LANGLEY, B.C. – The University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team fell 3-2 on the road Friday evening to the Trinity Western Spartans in a barn-burner of a game between two of the nation’s top-10 ranked teams.
The CIS No. 2-ranked Spartans came into the contest having allowed just two goals in nine previous Canada West outings, and the No. 9-ranked Cascades – seeking a win to tie TWU atop the Pacific Division standings – matched that total on strikes from Danica Kump and Amanda Carruthers.
But it was the Spartans who ultimately prevailed, getting goals from Brooklyn Tidder, Stephanie Chin and Isabella Di Trocchio to improve to 8-0-2. UFV fell to 6-2-2, with both their losses having come against Trinity Western.
“I love our team’s fight and our determination,” Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht said afterward. “It’s just frustrating that we broke down a few times, and you can’t do that against good teams – you get punished. That’s something we have to learn. We need to play with a positive mentality and continue stay together on the field.”
Carruthers had a great chance early – on a scramble in the box following Tristan Corneil’s corner kick, she directed the ball on target despite having her back to the net. But a Spartans defender cleared the ball off the line.
TWU opened the scoring on a corner of their own in the 25th minute, as Tidder headed the ball home with Rachel Hutchinson picking up the assist. Kump equalized in the 43rd minute, also in the aftermath of a corner, roofing a rebound from close range.
The Spartans had some dangerous forays early in the second half, and capitalized after UFV’s Kara Delwo took down TWU’s Seina Kashima in the box. Chin stepped to the penalty spot and sent a low shot past Cascades keeper Kayla Klim.
Di Trocchio gave the hosts a two-goal lead in the 69th minute, taking a breakaway feed from Kashima and slotting a low shot into the far corner off Klim’s fingertips.
Carruthers gave the Cascades new life, firing the ball home from the middle of the box off a pass from Kump in the 72nd minute.
UFV’s best chance to level the score came in the 85th off a corner, but with the ball loose in the box, the Cascades were whistled for a foul.
Afterward, Giesbrecht praised Delwo’s “dominant ball-winning performance” in the middle of the park, and noted that Kump found ways to generate offence.
“Danica ran miles for us,” he said. “I liked that she got into dangerous areas and played assertively.
“We never quit, and I love the character of my team. We fight until the end.”
The Cascades are on the road next weekend to face the Victoria Vikes on Friday and the UBC Thunderbirds on Saturday.