The University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team shook its scoring slump in emphatic fashion, defeating the Victoria Vikes 3-0 on Saturday evening at MRC Sports Complex.
The Cascades had been shut out in their previous four games, their last goal coming back on Sept. 16 in a 1-0 win over the MacEwan Griffins.
But head coach Tom Lowndes’s charges were clinical on this night, with Daniel Davidson, Michael Mobilio and Justin Sekhon scoring, James Najman picking up two assists, and keeper Alex Skrzeta earning his third clean sheet of the season.
UFV improved to 4-5-1, good for fourth place in the Pacific Division, while sixth-place UVic fell to 3-7-0.
“I think we deserved it tonight – we were quality from start to finish,” Lowndes said. “To get one (goal) in the first half, and then a bit of a lucky second one – which we haven’t had all season – was obviously big. And to get the third one was the icing on the cake.
“Defensively we were solid, limiting them to mainly long-range efforts. I’m really pleased with how the game went.”
Davidson opened the scoring in the 25th minute, taking a feed from Najman at the right edge of the box and blasting a shot inside the near post on Vikes keeper Noah Pawlowski.
Lowndes noticed an immediate change in his team’s demeanor once they saw the ball go in.
“They looked completely different, and you could tell the next 10 minutes we wanted to kind of turn it into a bit of a track meet,” he said with a chuckle. “It was end-to-end, so we told them to settle down and get back to the game plan. When we did, we frustrated UVic, and we created opportunities off frustrating them.”
Mobilio scored his first of the campaign in the 52nd minute on a bit of a bank shot. He took a pass from Davidson in the corner and ventured into the box to try a shot, and it took a sharp carom off a UVic defender and into the net.
Sekhon rounded out the scoring in the 86th minute – his third of the season tied Davidson for team-high honours. Najman, from the left, made a tremendous pass into the middle to the fifth-year midfielder for the easy tap-in.
“I think deep down, we all believed we were going to score,” Davidson said afterward. “We’d been having the chances, but sometimes . . . you don’t get that bit of luck that takes the ball into the net. I think tonight, we had multiple chances, and we were there ready to finish them. We were hungry.”
The Cascades are back in action next weekend with a huge home-and-home series with their local rivals, the Trinity Western Spartans. The two teams clash in Langley on Friday (7:15 p.m. start) and in Abbotsford on Sunday (6 p.m., MRC Sports Complex).
The Vikes, likewise, have a home-and-home set vs. a rival – they take on the UBC Thunderbirds on Thursday in Victoria (5:30 p.m.) and Saturday in Vancouver (2:15 p.m.).