The University of the Fraser Valley soccer teams battle the Trinity Western Spartans this weekend in important Canada West conference games, while the Cascades women’s hoopsters visit the University of Regina for a preseason tournament.
MSOC: Cascades face Spartans in home-and-home set
Friday: Cascades (4-5-1, 4th in Pacific Division) at Trinity Western Spartans (8-2-2, 1st in Pacific), 7:15 p.m., Chase Office Field
Sunday: Cascades vs. Spartans, 6 p.m., MRC Sports Complex Field 4
Webcast (pay-per-view): ufv.canadawest.tv
The Cascades men’s soccer team is hoping to carry some momentum from last Saturday’s impressive 3-0 win over the Victoria Vikes into this week’s crucial home-and-home set with their local rivals from Langley. The result against UVic snapped UFV’s four-game losing streak in emphatic fashion, and the Cascades showed signs of regaining the air-tight defensive form they showed earlier in the season as they held the Vikes without a shot on goal.
The Spartans, meanwhile, are riding high, holding down first place in the Pacific Division and the No. 4 spot in the CIS national rankings.
“This season they’ve found a will to win,” Cascades head coach Tom Lowndes said of the Spartans. “They’ve scored a lot of late goals, they keep going until the very end, and they’ve got fantastic team spirit. I think they’ve made themselves very difficult to play against.
“I think the biggest thing for the crosstown rivalry games is that records really go out the window. They come down to one night – or two nights in this case – and it’s about how you perform. We’ve had some success in those games, but we’ll have to be focused and ready to match the fight they’re going to bring.”
The Cascades and Spartans have yet to lock horns this season, but UFV posted a 2-0-1 record against TWU in 2015, including a victory in the Canada West bronze medal game.
Players to watch: The Cascades’ Michael Mobilio is coming off a strong performance against UVic – the third-year midfielder scored a goal and did industrious defensive work, and picked up Canada West third star of the week honours for his efforts. The Spartans have one of the conference’s better offences (they’re fifth in Canada West with 19 goals scored), paced by third-year midfielder Elijah Adekugbe who ranks fourth in the league in points with 11 (six goals, five assists).
WSOC: Cascades will be tested on the road by Trinity Western
Friday: Cascades (6-1-2, 2nd in Pacific Division) at Trinity Western Spartans (7-0-2, 1st in Pacific), 5 p.m., Chase Office Field
Webcast (pay-per-view): ufv.canadawest.tv
The Cascades made their season debut in the CIS national rankings this week, checking in at No. 9, and they’ll face a fellow Top 10 foe on Friday in No. 2 Trinity Western.
The stakes are high – UFV can move into a tie with TWU for first in the Pacific Division with a win – but it’s nothing out of the ordinary in the highly competitive Pacific. Friday’s game will mark the fifth time in 10 conference games this season that the Cascades will face a nationally ranked opponent.
“I think it’s important we put together a 90-minute performance, because teams like Trinity are very tough to play against – they don’t let you off the hook when you make a mistake,” UFV head coach Rob Giesbrecht said. “When you have a lull in your play, they punish you. It’s important we play this game to our strengths. We want to assertive in our attacking movements, and be brave all over the park.”
The Cascades and Spartans met in the Canada West season-opener in Abbotsford, with TWU prevailing 2-1 on Jenaya Robertson’s goal in the 83rd minute.
Players to watch: Cascades third-year striker Monika Levarsky is coming off one of the very best weekend performances in Canada West history. Her seven combined goals in wins over UNBC and Alberta represented the second-most goals ever in back-to-back conference games, and she was named the female athlete of the week for both Canada West and the CIS. Trinity Western, meanwhile, counters with the stingiest defence in Canada West – they’ve surrendered just two goals in nine games thus far. Fifth-year goalkeeper Ally Williamson is the backbone of the Spartans – she leads the league with six shutouts and ranks second in save percentage at .909.
WBB: Cascades take on elite opponents in Regina
Cougar Classic preseason tournament
Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport, Regina Sask.
Thursday: Cascades vs. Alberta Pandas, 4 p.m. CST
Friday: Cascades vs. Carleton Ravens, 5 p.m. CST
Saturday: Cascades vs. Ryerson Rams, 11 a.m. CST
Live stats: sidearmstats.com/regina/wbball/
The UFV women’s basketball team will face a litany of formidable foes this week at the Cougar Classic preseason tournament hosted by the University of Regina.
On Thursday, the Cascades clash with the Alberta Pandas, a squad which is an annual contender in Canada West and a team UFV will face on the road in conference action Jan. 20-21. On Friday, the Cascades take on the Carleton Ravens of Ottawa, who are expected to be among the top teams in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) this coming season. They wrap up the event on Saturday against Toronto’s Ryerson Rams, last season’s CIS silver medalists.
“We want to put our kids against the best competition we can find at this point, and see where we stand,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer explained. “We need to work on a lot of things moving forward in the preseason, but this will give us a measuring stick to see where we’re at.
“An event like this lets our players know the attention to detail we need to approach our practices with, and the level of competition we’re going to be exposed to on a week-to-week basis. Those are two huge lessons we have to take away from this weekend.”
The Cascades open the Canada West regular season Nov. 4-5 at home vs. the Saskatchewan Huskies.