Abbotsford – The UFV Cascades women’s soccer team kept their winning ways alive tonight with a 3-0 victory over the UNBC Timberwolves on home turf. UFV keeper Emily Harold wasn’t called upon to make a single save in a match that was markedly less competitive than yesterday’s game between the two teams. The Cascades have jumped to first place in the Pacific Division with a 5-1 record (having played two more games than second place TWU), while UNBC falls to sixth with 0-4-2.
The Cascades are enjoying a five-game winning streak right now, built largely upon the scoring feats of strikers Monika Levarsky and Shelby Beck. Both scored a goal in tonight’s match, and together account for seven of UFV’s 11 goals this season (Beck has four, Levarsky three). The third Cascades tally came from midfielder Sunayna Samra, a fitting reward the grit and energy she has brought to the UFV cause in the first half of this season.
Levarsky struck first, tapping an easy one into a gaping net after a lateral pass from Shelby Beck (13th minute). Her momentary tie for the Cascades scoring title didn’t last long, as Beck herself scored in the 42nd minute with a beautiful strike to the top-left corner. Left alone 35 yards out, Beck caught UNBC keeper Jordan Hall anticipating a pass, and instead lofted a perfectly weighted shot.
“I think Monika and Shelby are creating a real partnership up front,” said Cascades coach Rob Giesbrecht. “They are both good finishers and it’s very exciting to see the score with such frequency.”
Both teams began subbing in reserves in the second half as the minutes ticked by and the initiative stayed firmly in UFV hands. Cascade Alexis Cattermole managed to negotiate a gauntlet of UNBC defenders in the corner of the field, then find Samra for a third goal in the 69th minute, but the Timberwolves would staunch the bleeding there. While UFV put together an exciting series of attacks in the last quarter of the game, they were denied any further scoring by Hall and the UNBC defense.
Harold picks up her first CIS start, her first CIS win, and her first CIS shutout all in the same night. “The back up keeper role is very hard to play,” said Giesbrecht, “and Harold has been amazingly selfless. She trains hard, puts the team first, and has a very positive attitude. I was so proud to see her get the win today.”
“I thought we were much better than last night,” continued Giesbrecht. “We kept the ball better, we moved off the ball better. I thought getting that second goal before the half was important. I still think we can execute better in the final third, but I can’t fault the girls’ effort. They worked really hard and it was a good team effort today.”
The Cascades will play the TRU WolfPack next Friday, Sept 26, at 2 pm at Bateman Park in Abbotsford. The Timberwolves will play host to the University of Victoria Vikes on Saturday, Sept 27 at 12 pm. All games will be streamed with live video and stats at http://canadawest.tv