Corneil’s curling corner lifts Cascades past WolfPack

As she placed the ball for a corner kick in the 81st minute of Friday’s clash with the Thompson Rivers Wolfpack, UFV Cascades left back Tristan Corneil wasn’t terribly thrilled with how her evening was going.

By her own assessment, she’d been struggling with her free kicks all night. And to compound matters, roughly 15 minutes earlier, she’d had an apparent goal waved off. Her long drive from the left wing had gone over the outstretched arm of TRU keeper Taylor Shantz, off the crossbar, curled high in the air, bounced off a WolfPack defender just in front of the goal line, and rolled into the net. But the officials ruled the ball had gone out of bounds.

The next swing of her left foot, though, improved Corneil’s mood considerably.

She launched a ball that curled directly on goal, and Shantz and UFV left back Jade Palm went up for it. The ball went off Shantz’s hands and dropped to the turf just inside the goal line to give the Cascades a 1-0 lead.

That would be the final margin of victory at Abbotsford Senior Secondary, as the CIS No. 7-ranked Cascades improved to 2-0-1 on the season. The WolfPack fell to 2-2-1.

UFV's Brittney Zacharuk (right) hustles for a loose ball on Friday evening vs. TRU.

UFV’s Brittney Zacharuk (right) hustles for a loose ball on Friday evening vs. TRU.

“It was getting frustrating,” Corneil acknowledged with a smile afterward. “On that last corner, I was like, ‘I need to put this in . . . (UFV head coach) Rob (Giesbrecht) going to take away my corner kicks if I don’t score this goal right now!’”

The Cascades are back in action at Abby Senior on Saturday – they host the UBC Okanagan Heat at 5 p.m. The WolfPack visit the Trinity Western Spartans in another 5 p.m. start.

The first half was evenly matched with both teams playing strong defensively and trying to feel each other out.

The WolfPack came out and pressed offensively for the opening minutes of the second half, with fifth-year forwards Katie Sparrow and Jaydene Radu both testing Cascades goalkeeper Kayla Klim from in close. Sparrow saw her effort on goal smothered by Klim while Radu’s shot sailed high.

That was as close as TRU would come.

UFV’s attack came to life as they the worked the ball quickly out of transition and moved forward with purpose.

The Cascades thought they had broken through in the 65th minute on Corneil’s shot from distance, but referees convened and determined that the ball was briefly out of play before landing.

Corneil, though, would find her goal in the 81st minute.

“She could have had two today,” Giesbrecht noted afterward. “The decision of an assistant referee or a head official, those are beyond our control. When you think you’ve scored and it’s called back, you can’t let it frustrate you. You’ve got to keep going, keep doing the positive things, and we did. I guess justice was served with Tristan getting the late winner.

“It was a grind, and we knew it was going to be a grind. TRU is a team that always puts a good shift in and makes it frustrating for us. They’re well-coached, quite well-organized, and difficult to break down. I thought their keeper was really good today, and we knew it would have to be something special to beat her.”

– with files from Russell Arbuthnot, UFV Cascades communications staff

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