The UFV Cascades women’s soccer team led for 56 minutes against 2013 CIS champions the TWU Spartans last night, but it simply wasn’t enough as the Spartans rallied for a 2-1 win against their valley rivals. Both TWU goals came in the final seven minutes, a stretch that marred what was otherwise a solid Cascades performance in their opening game of the season.
The Cascades started rookie Monika Levarsky at striker and sophomore Kara Delwo (returning from ACL surgery) in the midfield, decisions that paid off early as Delwo headed in a corner kick to put the Cascades ahead (26th minute), and Levarsky caused headaches for the Spartan defense. The Spartans would strike back on a penalty shot in the 83rd minute before tallying again five minutes into extra time.
While UFV entered halftime with the lead, the Spartans looked most dangerous in the opening half. TWU peppered Cascades keeper Kayla Klim with 12 shots, forcing seven saves, compared to UFV’s four shots. Yet Delwo scored the only goal and UFV entered the second half behind on the stat sheet but up by a tally.
The Cascades played a solid second half, launching numerous attacks against the Spartans defense. Several UFV players were set free on partial break-aways, but none could capitalize. Still, the half was the Cascades to win until a defensive slip in the box earned TWU the break they needed.
“I thought we were poor in the first twenty minutes and somehow we were ahead. Soccer can be weird that way,” said head coach Rob Giesbrecht, “but after we scored we began to play better and we did quite well at times in the second half.”
“I think we limited their opportunities, defended well, and I think had we been a little sharper going forward into the final third, staying onside, we could have got that second goal. It’s a tough lesson for a young team to go through, but it will hopefully make us better in the future.”
The Cascades will play the second game of the season Sunday, September 7, at 12 pm at Abby Senior in Abbotsford.