UFV soccer back on the pitch

Women’s, men’s teams kick off Canada West season on Saturday

The UFV Cascades women’s soccer team returns to the pitch on Friday, looking to build on a fourth place in Canada last year.

UFV hosts the Victoria Vikes on Friday at 4 p.m., and the UBC Thunderbirds on Saturday at 6:15 p.m., with both games at Panther Field at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

The Cascades fell 1-0 to the Thunderbirds in an exhibition game last week, after UFV scored wins in September and August over SFU, Concordia University, Pacific University and Corban University.

Much of last year’s fourth-place team returns for 2015, including Canada West Student-Athlete Community Service award winning goalkeeper Kayla Klim and 2014 Canada West second team all-star forward Monika Levarsky.

The women only lost to three teams last year: TWU, Laval and Ottawa the three teams that placed above them nationally. The Cascades enter the 2015 season ranked seventh nationally.

For the men, there’s a new face leading the charge but it’s one familiar to fans and players.

Former Cascades assistant coach Tom Lowndes takes the reins over the men’s team in 2015 after serving under previous head coach Alan Herrington for the past two seasons. Herrington retired in March after 11 years running the men’s program.

The men hit the road to start the season, visiting the UBCO Heat on Saturday and the TRU Wolfpack on Sunday. Both games kick off at 2 p.m.

The team placed third in the Pacific Division and fell to the Vikes in the Canada West quarter-finals. Key players returning for 2015 include Canada West first team all-star defender Colton O’Neill and UFV rookie athlete of the year for 2014 Tammer Byrne.

The men’s road games can be viewed online at canadawest.tv. For more information on the clubs, visit ufvcascades.ca.

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