Weekend soccer preview: Cascades embark on first road trip

Desiree Caruso, Tammer Byrne and the Cascades women's and men's soccer teams will be going their separate ways this weekend on road trips.

Desiree Caruso, Tammer Byrne and the Cascades women’s and men’s soccer teams will be going their separate ways this weekend on road trips.

After opening their Canada West schedules at home last weekend, the University of the Fraser Valley men’s and women’s soccer teams hit the road in Week 2.

MSOC: Cascades take on perennial powers

Friday: UFV (2-0-0, 3rd in Pacific Division) at Victoria Vikes (0-2-0, 6th in Pacific), 7:15 p.m. PDT

Saturday: UFV at UBC Thunderbirds (3-0-1, 2nd in Pacific), 7 p.m. PDT

Webcast (pay-per-view): canadawest.tv

The Cascades men’s soccer team and their two opponents this weekend combined to occupy all three Canada West podium positions in 2015. The UBC Thunderbirds and UVic Vikes won gold and silver, respectively, while UFV claimed the bronze for the second time in three seasons.

This weekend’s road games, then, represent a solid test for the Cascades, coming off a pair of very strong performances last week in wins over the Thompson Rivers WolfPack and the UBC Okanagan Heat. Keeper David Hicks picked up a pair of shutouts, while Daniel Davidson, Gurmaan Jhaj, Justin Sekhon and Nate Trampleasure notched goals.

“I don’t think we have to change a whole lot from last weekend – we were pretty solid going forward and defensively,” noted UFV head coach Tom Lowndes, whose squad has yet to concede a goal in the early stages of conference play. “But we’re going to have to be at our best this weekend. They’re national powerhouses and very accomplished programs – they’re where we want to be. But if we continue to build from last weekend, we’ll be taking steps in the right direction.”

The Vikes had a tough start to the season – they’re still looking for their first goal of the campaign after opening with road losses vs. TRU and UBCO two weeks ago. They’re coming off a bye.

The CIS No. 2-ranked Thunderbirds, meanwhile, have had no trouble scoring – they’re tied for second in the conference with 10 goals in four games. Forwards Manpal Brar and Titouan Chopin have two goals apiece, while freshman Zach Verhoven leads Canada West with three assists.

WSOC: Cascades seek wins in Saskatchewan

Saturday: UFV (0-1-0) at Regina Cougars (0-0-0), 12 p.m. CST

Sunday: UFV at Saskatchewan Huskies (0-0-0), 12 p.m. CST

Webcast (pay-per-view): canadawest.tv (only available for Sunday’s game)

The Cascades women’s soccer team, coming off a hard-fought 2-1 loss to Trinity Western in their regular season debut last Friday, head off to Saskatchewan this weekend for what will be their longest road trip in terms of distance traveled this season.

Both of their foes – the Regina Cougars and the Saskatchewan Huskies – will be playing their first conference games of the campaign. The Cougars are looking to rebound after posting a 1-10-3 record in 2015, while the Huskies are coming off a strong season which saw them finish atop their division with a 10-3-1 record before ultimately finishing fourth in Canada West.

“We’re going to play two good teams,” Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht asserted. “Regina has a recent history of success, though they’re coming off a tough year. They’re a talented team and they’re well-coached, and it’s going to be a tough game for us. Sask was the top team from the Prairies in the regular season last year, and they’re always a tough opponent. They’re well-organized, and they have some players we have to be concerned with.”

The Cougars’ strength is their midfield group, led by fifth-year veteran Kayla McDonald, while the Huskies boast a dangerous attack paced by fellow fifth-year Erica Hindmarsh (five goals and seven assists in 2015).

The Cascades, meanwhile, have defender Tristan Corneil in fine form – she was named the Canada West female third star of the week for her standout performance against Trinity Western. Danica Kump netted the team’s lone goal against the Spartans, with Monika Levarsky (five goals in five preseason games) picking up the assist.

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Indigenizing at UFV

The University of the Fraser Valley is situated on the unceded traditional territory of the Stó:lō peoples. The Stó:lō have an intrinsic relationship with what they refer to as S’olh Temexw (Our Sacred Land); therefore, we express our gratitude and respect for the honour of living and working in this territory.

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