The University of the Fraser Valley Cascades men’s soccer team’s opening weekend saw the team earn a split at home.
The club’s home opener on Friday (Sept. 2) against the TRU Wolfpack turned into a tight defensive battle, but the Wolfpack left Abbotsford with a 1-0 win after a late first half goal by Ryan Lewis.
The Cascades were out shot 10-4 in the first half and 6-5 in the second.
UFV’s Manpal Brar had a brilliant chance early in the game, but was denied by Wolfpack goalkeeper Jackson Gardner.
Cascades head coach Tom Lowndes had praise for both teams post game.
“It’s obviously a big challenge in game one as they had two great results last weekend, so they are flying high,” he said. “They’ve already punched their ticket to nationals (as hosts), so they know whats at stake for them and I thought we competed really well.”
“The one time they have broken us down they scored off it. That’s the frustrating part. If you make mistakes in this league, you get punished. But in that first half for 44 and a half minutes we were excellent.”
The win was TRU’s third straight to open the Canada West season.
Brar didn’t miss on Sunday (Sept. 4), as the scored an insurance marker at 79:05 to put the Cascades up 2-0 on the UBC-O Heat. That 2-0 win would stand and the victory evened UFV’s early record to 1-1.
Brar also drew an assist on the opening goal by Mikael Maniella. UFV dominated the game offensively, out shooting the Heat 27-8 and 12-1 in the second half.
UFV goalkeeper Jackson Cowx earned the shutout win.
“It’s obviously nice to get in the win column and I thought we deserved it today,” Lowndes said. “We got our chances, and we took them in the last 20 minutes. I thought we managed the last 10 minutes of the game really well and saw it out.”
“It took us awhile last year to find the back of the net, and it was five games before we got a win and then we went on a run, so it’s obviously nice to get that early on.”
He also praised the play of Brar, Mainella and Ivan Meija.
The men’s team hits the road this weekend,as they take on the Victoria Vikes on Friday (Sept. 9) and the UBC Thunderbirds on Saturday (Sept. 10). The women host the Mount Royal Cougars on Friday (7 p.m.) and the Lethbridge Pronghorns on Sunday (Sept. 11) at noon.
For more on the teams, visit gocascades.ca.