UFV men’s soccer earns one point on the road

Cascades men’s team picks up tie, loss in first 2016 road trip

Cascades rookie defender Ryan Donald tangles with UBC’s Titouan Chopin during Saturday’s game.

Cascades rookie defender Ryan Donald tangles with UBC’s Titouan Chopin during Saturday’s game.

The UFV Cascades men’s soccer team earned one out of a possible six points during the club’s first road trip of the Canada West regular season on Friday and Saturday.

The team suffered a crushing loss on Friday to the University of Victoria Vikes, as Victoria scored in the 83rd minute to earn a 2-1 win.

Justin Sekhon scored the lone goal for UFV, tying the game up in the 63rd minute.

The Cascades then played the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds to a scoreless draw on Saturday.

UFV was outshot 7-2 by the host T-Birds, but keeper Alex Skrzeta and the UFV backline, led by Sukh Dhaliwal and Tammer Byrne, were up to the task.

The game is the third clean sheet for the Cascades this season, matching their total from the 2015 season. Men’s team head coach Tom Lowndes said the team’s defending has been excellent to start 2016.

“I think the players have bought into the shape and how we want to defend,” he said. “It comes down to work rate, and tonight [Saturday], Tammer and Sukh were fantastic. When the back four defends well, it starts with them, and the whole team pitches in.”

Lowndes said to earn a point on the road against UBC, ranked second in the nation, is a good accomplishment this early into the season.

“We knew coming in it was going to be tough, and that they would want to keep the ball and cause us problems,” he said. “We defended for our life at times, but to get a result against a quality team is positive.”

The club now has a record of two wins, one loss and one tie after two weeks of Canada West action.

The team returns home for games against MacEwan on Friday and Mount Royal University on Saturday. Both games kick off at 8 p.m.

The women’s team also returns to the pitch in Abbotsford at the MRC Sports Complex for games against UBC on Friday and UVic on Saturday. Women’s games both start at 6 p.m.

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