Cascades rebound from first loss with dominating win over Cougars

Cascades senior striker Shelby Beck notched her first goal of the season on Sunday vs. the Mount Royal Cougars. (UFV Athletics file photo)

Cascades senior striker Shelby Beck notched her first goal of the season on Sunday vs. the Mount Royal Cougars. (UFV Athletics file photo)

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team bounced back in a big way after their first loss of the season, blitzing the Mount Royal Cougars 4-1 on Sunday afternoon in Calgary.

The CIS No. 5-ranked Cascades, coming off a 2-1 defeat to the MacEwan Griffins in Edmonton on Saturday, got goals from Gurneet Dhaliwal, Shelby Beck, Brittney Zacharuk and and Danica Kump. Navroop Virk accounted for the lone Mount Royal goal.

The Cascades improved to 6-1-1 on the season, good for second place in the West Division of Canada West, while the Cougars fell to 1-6-1.

“Overall I’m proud that our girls responded well from yesterday’s loss,” Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht said. “As well, I liked our strength of character shown by battling through the frustration of not finishing our chances (early in the game).”

Dhaliwal opened the scoring in the 19th minute off a feed from Monika Levarsky. It was the rookie midfielder’s team-leading fifth goal of the campaign, and the Surrey, B.C. product is currently tied for second in Canada West in that department.

But that was the only goal the Cascades could muster in the opening half, despite out-shooting the Cougars 10-1 and earning nine corners compared to none for the hosts.

Shelby Beck broke through in the 47th minute, heading the ball home off a cross from Dhaliwal. It was the first goal of the season for Beck, a fifth-year striker who was the Cascades’ co-leader in goals in 2014 but had been snakebit in the early portion of the 2015 campaign.

Beck’s goal opened the floodgates, as UFV added two more within seven minutes. Dhaliwal once again was the provider on the third goal, crossing the ball to fellow rookie Brittney Zacharuk for the finish. The Cascades’ prettiest goal of the day was their last – Beck dribbled past a couple of Cougars defenders before sending a cross to the back post, where Kump finished with a powerful header.

Mount Royal’s Virk broke up Kayla Klim’s shutout bid in the 64th minute but that was as close as the Cougars would come.

“Gurneet and Brittany were fantastic,” Giesbrecht enthused. “So exciting that two of our top performers today were first-years.

“I’m very pleased for Shelby as well. She has played well and done a lot of very good things for us. However, she is a goal-scorer and not being able to finish has weighed on her. It was great to see the bounce back in her step after her finish.”

Up next for the Cascades is a home-and-home series against their local rivals from Langley, the CIS No. 9-ranked Trinity Western Spartans. The two teams clash at Abbotsford Senior Secondary on Friday, Oct. 9 at 5 p.m., and the second leg goes Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 5 p.m. at Trinity Western.

– with files from Justin McCaffrey, Mount Royal Athletics

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