Cascades explode for six goals in road win over UNBC

Monika Levarsky scored twice as the Cascades women's soccer team beat UNBC 6-1 on Sunday (UFV Athletics file photo)

Monika Levarsky scored twice as the Cascades women’s soccer team beat UNBC 6-1 on Sunday (UFV Athletics file photo)

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team flexed its offensive muscles on Sunday afternoon, beating the UNBC Timberwolves 6-1 in Prince George.

The CIS No. 6 Cascades turned in a performance worthy of their lofty national ranking, highlighted by two goals from Monika Levarsky – her team-leading third and fourth of the campaign – and singles from Brittany Zacharuk, Jade Palm, Amanda Carruthers and Gurneet Dhaliwal.

Emily Harold, UFV’s backup goalkeeper, got her first start of the regular season and made eight saves in the victory. Sydney Hall, in the 60th minute, was the lone UNBC player to solve her.

The undefeated Cascades improved to 5-0-1, while the T-Wolves dropped to 0-5-1.

The offensive output was one goal shy of a program record – the Cascades women’s soccer team had scored seven on three prior occasions in Canada West regular season action (Sept. 15, 2007 vs. Regina; Sept. 27, 2008 vs. Regina; Sept. 16, 2012 at UNBC).

“It’s always tricky up here,” said Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht, whose team was coming off a 2-0 win over the Alberta Pandas on Friday. “UNBC is an improving team – they work really hard, they’re well-organized. You’ve really got to get on it early. We had some good chances in the opening minutes, but we weren’t able to score, and it was back and forth a little bit.

“Then we had three goals in quick succession that really sealed the three points for us.”

Zacharuk, a rookie midfielder from Delta, B.C., got the ball rolling in the 31st minute. She made an aggressive run to the far post and banged in her first career Canada West goal off a feed from senior striker Shelby Beck.

The Cascades’ second goal came just over a minute later, with Beck the provider once again. She played the ball through for Levarsky, who powered through the T-Wolves’ defence and slotted the ball home. Beck now has four assists on the season, tied for second in Canada West.

Fifth-year right back Palm notched her third goal of the season, and second in as many games, in the 44th minute, rising to head home a perfectly placed corner from Sunayna Samra.

Carruthers and Dhaliwal (her third of the season) tallied early in the second half to make it 5-0 before Hall got UNBC on the board. Levarsky rounded out the scoring in the 69th minute.

“I thought Monika was excellent for us today,” Giesbrecht said. “She was really a driving force up top. She was assertive with her attacking play, and physically they had a hard time dealing with her.”

Giesbrecht also lauded the play of Samra and Harold. Samra has provided terrific service to the Cascades’ attackers this season while upping her physical game in the midfield. As for Harold, the presence of fourth-year standout keeper Kayla Klim means playing time is tough to come by, but she stepped up and performed admirably on Sunday.

“Emily did really well,” Giesbrecht said. “Kayla’s one of the best keepers in the CIS, but Em’s been improving so much. It was great for her to get into the game and get the win.”

This coming weekend, the Cascades make a road swing through Alberta. They’ll face the MacEwan Griffins in Edmonton on Saturday and the Mount Royal Cougars in Calgary on Sunday. Both games kick off at noon Mountain time (11 a.m. Pacific).

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The University of the Fraser Valley is situated on the unceded traditional territory of the Stó:lō peoples. The Stó:lō have an intrinsic relationship with what they refer to as S’olh Temexw (Our Sacred Land); therefore, we express our gratitude and respect for the honour of living and working in this territory.

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