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UFV Sports Saturday – Both Soccer Teams Have Road Wins, Volleyball Exhibition Season Starts Against TWU

Fraser Valley/Kamloops (Dan Kinvig) – Women’s Soccer: Dadrao’s brace lifts Cascades past WolfPack

A second-half scoring outburst from Harneet Dadrao powered the University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team to a 3-1 road win over the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on Saturday evening.

The Cascades had built a 1-0 lead at the half on Alanna Sydenham’s goal, but the host WolfPack equalized in the 54th minute on a Katie Gleddie strike.

Dadrao took over at that point, though, scoring in the 71st and 84th minutes to allow the Cascades – coming off a 3-0 win on Friday at Hillside Stadium – to claim all six points available to them on this road trip.

UFV improved to 2-4-2, while the WolfPack fell to 0-8-2.

“We definitely came out flying a little more yesterday, but I was proud of our effort,” UFV assistant coach Shelby Beck said afterward. “We got some great goals, and once we took the lead again, we stayed on our front foot and kept pressing forward.

“I was super-proud as a coach, and it’s nice to come away with two wins.”

Cascades defender Sydenham, playing her 22nd career Canada West game, notched her first career goal in the 14th minute after coming forward for a corner kick. Dadrao’s effort from the corner appeared to be headed on by Taylor Nekic, and Sydenham, at the far post, beat a TRU defender to the ball and banged it in.

UFV maintained the one-goal edge through halftime, but Gleddie drew the WolfPack even early in the second half. Makaela Gelowitz ventured into the box from the right and sent a pass across the front of goal to Gleddie, who finished from close range.

The Cascades gained some attacking mojo at that point as senior Simi Lehal – who started the game at centre back – was moved up the pitch in an effort to generate offence. The move paid off, as Lehal worked a slick little one-two passing play to spring Dadrao, and she made no mistake, beating WolfPack keeper Marissa Young with a rising shot inside the right post.

The Cascades weren’t done – captain Brittany Costa made a great defensive play to steal the ball off a throw-in, then took off down the pitch on a long run before sliding a pass to Jiya Kaila. The rookie forward in turn moved the ball along to an on-rushing Dadrao with space to operate, and Young had no chance on her rising blast.

It was the first career multi-goal game for Dadrao, a Surrey, B.C. product who was a Canada West and U SPORTS all-rookie selection back in 2018.

“She’s a terrific player, and she’s been a little bit on herself, coming off ACL surgery and trying to get back into things,” Beck said of Dadrao. “She had a positive mindset coming into today’s game, and it paid off with a couple of beautiful goals. I’m really happy for her, that she was able to bag a couple.”

The Cascades soccer teams return home to Abbotsford to host the UNBC Timberwolves next weekend. Games run Friday (women 5:30 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Sunday (women 1 p.m., men 3 p.m.) at Rotary Stadium.

Men’s Soccer: Cascades earn crucial road win, blanking WolfPack 1-0

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team grinded out a huge result on the road, shutting out the Thompson Rivers WolfPack 1-0 on Saturday evening.

The Cascades, coming off a 1-1 draw with the WolfPack on Friday at Hillside Stadium, need to bank points in a hurry if they hope to climb the standings in a truncated conference schedule. They got the job done on Friday behind Manpal Brar’s goal and some solid defending backed by goalkeeper Jackson Cowx.

The UFV side exits Kamloops with four of a possible six points on the weekend, improving to 2-3-3 while dropping the first-place WolfPack to 3-2-5.

“I think we set the tempo right from minute one,” Cascades head coach Tom Lowndes said afterward. “We played some really good football in the first half, probably some of the best we’ve played all year. We created some chances, and it was nice to put one away.

“In the second half, it wasn’t pretty at times, but we defended as a group. We showed how much we wanted it and how good of a team we are, and that people need to take notice. We’re better than our record shows.”

The Cascades had the bulk of the scoring chances in the first half, with Brar in the middle of much of it. In the 11th minute, Trevor Zanatta sent a ball ahead to Brar with nothing but daylight in front of him, but just as he caught up to it, he met WolfPack goalkeeper Jackson Gardner who had come charging out to deflect the ball away.

In the 28th, Brar made good. Pressure by a number of Cascades, led by Zanatta, yielded a turnover deep in TRU territory, and David Parfett pounced on it and slipped a through ball to Brar. He made no mistake this time – Gardner got a small piece of his shot, but not enough to keep it from finding the back of the net for his third goal of the year.

The WolfPack caused Cascade heart-rates to skyrocket just out of halftime – Patrick Izett tracked the ball down deep in UFV territory and sent it to James Fraser at the top of the six-yard box, but he chipped it over the crossbar.

From there, the hosts had the majority of the possession, but the Cascades largely kept them at bay.

They mustered one good look at goal themselves, as Taylor Richardson fed Mikael Mainella on the counterattack, but Gardner dove to his left for an outstanding save.

Cowx registered three saves for his first career clean sheet.

“I thought it was a complete team performance defensively,” Lowndes enthused. “We defended from the front, our midfield was packed, and our backline was rock-solid. We defended as a unit, really dug our heels in.

“I’m really, really pleased to see the boys get rewarded tonight, and they’re excited to go on the attack these last four games.”

The Cascades soccer teams return home to Abbotsford to host the UNBC Timberwolves next weekend. Games run Friday (women 5:30 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Sunday (women 1 p.m., men 3 p.m.) at Rotary Stadium.

Men’s Volleyball: Cascades fall to Spartans in exhibition opener

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team opened its exhibition schedule against the Trinity Western Spartans on Saturday evening, dropping a 3-0 decision at the Langley Events Centre.

The Cascades could hardly have picked a more daunting opponent for their preseason curtain-raiser than the reigning U SPORTS national champs, and the Spartans lived up to their advance billing, prevailing by scores of 25-19, 25-16, 25-17.

“It was a great opportunity for us to see what Canada West volleyball should be played like,” UFV head coach Nathan Bennett said afterward. “We’ve been practicing a lot in the last year and a half, and it was a great opportunity to play a game. We have a lot to learn, and we’re looking forward to the challenge of the league.”

Up next, the Cascades continue their exhibition schedule on the road, facing the UBC Okanagan Heat next Saturday.

Reflecting on the debut vs. TWU, Bennett noted that his squad has just two players with previous Canada West experience, and just one of them – former TRU WolfPack outside hitter Nimo Benne, who was outstanding for the Cascades on Saturday – was on the floor against the Spartans.

“We made too many unforced errors, and when you’re facing a quality opponent, that can dictate the match,” Bennett observed.

“In the end, we had everyone on our team play their first Canada West match for the UFV Cascades. That happened tonight. I’m happy with all of the guys, I’m excited for what’s to come in the future, and we’re prepared for the challenge that’s ahead.”

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Lorne Oss

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