UFV men start season hot

Men post pair of shutouts, women fall in opener

UFV's Connor MacMillan pushes the ball forward against UBC-O on Saturday.

The UFV Cascades men’s soccer team had a perfect start to their 2016 campaign on Friday and Saturday.

UFV posted two shutout wins on home pitch, and are riding their best start as a team since 2010.

The Cascades defeated the UBC-O Heat 3-0 on Saturday, and beat the TRU Wolfpack 1-0 on Friday.

The Cascades got goals from Gurmaan Jhaj, Justin Sekhon and Nate Trampleasure on Saturday.

Goalkeeper David Hicks didn’t allow a single goal all weekend, and made a huge save on a penalty kick against UBC-O on Saturday.

Head coach Tom Lowndes was pleased with the efforts in both games.

“I was really happy with the performance,” he said on Saturday. “We challenged them to come out with the same intensity and desire and work rate as they did last night, and I think they did.

“In the first half, we had a few chances and could have had a few more goals than we did. In the second half, we knew they were going to come at us, and we had to match the battle. We scored some fantastic goals, and going forward on the counterattack, I thought at times we looked rampant and we could have scored a few more. Full credit to the boys – they bought into the shape. Just a really good overall team performance.”

Jhaj opened the scoring in the 19th minute on a free kick from just outside the Heat’s 18-yard box. He fired a low shot which found the bottom left corner.

At the 61 minute mark, Daniel Davidson threaded a long pass through the Heat defence to Justin Sekhon, who ran onto it and unleashed a shot into the bottom left corner.

Shortly thereafter, the Heat were poised to get on the scoreboard after a Cascades foul in the box. But Hicks was up to the task and made a big stop.

Rainy conditions on Friday against TRU didn’t deter the Cascades, who scored in the 35th minute when Davidson connected with a goal.

The tally proved to be the difference and the Cascades finished the match with a clean sheet.

The news wasn’t as positive for the women’s team, after they fell 2-1 to the Trinity Western University Spartans at home on Friday.

All of the offence occurred in the second half, with the Spartans getting on the board early in the second half on a penalty kick goal. Danica Kump tied the game up shortly after, but the Spartans added a goal in the 83rd minute to spoil the women’s debut at the MRC Sports Complex.

“I’m really proud of the girls for how hard they fought,” Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht said. “I thought we played really well at times, but broke down once or twice, and you can’t do that against a team of the class of our opponent tonight. But I liked how we got back in the game, and started to use some of our athleticism and pace going forward.”

The women next hit the prairies for games against Regina and the University of Saskatchewan on Friday and Saturday, while the men take on UBC and UVic away from home.

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