UFV’s Brittney Zacharuk helped lead the Cascades women’s soccer team to the playoffs after two big wins on Friday and Saturday. (Dan Kinvig/UFV Athletics)

UFV’s Brittney Zacharuk helped lead the Cascades women’s soccer team to the playoffs after two big wins on Friday and Saturday. (Dan Kinvig/UFV Athletics)

UFV women open playoffs against Alberta

Cascades soccer kick-off in Langley on Friday, men eliminated from postseason

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team return to the playoffs on Friday, after qualifying for the postseason with a pair of big wins on Friday and Saturday.

Fuelled by senior Brittney Zacharuk’s six points (three goals, three assists) over the two games, UFV downed the TRU Wolf Pack 4-2 on Friday and then also beat the UBC-O Heat 4-2. She was named the Canada West second star of the week for her efforts.

The women finished the season at 4-5-5, and placed fifth in the Pacific Division.

Zacharuk and the Cascades trailed 2-0 in Friday’s must-win game, but she scored twice and set up the other two to put the team on her back and earn the win. She added two points (one goal, one assist) in Saturday’s win.

Zacharuk’s production sees her now claim a share of the UFV career record for goals (23) and sole possession of the program’s all-time points record (42). Earlier this season, she surpassed UFV’s previous mark for career assists (she finished with 19), putting her atop all of the Cascades’ most meaningful offensive stat leaderboards.

Zacharuk looks to extend her career this week as the Cascades begin their playoff run in a quadrant hosted by the Trinity Western Spartans in Langley. UFV clashes with the Alberta Pandas in the first round on Friday at 7 p.m., with the winner advancing to face TWU in the quarter-finals Sunday at 3 p.m.

UFV played Alberta to a 2-2 draw in Edmonton back on Sept. 22. The Cascades lost both regular-season games against the Spartans this year.

Meanwhile, there will be no postseason for the Cascades men’s soccer team after losing on Friday and Sunday.

UFV needed to come out of the weekend with at least one win to qualify for the playoffs, and were edged 1-0 at home by the Victoria Vikes in Abbotsford on Friday night. The team then fell 3-0 to the UBC Thunderbirds in Vancouver on Sunday.

“I’m proud of the effort from the boys – I thought we fought valiantly, missing half our starting lineup,” Cascades head coach Tom Lowndes said.

“We were absolutely depleted by injuries, but the guys came and gave it everything they had. At the end of the day, we just fell a bit short, but I can’t fault their commitment, work rate, effort or desire. That’s been good all season. I think we’ve been a bit unlucky at times this year – we definitely should have had a few more wins, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes.”

The men finished the season at 5-6-4, good for sixth place in the Pacific Division.-