WEEKEND PREVIEW: Soccer, golf teams hit the road, men’s hoopsters host exhibition game

The University of the Fraser Valley soccer and golf teams continue their regular-season journeys on the road this weekend, while the Cascades men’s basketball team tips off its preseason schedule at home.

WSOC: Cascades face nationally ranked Griffins and T-Wolves

Lexie Gillette and the Cascades hit the road this weekend.

Friday: Cascades (1-2-1, 6th in Pacific Division) at No. 10 MacEwan Griffins (4-0-0, 1st in Pacific Division), 12 p.m. MT

Sunday: Cascades at UNBC Timberwolves (2-2-0, T-4th in Pacific), 12 p.m. PT

Webcast: canadawest.tv

The Cascades, coming off an impressive 1-0 road win last Sunday over the Calgary Dinos, will try to maintain that momentum on a tough road swing through Edmonton and Prince George.

Friday’s opponent, the MacEwan Griffins, are riding high after earning their school’s first-ever U SPORTS national ranking (No. 10) since joining Canada West in 2014. And Sunday’s foe, the UNBC Timberwolves, are off to a solid start to the campaign.

“An objective for our group is to consistently perform to the best of our abilities,” Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht said, looking ahead to the weekend. “We’re hoping to get a few kids back from injury, but we don’t know. The girls who stepped up last weekend and earned three points against Calgary are likely going to have to share the load again.

“Going to MacEwan, they’re a very good team, very well-coached, organized and committed. They’ve had a lot of success in their first three years in Canada West, and they’re always looking to progress. It’ll be a difficult game. UNBC is building their team, and they’ve had some great results so far this season. It’ll be a challenging game there, as well.”

Players to watch: Fifth-year left back Karlee Pedersen is a key veteran leader for the Cascades, and she played an instrumental role in helping the team put together its first clean sheet of the season last Sunday vs. the Dinos. She’ll be tested on Friday by MacEwan’s Brittany Costa – the rookie midfielder is tied for third in the conference with three goals, and she notched the extra-time winner last Friday as the Griffins edged their crosstown rivals, the Alberta Pandas, 1-0. UNBC’s offensive leader has been Tianna Rossi – the fifth-year midfielder from Prince George has registered two goals in four games for her hometown Timberwolves.

MSOC: Cascades make Alberta road swing

Elijah Sampson and the Cascades are set to visit Lethbridge and MacEwan.

Saturday: Cascades (1-4-1, 7th in Pacific Division) at Lethbridge Pronghorns (1-5-2, 5th in Prairie Division), 2:15 p.m. MT

Sunday: Cascades at MacEwan Griffins (1-5-0, 6th in Prairie), 2:30 p.m. MT

Webcast: canadawest.tv

The Cascades men’s soccer team has endured a very tough schedule to date – their opponents have included the current Nos. 1 and 2 teams in the U SPORTS national poll (Alberta and UBC, respectively) and the national championship host squad (Thompson Rivers).

With the season nearing the midway point, UFV needs to add some wins to its ledger to make a playoff push. Both of their opponents this weekend, Lethbridge and MacEwan, find themselves in the same boat.

“It’s the biggest weekend of the season, for sure,” Cascade head coach Tom Lowndes said. “We need points, we need results. Going on the road is never easy, but we’re going to a couple of difficult places. But we need to get back to being who we are, scoring some more goals and hopefully coming out with some wins.

“We’ve got to be better defensively, and we’ve got to create more opportunities. And when we get those opportunities, we’ve got to put them away. We’ve got to get back to being on our front foot and getting after teams.”

Players to watch: The Cascades were held off the scoreboard last weekend by the Alberta Golden Bears and Calgary Dinos, but Cascades freshman midfielder Charlie Lovell looked dangerous in both games. The fleet-footed Billericay, England product has registered one goal in four outings this season. Attackers the Cascades will need to be wary of this weekend include Lethbridge’s Stephen Primeau and MacEwan’s Lahai Mansaray. Primeau has registered a team-best four points (one goal, three assists) in eight games, while Mansaray (three goals) is the only Griffin with multiple goals to his name at this stage of the season.

GOLF: Cascades aim to continue ascent in Parksville

Emery Bardock had an outstanding Cascades debut last weekend.

Saturday-Sunday: Cascades at Vancouver Island Invitational

Morningstar Golf Club

The Cascades golfers hope to build on their promising start to the PACWEST season this weekend, as they head to Vancouver Island for the second of four conference tournaments.

UFV holds a 28-stroke lead over the UBCO Heat in the women’s team standings, and the Cascades men’s team sits second overall, seven strokes back of UBCO.

“Morningstar is a challenging golf course where changes on the leaderboard can come quickly,” UFV head coach Chris Bertram said. “It’s a course that demands a lot of a player’s ball-striking, and we will need to be sharp.”

Players to watch: UFV’s Emery Bardock, coming off a victory at last weekend’s PACWEST opener hosted by UBC Okanagan, holds a nine-stroke lead in the women’s individual standings over teammate Hannah Dirksen. Bardock, a first-year Cascade, is the reigning PACWEST women’s golf athlete of the week and was selected as one of the CCAA’s five national women’s athlete of the week award winners. On the men’s side, UFV’s Halen Davis has a track record of success at Morningstar – he won last year’s PACWEST tourney at the Parksville layout.

MBB: Cascades open preseason vs. Mountaineers

Fifth-year centre Nav Bains will provide leadership for a young Cascades squad this season.

Saturday: Cascades vs. Seattle Mountaineers, 6 p.m.

Envision Financial Athletic Centre

The Cascades men’s basketball team’s first preseason test comes on their home court against the Seattle Mountaineers, a semipro club team, in a scrimmage. Admission is free.

“We’ll look to get some experience and get on the floor against some competition that’s not us,” UFV head coach Adam Friesen said. “At this stage of the season, I’m happy with where we are. It’s very early to play a game, and we’ve got a young group so it’ll be fun to see them in a competitive environment for the first time.”

Cascade to watch: On a relatively youthful roster, the Cascades are particularly young in the backcourt. With fifth-year stars Manny Dulay and Vijay Dhillon having graduated in the spring, sophomore Riley Braich will be an influential player for the team this season.

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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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