The Mount Royal Cougars handed the UFV Cascades their first home-field loss of the season, prevailing 4-0 in Canada West men’s soccer action at MRC Sports Complex on Saturday evening.
The Cascades had won their first three home games of the campaign – most recently, a 1-0 triumph over MacEwan on Friday – without conceding a single goal. But the visiting Cougars put a dent in that defensive record early, getting goals from Daylan Cato-Meyer and Jeff Blake in the first 17 minutes of play.
Cody Cook added a pair of second-half markers for Mount Royal, who improved to 6-1-1, good for second in the Prairie Division. UFV (3-2-1) is third in the Pacific.
“We came out a bit slow, and they came out fired up – they came out like a team that wanted three points,” Cascades head coach Tom Lowndes analyzed. “I think we were second-best in our tackles, and we weren’t playing as quick as we needed to.
“To concede four in a game is never nice. We’ve got to put it behind us and get ready for next weekend.”
The Cascades hit the road next weekend to take on the Winnipeg Wesmen on Friday and the Saskatchewan Huskies on Sunday. The Cougars, meanwhile, have home dates with the UBC Thunderbirds on Saturday and the UNBC Timberwolves on Sunday.
Mount Royal, coming off a 1-1 draw at Trinity Western on Friday, opened the scoring in the fifth minute. Cato-Meyer ran onto a through ball from Tyrin Hutchings and unleashed a shot from the top right corner of the 18-yard box. Cascades keeper Alex Skrzeta got a piece of it, but not enough. Blake made it 2-0 in the 17th minute, picking the top right corner from the top of the box.
UFV’s Daniel Davidson was sent off early in the second half after picking up two yellow cards in a two-minute span, putting a cramp in the Cascades’ comeback hopes. The Cougars took advantage – Cook made it 3-0 in the 72nd minute, nodding home a cross from Justin Anderson-Louch, and he added his fifth goal of the campaign in the 79th to put the game out of reach. MRU keeper Kamil Zielinski picked up his third shutout.
“I think the game is made up of moments, and the first 15 minutes, we’ve gone 2-0 down on two sloppy goals and we’ve put ourselves in trouble,” Lowndes said. “They’re a good team – passed the ball really well and pressed us.
“I thought we started the second half really, really brightly, and again, like I said, the game is made up of moments, and one decision took us down to 10 men, and then it’s an uphill battle. You’re going to struggle to score goals and cause problems against a quality team like that with 10 men.”