After eight long years of trying, the University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team finally has a win over the UBC Thunderbirds.
The Cascades fashioned the breakthrough triumph on Sunday evening at UBC’s Point Grey campus, edging the hosts 1-0 on Connor MacMillan’s goal in the 86th minute.
Prior to Sunday, the UFV men had suffered 14 straight losses in Canada West regular season play to the powerhouse Thunderbirds, who own a record 12 CIS national championships and were on a 27-game unbeaten streak in regular season and playoff action, dating back to 2011.
“I hope it gives the players more belief in themselves,” head coach Alan Errington said, pondering the landmark result.
“The only thing we’ve got to be afraid of is ourselves, really. To go into UBC is quite intimidating, because we’ve never got a result there.
“But on the day, we were the better team.”
Indeed, MacMillan’s goal didn’t come against the run of play by any means – UFV out-shot the nation’s top-ranked team 19-15, and played solid defence in front of keeper Mark Village, who posted the shutout.
The result vs. UBC was perhaps even more stunning after the Cascades turned in what Errington termed a “poor” performance two nights earlier in their home opener vs. Trinity Western.
Playing at Chilliwack’s Exhibition Field, UFV surrendered two first-half goals before mounting an offensive push in the second half. But it was too little, too late – despite a successful penalty kick by Ethan Claibourne-Collins, the Spartans hung on for a 2-1 win.
CASCADES WOMEN BLANK UNBC
The UFV women launched their campaign with a 2-0 win over UNBC on Friday.
Jade Palm opened the scoring in the 12th minute off a corner kick from Paige Friesen, and Danica Kump gave the Cascades some breathing room in the 75th minutes.
"Had we finished a few more of our chances we would have been able to play more of our reserves," UFV coach Rob Giesbrecht stated in a press release. "Give UNBC all the credit for playing an excellent game.
"I was very proud of our young team – they did not get frustrated and showed a tremendous amount of maturity.”
ON THE ROAD
The UFV soccer teams both hit the road this weekend. The women visit UBC on Friday and Trinity Western on Saturday, while the men are at the Winnipeg Wesmen on Thursday and at the Mount Royal Cougars on Saturday.