The UFV Cascades women’s soccer team pulled what they might bitterly consider a “Trinity Western” tonight by foiling the TRU WolfPack’s hopes of victory with two late goals. The Cascades were victims of a similar outcome last weekend in their season opener against TWU, yet UFV showed no remorse in coming from behind to disillusion the WolfPack on home turf in Kamloops. UFV improves to 3-1-0 on the year, while TRU (which had a week one bye) falls to 0-2-0.
The Cascades looked a little befuddled early as they once again were slow to show up and compete. Passes went awry and the squad came nigh to allowing the WolfPack an early goal at home in front of a friendly crowd. Thankfully, Dayle Jeras and Jade Palm kept sharp on the back line and foiled the WolfPack attack again and again, allowing the rest of the team time to get in gear.
The second half began promisingly enough for the Cascades, despite some early pressure from TRU. Monika Levarsky hit a crossbar in the tenth minute with one of the best chances UFV had yet created in the match. Still, it was the Cascades’ opponents who would retaliate almost immediately with the first goal of the game (Kelsey Martin, 59th minute). Just as in yesterday’s match against UBCO, the first goal came from more than 40 yards out and surprised both the defense and UFV’s keeper Kayla Klim.
One of the more interesting narratives of the game was that of UFV’s Megan Baird, a recent transfer from TRU who played for the WolfPack last season. Baird took knocks from several of her former teammates, and needed to give as good as she got as the sky darkened and the play become more intense. In one of those small quirks of fate that makes the game so beautiful, Baird scored the goal (75th minute) that tied the contest at one, converting a Tristan Corneil corner-kick into her first tally of the season.
The other super-weapon in the Cascades’ arsenal tonight was coach Rob Giesbrecht’s “Player of the Match” Monika Levarsky. “Her work rate was amazing,” said Giesbrecht, “she was physically dominant, and she claimed the winner after some fantastic wide play by teammate Karlee Pedersen.” Indeed, Levarsky’s goal in the 75th minute was a well-deserved reward for all the chances she’d created during previous play. Of the 23 shots UFV took during the game, Levarsky was credited with 12 of them.
“I am proud of our team for showing the character to come back and claim all three points against a well organized TRU team,” said Giesbrecht. “We were sluggish to start and lacked urgency in our play, but I thought the second half was excellent. We were a more assertive in our attack and even after going a goal down we kept battling and earned the comeback win.”
UFV will return to the friendly confines of Abby Senior Pitch for its next match against the UNBC Timberwolves on Friday, September 19 (5:00 pm).