In a battle of Canada West heavyweights, the Trinity Western Spartans edged the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades 2-1 on Friday evening at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
The Spartans built a 2-0 lead on goals by Krista Gommeringer and Alessandra Oliverio, before Danica Kump drew the CIS No. 6-ranked Cascades back to within a goal in the 88th minute. Trinity Western withstood UFV’s frantic flurry at the finish, though, to hand the Cascades their second loss of the season.
The Spartans (6-1-2, 20 points) leapfrogged the Cascades (6-2-1, 19 points) for second place in the West Division. The two teams complete their home-and-home set on Tuesday at Trinity Western’s Rogers Field (5 p.m. kickoff).
“It was a good game,” Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht said. “I thought we got punished for a few mistakes that we made. Not many chances were created by either team – it was more of a fight in midfield.
“But we kept pressing on. I’m proud of the girls for not quitting, proud of them for keeping on fighting, and we were rewarded with a late goal to make it interesting. We just kind of ran out of time.”
In a rematch of last season’s Canada West finals, the Cascades had a great chance in the opening minute. Kump, a fourth-year midfielder, took the ball down the right wing and crossed it into the box for Monika Levarsky at point-blank range. She wasn’t able to make solid contact, though – the ball brushed off her forehead and continued on through the box.
In the third minute, Gommeringer took a feed from Jenaya Robertson and tested Cascades keeper Kayla Klim from the right, but Klim was equal to the task.
Gommeringer broke through in the 36th minute. Seina Kashima crossed the ball into the box from the left wing, where Klim and Spartan forward Rachel Hutchinson contested for possession. Hutchinson won out as the ball fell to the near post where Gommeringer was waiting. She had an easy touch into the net to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Gommeringer’s eventful night continued as she drove a free kick on goal in the 62nd minute. Klim got to the ball and punched it away, but Oliverio was first to the ball and drove the rebound into the top of the net.
The Cascades answered back in the late going. Tristan Corneil cracked the ball on goal from 30 yards out, and it dipped in front of TWU keeper Ally Williamson, whose only move was to push the ball away from goal. A trio of Cascade attackers swarmed the ball with Kump getting the final touch before it spun over the goal line.
That would be as close as UFV would come, but the good news for the Cascades is they only have to wait until Tuesday to get another crack at the Spartans.
“Honestly, I wish we could play them again tomorrow,” said Cascades midfielder Sunayna Samra, who was her team’s player of the game selection. “I know Tuesday’s soon, but I wish it was sooner. That that’s what the rest of the girls think, too – we want to get at them again.”