Men’s Soccer: Peat’s late goal sends Cascades back to Canada West playoffs
The University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team punched its playoff ticket in dramatic fashion, as Andrew Peat’s goal in second-half injury time sent the Cascades past the UNBC Timberwolves 1-0.
Playing at MRC Sports Complex on Friday evening, Peat sent the home fans into hysterics, leaping to head home a picture-perfect cross from Parman Minhas at the left post, just out of the reach of UNBC keeper Rob Goodey, who had turned aside 11 previous UFV shots on the night.
The victory boosts the Cascades’ record to 7-6-1, and they leapfrog the Timberwolves (5-4-5) for third place in the Pacific Division. More importantly, they can no longer be caught by fifth-place Thompson Rivers or sixth-place Victoria in the race for the division’s four playoff berths.
UFV and UNBC lock horns again on Saturday in the Canada West regular-season finale for both teams (6:30 p.m., MRC Sports Complex).
“When you score a 90th-minute winner, it’s a fantastic way to win a game – there’s nothing better,” Cascades head coach Tom Lowndes, whose team outshot the T-Wolves 23-9. “But I thought we deserved it tonight. We were really good for large parts of the game. . . . We just couldn’t seem to put one away. It’s a credit to this team that they have that fight and belief that we’ll keep going until the last minute of the game. It was obviously fantastic to get the win at the end.”
The Cascades had the lion’s share of possession over the first 25 minutes on Friday, but Goodey and the T-Wolves were up to the task. UFV got a good chance in the ninth minute when Minhas got on the end of Gurmaan Jhaj’s free kick, but Goodey was there for the save. Moments later, Minhas ventured into the box on the counterattack, but Goodey denied him again.
The T-Wolves found some traction as the half wore on, and Owen Stewart and Jonah Smith both sent headers over the crossbar.
Early in the second half, Smith had another great look at goal, but Cascades keeper David Hicks dove to his left to make the stop. At the other end, Peat sent a terrific cross in from the left and Jhaj got his foot on it from point-blank range, but Goodey made an outstanding reflexive save to tip it over the bar.
Goodey continued to stand tall, diving to stop David Parfett’s drive in the 69th minute and stymieing Minhas yet again in the 77th.
The T-Wolves had a great chance in the 86th when a cross from the left found its way to Michael Henman at the far side of the goal, but his volley went off a teammate in front.
That set the stage for Peat, who came through with a terrific finish for his fifth goal of the season.
The result sends the Cascades back to the Canada West playoffs after a one-year absence – they had been post-season qualifiers for four consecutive years (2013-2016) before missing out last season.
“I thought it was a really good team effort tonight,” Lowndes summarized. “You can see there at the end how much it means to the boys. They’re a really close-knit group, and it was really great to see.”
Women’s Soccer (with files from Braedan Willis, UVic Athletics): Zacharuk’s goals, Sandhu’s saves spark Cascades to 2-0 road win over UVic
Brittney Zacharuk and Joven Sandhu were among the heroes as the University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team punched its post-season ticket with an impressive 2-0 road win over the Victoria Vikes on Friday evening.
Zacharuk accounted for both goals, giving her nine on the season and moving into a tie for first in Canada West with UBC’s Danielle Steer. Sophomore goalkeeper Sandhu, meanwhile, counted a penalty-kick save among her six stops on the night, as she banked her third shutout of the campaign.
The Cascades improved to 5-5-3 for 18 points, good for fifth in the Pacific Division, while the fourth-place Vikes fell to 6-6-1 (19 points). Both teams play their Canada West regular-season finales on Saturday, and UFV has a chance to overhaul the Vikes for fourth if they can beat the UBC Thunderbirds (6:30 p.m. in Vancouver, CanadaWest.tv) and the Vikes lose or tie vs. the Trinity Western Spartans.
“It gives us confidence,” said Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht, whose team will appear in the Canada West post-season for the seventh consecutive year. “We talked about different scenarios for getting into the playoffs, and I said to the girls, why don’t we just do it ourselves? They were excited about that. UVic is always a challenging opponent, and it was quite competitive.”
The Vikes had a couple good chances in the first half. In the 36th minute, Georgia Bignold’s corner kick would hit the far post before being cleared off the line UFV defender Amber Korner.
In the dying moments of the half, the Vikes were awarded a penalty kick. Not only did Sandhu stop the shot from the reigning U SPORTS female athlete of the week Rachel Baird, she recovered in time to deflect the rebound out of harm’s way.
The Cascades would be given their own opportunity to take the lead from a penalty kick early in the second half. After Simi Lehal was taken down the in box, Zacharuk made no mistake and gave the Cascades a 1-0 lead in 53rd minute.
Zacharuk would score her second of the night in the 67th. Harneet Dadrao’s through ball was placed perfectly, allowing Zacharuk to run onto the pass and fire it inside the far post past Victoria goalkeeper Puck Louwes. That would be all the Cascades would need.
“Brittany has been on fire this year,” Giesbrecht noted. “She has really stepped up her game this season and has led by example. She has been outstanding for us and her second goal tonight showed how she has developed into a strong finisher.”
Giesbrecht also lauded the play of his reserves – Tripat Sandhu, Kailyn Halvorson, Kate Fisher and Lehal all made their mark on the game off the bench.
Men’s Golf: Cascades rally to earn bronze medal at CCAA national championships
The University of the Fraser Valley men’s golf team climbed the podium at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Golf Championships for the ninth time in the last 12 seasons, battling their way to bronze on Friday in Medicine Hat, Alta.
Playing at Desert Blume Golf Club, the top-ranked Cascades found themselves in fourth place heading into Friday’s fourth and final round, but were able to rally to tie the Champlain St. Lawrence Lions at +19 for the week. The two teams each secured bronze, with the Andre-Laurendeau Boomerang winning gold at -14 and the Humber Hawks taking silver at -5.
Bronze wasn’t necessarily the medal the defending champion Cascades were dreaming of heading into the week, but head coach Chris Bertram pointed out that winning a national medal of any colour is a difficult feat.
“I’m really proud of how the guys rallied today to grab a spot on the podium,” he said. “Any time you can medal at a national championship, it’s cause to celebrate.”
Daniel Campbell was the Cascades’ top finisher – the reigning CCAA men’s individual champ and two-time All-Canadian carded rounds of 72, 69, 72 and 69 to finish at six-under for the week, tied for fourth overall. Andre-Laurendeau’s Laurent Desmarchais won the individual crown at -13.
“Daniel played incredible once again this week,” Bertram said. “From tee to green he was maybe the best player out there. If a few more putts had dropped for him, who knows where it might have ended up. But regardless, he should be really proud of how he defended his national championship title.”
UFV sophomore Ben Whiton, after opening with an 80 on Tuesday, was excellent for the balance of the week, shooting 71, 72 and 72 to finish tied for 17th at +7. Zach Olson (+8) tied for 19th, Kyle Claggett (+11) tied for 21st, and Cody Stewart (+16) tied for 30th.
“We didn’t have our best stuff this week, but I’m really happy with how this group stuck together and held each other up after a pretty poor first day,” Bertram said. “We have a special group of young men in this program, and I’m proud of each and every one of them.”
Cascades Womens Volleyball victorious, Men’s Volleyball drops tough five-setter in Cranbrook
Shaking off bus legs on their longest road trip of the season, the University of the Fraser Valley volleyball teams split a doubleheader on Friday evening in Cranbrook.
WVB: Cascades 3, Avalanche 1
The Cascades raced out to an early advantage, taking the first two sets by scores of 25-22 and 25-20. The host Avalanche clawed their way back into it with a 25-17 win in the third, but UFV closed out the match in emphatic fashion, 25-16 in the fourth.
Kim Bauder paced a balanced attack, racking up 10 kills to go with nine digs – both team-high totals. Amanda Matsui (nine kills), Hanna Hieltjes (six), Kristen McBride (four) and Alysha Cooper (three) also chipped in offensively for the winners. Taylor Whittall replied with a game-high 11 kills for COTR.
The Cascades (1-2) earned their first win of the young season, while the Avalanche fell to 1-4.
MVB: Avalanche 3, Cascades 2
After splitting the first two sets, the third proved pivotal, as the Avalanche outlasted the Cascades in a 28-26 marathon. The UFV squad bounced back to take the fourth 25-20, but ran out of gas in the fifth and fell 15-9.
Matt Whittall had a big night for the Cascades, hammering down 16 kills on 31 swings. Ben Friesen notchd nine kills, Landon Uy had seven, and Josh Fefchak had six, while setter Adam Frederickson handed out 30 assists. Friesen’s eight digs were a team-high.
The Avalanche (1-4) earned their initial victory of the campaign, while the Cascades (0-3) are still in search of a win.
The Cascades volleyball teams take another crack at the Avalanche on Saturday afternoon, with the women’s game set for 1 p.m. and the men following at 3 p.m. Webcast available at pacwestbc.tv.
Women’s Basketball: Cascades fall to Pronghorns in Edmonton exhibition action
The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team dropped a 71-64 decision to the Lethbridge Pronghorns on Friday afternoon at the Hoopfest Invitational Tournament, hosted by the Alberta Pandas.
The Cascades got a big game from Taylor Claggett, who netted 19 points to go with eight rebounds, and Amanda Thompson swished five three-pointers en route to a 16-point outing.
Despite the end result, UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer was pleased with the competitive spark his group showed.
“The girls played really hard today,” he said. “It was a real positive step forward for us. If we compete like that, we’ll be in a lot of ballgames this season.”
The Cascades wrap up the tourney on Saturday, facing the Victoria Vikes (1 p.m. Mountain / 12 p.m. Pacific). It’s a rematch of last year’s first-round Canada West playoff clash, which was won by the Vikes 91-62.
The UFV squad is gearing up for the opening weekend of Canada West conference play, Oct. 26-27 at home vs. Thompson Rivers. Games run next Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.) at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.