Abbotsford – Women’s Soccer: Lampen lights the lamp late, Cascades tie T-Birds 1-1

In the second meeting of the season between the UFV and UBC women’s soccer teams, the Cascades flipped the script on the Thunderbirds.

Back on Sept. 7 at UBC, the Cascades took a 1-0 lead into the dying minutes, only to have the T-Birds equalize in the 88th minute.

On Friday at MRC Sports Complex, it was UBC nursing a 1-0 advantage as the clock drained away, but host UFV drew even on a goal by Katie Lampen in the 86th minute.

The result left UFV at 2-2-3 in Canada West play, and while the T-Birds’ four-game win streak was snapped, they remain undefeated at 4-0-3.

“I love the heart of my team,” Cascades bench boss Rob Giesbrecht said. “They don’t quit, and they’re resilient. They kept going until they got a chance, and when the chance came, they capitalized.”

The Cascades got off to a strong start – forward Simi Lehal, in the seventh minute, made a nifty turn in the box and tested UBC keeper Emily Moore with a low shot, but Moore laid out for the save. Shortly thereafter, Brittney Zacharuk fired a nifty ball across to Lampen and she had a clean look, but wasn’t able to make clean contact and her shot went wide.

The Thunderbirds mustered a push of their own, and Sophie Damian forced UFV keeper Joven Sandhu into a leaping save to tip the ball over the crossbar in the 21st minute. On the ensuing corner kick off the foot of Emma Peckinpaugh, the ball fell to UBC’s Danielle Steer and she finished from close range to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

The T-Birds were flying to start the second half, but UFV’s Sandhu was up to the task. In the 50th minute, she tipped Peckinpaugh’s free kick over the bar. In the 60th, she robbed Natasha Klasios on a rising blast.

Those saves gave the Cascades the opportunity to equalize in the late going. Bryana Buttar played Lampen through down the right, and her initial shot was stopped by Moore. But the rebound came right back to her, and she used her knee to knock the ball over Moore’s head and into the net, sending the home crowd into hysterics.

UFV’s Lehal and UBC’s Steer were named their respective teams’ players of the match. Both goalkeepers also sparkled – Sandhu and Moore registered nine saves apiece.

Lampen, with her third of the season, moved into a tie with fellow rookie Bryana Buttar for the team goal-scoring lead.

“She’s just an honest player,” Giesbrecht said of Lampen. “She works hard, and she’s learning to play the game to her strengths. She’s got very good pace and is an assertive attacking player with a good nose for goal. One thing we really like about Katie is, she really takes coaching points well and applies them. The runs she makes are the things we ask her to do. She’s been a joy to have on our team this year.”

The Cascades host the UVic Vikes on Saturday (7 p.m.), while the T-Birds visit the Trinity Western Spartans (5 p.m.).

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