The University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team earned its first conference win of the season on Sunday afternoon in Saskatoon, blitzing the Saskatchewan Huskies 4-0.
Gurneet Dhaliwal scored for the second time in as many days for the Cascades, while Tristan Corneil, Shayla Phipps and Amanda Carruthers added their first goals of the campaign. Keeper Kayla Klim made five saves for her first clean sheet of the season, and Sunayna Samra picked up player of the game honours after notching two assists as part of an extremely efficient ball-winning and distributing performance in the midfield.
The Cascades improved to 1-1-1, good for fourth place in the Pacific Division, while the Huskies fell to 0-2-0.
“I’m proud of our team for responding today with a very positive performance,” said UFV head coach Rob Giesbrecht, whose squad was coming off a 1-1 draw with the Regina Cougars on Saturday. “We were frustrated with the result yesterday, and wanted to make sure we didn’t go home without a win.”
The Cascades wasted little time asserting themselves. Corneil opened the scoring in the ninth minute, nodding the ball home off a corner kick from Samra. Rookie forward Phipps, making her first Canada West start on her birthday, gave herself an additional reason to celebrate in the 12th minute – Brittney Zacharuk broke down the left side and whipped a pass across, and Phipps tapped it in for her first goal in conference play.
Dhaliwal made it 3-0 in the 42nd minute, taking a throw-in from Danica Kump, turning to the middle, and chipping the ball over Huskies keeper Jadyn Steinhauer from the top of the box.
The hosts came out on a mission to open the second half, and the Cascades absorbed some pressure before putting the game out of reach in the late going. Samra played Carruthers through on a breakaway, and she dribbled around Steinhauer to round out the scoring.
“All in all, a great performance by our girls,” Giesbrecht said. “Right from the get-go, we were assertive in our attacking.
“Samra and Corneil were both outstanding, Kump was a force off the bench and Carruthers was a threat throughout the game. Klim earned the clean sheet by managing her penalty area and being solid when called upon, and I’m proud of Amber Korner and Haley Eburne who both made their first starts of the season and had very good performances.”
The Cascades return home for a pair of games this coming week. They host the defending national champion UBC Thunderbirds on Friday, and the UVic Vikes on Saturday. Both games kick off at 5:30 p.m. at MRC Sports Complex, Field 4.
“It’s an important three points for us today, also important to perform well and put in a good effort,” Giesbrecht said. “We need to have a good week of training and be ready for Friday.”