The University of the Fraser Valley Cascades soccer programs return to the pitch this September, and the teams will now play out of Abbotsford’s Rotary Stadium.
Canada West schedules for 2021 were released on June 22, and all sports will have a greater focus on regional play. As a result, UFV’s entire schedule will be played within the province of British Columbia.
The team had frequently traveled to rivals in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba in the past and that will likely return when the effects of the pandemic are more minimized.
The 12-game schedule will feature two games against each of UFV’s in-province rivals, followed by a crossover playoff system which will see the Pacific Division face off with the rest of the conference for the first time.
The Cascades women’s and men’s teams have a bye to open the campaign, and kick off their conference slate with a two-game home set vs. the Victoria Vikes, Sept. 17 and 19.
All of UFV’s game dates will be women’s/men’s doubleheaders. Home games will be played on Friday evening (women 5:30 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Sunday afternoon (women 1 p.m., men 3 p.m.), as opposed to the traditional Friday-Saturday two-game series.
The move to Rotary Stadium gives the Cascades the opportunity to play on natural grass and access upgraded locker room facilities. The past few seasons the teams have played out of the MRC Fields and in the past played at Chilliwack’s Exhibition Park and Abbotsford’s Bateman Park.
The first round of the Canada West playoffs runs Oct. 29 to 31, and the men’s and women’s formats are slightly different. On the men’s side, the top four Pacific Division teams qualify for the post-season and will play crossover first-round matches vs. the top four from the Prairie Division, with the winners advancing to the Final Four (Nov. 5-7) hosted by the highest remaining Prairie seed. On the women’s side, teams are grouped in Pacific, Mountain and Prairie Divisions. The top three Pacific teams are guaranteed a playoff berth, with the fourth-place team eligible for a wildcard selection.
The men’s team is coming off a 2019 campaign that saw them finish with a regular season record of 5-6-4, while the women compiled a record of 4-5-5 in 2019. For the full schedules, visit gocascades.ca.