s Basketball: Dhillon leads balanced attack as Cascades notch preseason win over Spartans

Vijay Dhillon knocked down five three-pointers en route to a team-high 19 points as the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team beat the Trinity Western Spartans 90-81 in preseason action on Friday.

Playing at the Langley Events Centre, Dhillon got plenty of offensive support. Mark Johnson came off the bench to stuff the stat sheet with 18 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, while power forward Nate Brown registered 18 points and eight boards. Manny Dulay (15 points) also scored in double figures for the Cascades, while Kelvin Smith’s game-high 25 points  and 11 rebounds paced the Spartans.

The two teams complete their home-and-home exhibition set on Saturday at UFV’s Envision Athletic Centre. Tip-off is at 6 p.m., and admission is by donation of a non-perishable food item for the Abbotsford Food Bank.

The Cascades raced out to a 10-point lead after 10 minutes on Saturday and never trailed, stretching the lead as high as 29 points in the final minute of the third quarter. The Spartans made a spirited run in the fourth quarter, scoring 36 points in the frame to account for nearly half their total output, and managed to trim the UFV cushion back to single digits in the last minute of regulation.

“We showed that we can play pretty well; we also showed that we can sometimes play not very well,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen analyzed with a wry chuckle. “Consistency in our play, even when the situation is what it is and we have a comfortable lead, is a skill that we’ve just got to get better at.”

TWU was led by the three-pronged attack of Smith, Dean Richey (19 points, 13 rebounds) and Lucas Mannes (15 points, 10 boards), who each had double-doubles.

“There were a lot of positives to take from tonight,” said Spartans first-year head coach Aaron Muhic, who was coaching in his first game against a CIS opponent. “We didn’t play great offensively for 40 minutes, but I really felt Matt Blackaby and Lucas came to compete and left it all out there on the floor. It’s something we can build on for sure.”

Dhillon, a Richmond, B.C. product in his second year with the Cascades, went 5-for-9 from beyond the arc and chipped in with three assists.

“I love his mindset this year,” Friesen said. “He’s much more aggressive, much more assertive in his play . . . he’s looking to be a playmaker. That’s going to be big for our offence this season.”

Women’s Basketball: Cascades fall to host Cougars at exhibition tourney

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team had its hands full with the Regina Cougars on Friday evening, dropping an 86-48 decision to the host team at the Cougar Classic preseason tournament.

The Cougars raced out to a 21-4 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Cascades, coming off a 92-58 loss to the Saskatchewan Huskies on Thursday, battled hard the rest of the way but weren’t able to close the gap.

“Not a great game for us tonight,” said Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer, whose team has been without veterans Katie Brink, Hailey Kendall and Kendra Arnold this week due to injury. “We’re just not ready for this calibre of play, especially shorthanded. These teams are really exploiting a lot of things we’re not ready to take on yet.

“The girls, into the fourth quarter, were still giving effort, which was a positive sign,” Tuchscherer added. “We just have a lot of work to do . . . It’s a real eye-opener for everybody.”

Shayna Cameron paced the Cascades with 17 points, while Kayli Sartori chipped in with 14 points and rookie Taylor Claggett hauled down a game-high 10 rebounds.

Britton Belyk did much of the damage for the Cougars – she came off the bench to knock down 4-of-5 attempts from beyond the arc, en route to a game-high 20 points. Katie Polischuk (13 points) and Alyssia Kajati (10) also scored in double figures for the hosts, who shot 44.4 per cent from the field compared to UFV’s 26.5.

UFV wraps up its run at the Cougar Classic against the Guelph Gryphons on Saturday morning (10 a.m. Central time).

Womens Soccer: Spartans edge Cascades 2-1

In a battle of Canada West heavyweights, the Trinity Western Spartans edged the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades 2-1 on Friday evening at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

The Spartans built a 2-0 lead on goals by Krista Gommeringer and Alessandra Oliverio, before Danica Kump drew the CIS No. 6-ranked Cascades back to within a goal in the 88th minute. Trinity Western withstood UFV’s frantic flurry at the finish, though, to hand the Cascades their second loss of the season.

The Spartans (6-1-2, 20 points) leapfrogged the Cascades (6-2-1, 19 points) for second place in the West Division. The two teams complete their home-and-home set on Tuesday at Trinity Western’s Rogers Field (5 p.m. kickoff).

“It was a good game,” Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht said. “I thought we got punished for a few mistakes that we made. Not many chances were created by either team – it was more of a fight in midfield.

“But we kept pressing on. I’m proud of the girls for not quitting, proud of them for keeping on fighting, and we were rewarded with a late goal to make it interesting. We just kind of ran out of time.”

In a rematch of last season’s Canada West finals, the Cascades had a great chance in the opening minute. Kump, a fourth-year midfielder, took the ball down the right wing and crossed it into the box for Monika Levarsky at point-blank range. She wasn’t able to make solid contact, though – the ball brushed off her forehead and continued on through the box.

In the third minute, Gommeringer took a feed from Jenaya Robertson and tested Cascades keeper Kayla Klim from the right, but Klim was equal to the task.

Gommeringer broke through in the 36th minute. Seina Kashima crossed the ball into the box from the left wing, where Klim and Spartan forward Rachel Hutchinson contested for possession. Hutchinson won out as the ball fell to the near post where Gommeringer was waiting. She had an easy touch into the net to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

Gommeringer’s eventful night continued as she drove a free kick on goal in the 62nd minute. Klim got to the ball and punched it away, but Oliverio was first to the ball and drove the rebound into the top of the net.

The Cascades answered back in the late going. Tristan Corneil cracked the ball on goal from 30 yards out, and it dipped in front of TWU keeper Ally Williamson, whose only move was to push the ball away from goal. A trio of Cascade attackers swarmed the ball with Kump getting the final touch before it spun over the goal line.

That would be as close as UFV would come, but they’re relishing the opportunity to take another crack at the Spartans on Tuesday.

“Honestly, I wish we could play them again tomorrow,” said Cascades midfielder Sunayna Samra, who was her team’s player of the game selection. “I know Tuesday’s soon, but I wish it was sooner. That that’s what the rest of the girls think, too – we want to get at them again.”

Men’s Soccer: Davidson’s hat trick powers Cascades to 4-1 win over Spartans

Daniel Davidson’s hat trick ensured that the final regular season home game of fifth-year captain Colton O’Neill’s varsity career was a successful one.

Davidson, a second-year forward with the University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team, came into Friday’s game against the Trinity Western Spartans without a goal on the season. By night’s end he had three, as the Cascades prevailed 4-1 in a pivotal Pacific Division clash at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

Fellow striker James Najman also had a big game for the Cascades, notching a pair of assists and setting the table for Davidson’s third goal of the night by drawing a foul in the box that led to a penalty kick.

The win allowed UFV (5-3-1, 16 points) to leapfrog the Victoria Vikes for second place in the Pacific Division. The Spartans (3-3-1, 10 points) sit fourth.

The venue switches in favour of the Spartans on Tuesday when the two teams clash again at Rogers Field on the TWU campus in Langley (7:15 p.m. kickoff).

It was Senior Night for O’Neill, UFV’s outstanding right back, and he was honoured in an on-field ceremony prior to the game.

“It’s nice on your senior night to go out with a bang, and we said before the game that Colton deserved that,” Cascades head coach Tom Lowndes said afterward. “I’m really pleased with the effort, the desire, the work rate. We were first-class all over tonight. We wanted it.”

The Cascades parlayed the pregame festivities into an early lead. In the third minute, O’Neill’s brother Connor sent midfielder Kree Byrne down the right wing where he delivered a low cross into the box. The ball skipped to Davidson who struck it past TWU goalkeeper Andrew Hicks to open the scoring.

UFV keeper Alex Skrzeta kept the Spartans off the scoresheet with a big stop in the 26th minute. Winger Jarvis Ambaka outpaced Connor O’Neill down the left flank and put the ball across goal where Leighton Johnson got on the end of it, but the Spartans striker shot the ball right at Skrzeta.

The Cascades doubled their lead in the 34th minute after some great pressure by Najman. Spartan defender Kalem Scott tried to escape the UFV forward’s pursuit but couldn’t get away as Najman tracked the ball and touched it back to the oncoming Connor MacMillan. MacMillan took full advantage, slotting the ball past the outstretched arms of Hicks.

Davidson notched his second goal of the game six minutes into the second half. Cascades midfielder Justin Sekhon played the ball forward to Najman, who deftly flicked it to Davidson. He bore down on goal and made no mistake, lifting the ball under the crossbar to give UFV a 3-0 lead.

Moments later, Najman made his presence felt again as he hustled into the box and moved the ball past Spartan defender Taylor Johnson. With Najman charging, Johnson had no choice but to bring the fourth-year forward down. On the ensuing penalty kick, Davidson slotted the ball down the center of the goal to earn the hat trick and ring up the Cascade lead to four.

Trinity Western got one back in the 74th minute. Cascade defender Sukhjit Dhaliwal was whistled for a penalty just outside the 18, giving Elijah Adekugbe a free kick from a prime location. The second-year midfielder struck the ball flush, curling it around the wall and into the bottom right corner of the net.

In the aftermath, Lowndes said he was pleased to see Davidson break through offensively.

“He deserves that,” Lowdnes said. “Dan’s had a bit of a rough time – he hadn’t scored yet this season, and when he does, he scores three. We told him to stay positive and keep working, and it was going to happen. You see it in training – day in and day out, he scores goals.”

“It’s nice to score, obviously, but it’s a team effort,” Davidson said. “As long as someone’s scoring, I’m happy with that. But it was nice to see the ball come my way a couple times, and I was there are the right place and the right time, and was able to put it in the back of the net.”

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