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UFV Sports Friday – Tough Day on the Pitch for Both Soccer Teams, Losing to Valley Rivals TWU

Fraser Valley (Dan Kinvig) – Women’s Soccer Spartans pull away to top Cascades

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team saw a promising start dissolve late in the first half, as they dropped a 5-0 decision to the No. 2-ranked Trinity Western Spartans on the road in Langley on Friday.

Over the first half-hour, the Cascades had the bulk of the play in the Spartans’ half, out-shooting the hosts 5-2 during that stretch. They had a golden opportunity in the third minute when Halle McCambley intercepted a TWU pass and snuck off on a breakaway, but Spartans goalkeeper Hannah Miller came up with a big save.

TWU found traction late in the first half, and broke the ice in the 39th minute as Elizabeth Hicks converted off Sierra Halldorson’s free kick. Then, in first-half injury time, Anna Dunn made it 2-0 on the counterattack.

Hicks and Halldorson combined on another set-piece goal in the 49th minute, and Sarah Bazille and Dunn, with her second of the night, rounded out the scoring.

“It’s a matter of experience vs. lack of experience,” Cascades head coach Niko Marcina analyzed afterward. “Our players were giving it their all, and for 30 minutes, we had chances, had moments. As a result of not capitalizing, also as a result of taking our foot off the gas pedal a tad bit, we allowed Trinity to have those half-chances. Because of their experience and quality, they put those half-chances away.

“The first goal, we were OK with it, but the second one before half just put us in the dumps and we couldn’t get over that.

“But we’re going to reset . . . we’re going to move forward.”

The two teams conclude the weekend series on Saturday in Langley (5 p.m., presented by Co-op).

Men’s Soccer – Cascades blanked by Spartans

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team weathered a tough night on the road, falling 3-0 to the Trinity Western Spartans on Friday in Langley.

The game pivoted after Cascades starting goalkeeper Joben Mander exited due to injury following a collision in the 23rd minute. Backup keeper Jackson Cowx came in cold off the bench with the Spartans lining up for a corner, and the ball ended up in the back of the net immediately via a Mario Banovic header.

Christian Rossi, off a slick feed from Soren Di Sabatino, made it 2-0 TWU in the 40th minute, and Jacob Low rounded out the scoring on a free kick in the 54th.

The Cascades, for their part, had their chances when the game was still in the balance.

Rookie centre back Tobias Spiess had a great look in the 15th minute, getting his head on Trevor Zanatta’s corner, but TWU keeper Alexander Cordeiro dove to his right for the save. Minutes later, Spiess had another close-call header, this one off a Nikhil Reddy corner, that ran just wide.

The Cascades continued to press in the dying minutes – Mikael Mainella made a great run down the right wing and turned the corner to square the ball for Will Bundy, but the rookie forward sent his shot just wide.

“We just can’t buy a bit of luck right now,” UFV head coach Tom Lowndes said afterward. “As long as I’ve got eyes in my head, we didn’t deserve to lose that game 3-0.

“The biggest difference today is, the chances they had, they took theirs, and we didn’t take ours. If you don’t take your chances, you’re not going to win games. But I can’t fault the players’ effort.”

In the 83rd minute, Trinity Western’s Brandon Torresan was shown a straight red card after taking down UFV’s Nikhil Reddy in the midfield.

The Cascades (0-2-1) and Spartans (2-0-3) renew hostilities on Saturday at TWU (7:15 p.m., presented by Co-op).

“We’re not getting what we deserve, and we’ve got to find a way to battle through it and come out the other side,” Lowndes concluded.

“We didn’t create enough chances against UVic last weekend, and tonight we’ve created a ton and just haven’t taken them. Those are positives – we’re creating those chances now, it’s just being more clinical, being tidier in the final third. Once we do that, I think the floodgates will open, and we’ll start to score a lot of goals.”

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