Top-ranked Spartans rally past Cascades

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer squad got off to a great start on the road against the nation’s top-ranked team, but the Trinity Western Spartans rallied for a 4-2 victory.

Shelby Beck staked the Cascades to a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute, finishing off a fantastic through ball from defender Tristan Corneil.

023 But the Spartans, No. 1 in the CIS national poll, exploded for three goals in a span of 11 minutes to take a 3-1 lead into halftime. Two of those came off the boot of Jessica King – her conference-leading 11th and 12th of the season – and Seina Kashima had the other.

The CIS No. 10-ranked Cascades came roaring out of the locker room and cut the deficit to 3-2 on Beck’s second of the game, but the Spartans put the win on ice when Krista Gommeringer scored in the 80th minute.

“Great start by us,” UFV head coach Rob Giesbrecht said. “We played very well in the first 15-20 minutes, and we were rewarded with the first goal.

“After the goal, we uncharacteristically just didn’t put the work in. They’re a great team, and you can’t do that. You can’t give good players time and space because they’ll exploit it, and that’s exactly what they did today.”

The win enabled the Spartans (10-0-1) to clinch first place in the Pacific Division of Canada West, while the Cascades (7-2-2) now sit third in the Pacific behind the Victoria Vikes (8-1-2).

UFV visits UVic on Saturday (5 p.m. start), and can still leapfrog the Vikes for second place and earn home field advantage for their quarter-final playoff game with a victory.

Beck’s two goals on Friday give her six on the season, tied for team-high honours with fellow striker Monika Levarsky.

“I’m proud of how my team came out in the second half with a great work rate, and got back to our style of soccer,” Giesbrecht said. “We were pressing and pressing, but we were vulnerable to the counterattack, and they got a late goal to put it away.”

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