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UFV Sports Saturday

Men’s Soccer: Cascades fall to Seattle Pacific in final exhibition match

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team dropped a 3-0 decision on the road to the Seattle Pacific University Falcons on Saturday afternoon in their final preseason tune-up.

The Cascades, coming off a 2-2 tie with the Simon Fraser University Clan on Thursday, spotted the host Falcons two early goals and were unable to mount a comeback.

Head coach Tom Lowndes’s side wrapped up its exhibition schedule with a 2-2-2 record. They open the Canada West regular season next weekend with a pair of games – Friday vs. the Thompson Rivers WolfPack, and Saturday vs. the UBC Okanagan Heat. Both games kick off at 8 p.m. at MRC Sports Complex, Field 4.

“Preseason is about creating an identity for how you want to play, and I think we’ve done that,” Lowndes said. “The result didn’t go our way today, but we’ll be good to go on Friday.”

The Falcons are two-time defending Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) champions, and they’re No. 2 in the NCAA Div. II conference’s preseason coaches poll this year.

Against a quality opponent, the Cascades did themselves no favours by conceding a goal off a set piece five minutes in, and allowing another shortly thereafter. Lowndes felt that on all three Seattle Pacific goals, his team made correctable errors.

“When you’re facing a very good team, it’s an uphill battle when you’re down 2-0 after 15 minutes,” he said, noting that the play rookie forward Nate Trampleasure was a bright spot for the Cascades. “We showed more fight in the second half, which was good to see, but I think Thursday night took a lot out of us and we weren’t at our best today.”

Women’s Soccer: Cascades tie Cavaliers in preseason finale

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team wrapped up its exhibition schedule with a 1-1 draw at home against the Concordia Cavaliers on Saturday afternoon.

Third-year forward Monika Levarsky notched her fifth goal in five preseason games for the Cascades, while Karlie Hurley replied for the Cavaliers, an NCAA Div. II program from Portland, Ore.

The UFV side finished the preseason with a 3-1-1 record, and opens the Canada West regular season next Friday against the Trinity Western Spartans (5:30 p.m., MRC Sports Complex, Field 4).

Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht felt his squad could have been sharper in the first half against Concordia, but was pleased with how they turned things around after the break.

“It was a little bit frustrating (in the first half),” he analyzed. “We weren’t dangerous – we were playing it safe a bit too much, and not being assertive in our attack, getting more high-quality scoring chances and getting more numbers forward.

“But I was proud of how we responded in the second half. A couple players stepped up and delivered a nice goal for us.”

Both teams had their chances during a scoreless opening half. In the early minutes, Levarsky had a clean look from inside the box, but her drive was tipped over the bar by Cavaliers keeper Olivia Brock. Later on, Concordia’s Kayla Braunthal was sprung on a breakaway, only to send her shot over the bar.

The Cavaliers opened the scoring in the 49th minute. Three Concordia players got away on a counterattack against two Cascades defenders, and Hurley took a pass from Bobbi Eckler and launched a rising strike past UFV keeper Kayla Klim.

The Cascades got the equalizer in the 62nd – Amanda Carruthers made a great run down the left and fed the ball across neatly to Levarsky, who finished from close range.

Both teams came close to adding to their total – UFV’s Simi Lehal and Concordia’s Ana Delgadillo each sent headers off the post from close range, and Lehal had a rising shot tipped over the bar by Cavaliers keeper Anna Miller.

Both teams split the goalkeeping duties, with Emily Harold coming off the UFV bench in the 61st minute in relief of Klim.

Positive signs for Giesbrecht included veterans Levarsky and Carruthers forming a strong partnership up front, and a sharp performance from starting keeper Klim. The Cascades bench boss also had plaudits for rookie strikers Lehal and Shayla Phipps.

“I thought Shayla Phipps was fantastic – that was her best game for us yet,” Giesbrecht said. “Simi Lehal had some great chances late and showed what she’s capable of, which was really exciting for us.”

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