For the second straight year, the women fell in the opening round to the University of Victoria Vikes at home, losing 3-2 at the MRC Fields.
After a scoreless first half, the Vikes scored three straight goals to have a stranglehold on the game at the 73-minute mark.
The Cascades didn’t give up, as Amanda Carruthers scored at the 79th and 85th minutes to draw UFV within one, but it was too little, too late.
“We had some uncharacteristic things happen for us defensively,” Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht said. “We gave up a couple set-piece goals which we don’t do, and dug a hole that was quite deep. We tried to get out of it, but it proved too much at the end.”
The women were playing without star player Monika Levarsky for the game, and the team revealed she suffered a season-ending knee injury in UFV’s 2-2 tie with the Calgary Dinos on Oct. 21.
Levarsky finished tied for second in the Canada West with 10 goals, and Giesbrecht said he could have used her on Saturday.
“She’s a great player, and a sign of a great player is, she makes others around her better,” Giesbrecht said. “It took us a bit to figure out how we were going to mount attacks and how we were going to press our opponent (without her). Monika can terrorize a back four with her pressing and her work and her desire, and we lacked a bit of that tonight.”
The opening round of the playoffs also spelled doom for the men, who lost 2-0 in Calgary to the Dinos.
Calgary scored in the 30th minute to open the scoring, and added a late goal to finish off the Cascades.
According to head coach Tom Lowndes, UFV had chances to score but couldn’t fool the Dinos keeper.
“We had three quality, unbelievable chances in the first 20 minutes, and we didn’t put one away,” he said. “Today that’s what it’s come down to. That’s the difference. If we put one of those away, it’s a different game. Moments like that change games. Obviously the lads are gutted, but we never stopped fighting.”
The loss put an end to what was a record-breaking season for the men, who established a new school record for wins in a season with eight.