Vikings hold off Cascades soccer men in exhibition action

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Alex Skrzeta (left) handled the goalkeeping chores for the Cascades in the first half of Saturday’s loss at Western Washington University. (UFV Cascades file photo)

The Western Washington Vikings handed the University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team its first loss of the preseason by a score of 2-0 on Saturday.

The Cascades had gone 2-0-1 on a stateside road trip earlier in the week, but came up short on a sweltering afternoon in Bellingham, Wash.

Eleazar Galvan, in the 19th minute, and Wesley Stark, in the 44th, scored the Vikings’ goals – both coming from close range on balls crossed into the box. Alex Skrzeta played the first 45 minutes in goal for the Cascades, and David Hicks took over in the second half.

UFV head coach Tom Lowndes wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance in the first half against their NCAA Div. II opponent, but felt the Cascades were better after the break.

“We didn’t defend as a unit (in the first half),” he said. “We gave them too much space and too much time to play, and some bad defending on the two goals had us down at half. After halftime, we started to dictate the play more and looked stronger defensively. We had some chances, but weren’t able to put them away. Still, the standard wasn’t where we need it to be, or what I expect from us.”

The Cascades have two more preseason games remaining. They host the Simon Fraser Clan on Thursday, Aug. 25 (7 p.m., MRC Sports Complex, Field 4), and visit the Seattle Pacific University Falcons on Saturday, Aug. 27 (2 p.m., Interbay Stadium).

UFV opens the Canada West regular season against the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on Friday, Sept. 2, and host the UBC Okanagan Heat on Saturday, Sept. 3. Both games kick off at 8 p.m. at MRC Sports Complex, Field 4.

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