Abbotsford – The UFV Cascades women’s soccer team (1-1-0) grabbed a 1-0 victory today over the UBC Thunderbirds (0-2-0) in UFV’s home opener. After a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to last year’s CIS champions, the TWU Spartans, on Friday, the Cascades sprung back this afternoon to battle a solid UBC squad to a positive conclusion for the home team.
The Cascades controlled the opening minutes of the game, pushing the action to the edge of the Thunderbirds box again and again. Yet UBC keeper Emily Wilson was equal to the task and played an active roll in sweeping away UFV chances.
Eventually the momentum shifted to favour the Thunderbirds, who created several good chances for striker Jasmin Dhanda on both sides of the pitch. UBC looked extremely confident through the midfield during the first 45, but both teams went to the locker room without a goal.
The deadlock wasn’t broken until the 76th minute, when Cascades striker Monika Levarsky sprung teammate Shelby Beck for a long breakaway in on Wilson’s goal. Beck made it look easy as she placed her shot perfectly to the top left corner of the net, giving UFV the lead and eventually the win.
UFV Keeper Kayla Klim made six saves for the Cascades, while Wilson made two for the Thunderbirds
“I am proud of my team for bouncing back today. We showed great character and a ‘refuse to lose’ mentality,” said UFV head coach Rob Giesbrecht. “We started brightly and looked dangerous at times in the first half, although as the half wore on UBC started to take over and we relied on a brilliant save by Kayla Klim to keep us in it. The second half was a tight battle although we may have edged UBC in quality chances.”
“Monika Levarsky was a force for us and could’ve opened the scoring, but was denied by the crossbar. It was Levarsky’s flick that led to Shelby Beck’s breakaway. I am so proud of Shelby, she has worked so hard to get fit and now she is at a point where her natural ability can decide games for us. It was a great finish.”
Giesbrecht didn’t neglect to praise his defense. “Jade Palm was outstanding in back. She organized us well and won the ball countless times. The win was a great result for us after a tough, hard battle.” The Cascades will travel to UBC Okanagan next Friday, while the Thunderbirds will take on UNBC at home.