Cascades this week: Top-ranked men’s golf team plays host, soccer teams continue Canada West play

The No. 1-ranked University of the Fraser Valley men’s golf team hosts its annual home tournament this weekend, while the Cascades soccer teams aim to continue climbing the Pacific Division table as their Canada West campaigns continue.

MGOLF: UFV Invitational returns to Chilliwack Golf Club

Zach Olson and the Cascades are seeking to maintain their undefeated record in PACWEST play.

Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29-30: UFV Invitational (PACWEST tournament No. 3)

Chilliwack Golf Club

1 p.m. shotgun start Saturday, 8:30 a.m. tee times Sunday

The Cascades men’s golf team maintained its grip on top spot in the latest edition of the CCAA national rankings which came out Tuesday. They’re full value for that ranking, having won the first two PACWEST tourneys of the season in decisive fashion. They’ll look to make it three in a row (and six straight in conference play dating back to last season) at their home course this weekend.

The last time the Cascades played at Chilliwack Golf Club was an occasion they won’t soon forget – they won the Canadian University/College Championship for the first time in program history.

“It’s a comfortable place for us to play, and it’s a golf course we know very well,” UFV head coach Chris Bertram said. “It’s obviously a bit different in the fall than in early summer, but we’ve seen the place in all conditions, and we’ll be ready to go on Saturday.”

Players to watch: The Cascades have three of the top six in the PACWEST men’s individual standings: Daniel Campbell (second, 279 cumulative strokes), Kyle Claggett (fourth, 286) and Zach Olson (T-fifth, 287). They’re chasing VIU’s Wyatt Brook, who holds a two-stroke margin over Campbell in the race for conference all-star and CCAA All-Canadian honours.

MSOC: Cascades to host Heat, WolfPack

Goalkeeper David Hicks has been a standout for the Cascades of late.

Friday, Sept. 28: Cascades (4-2-1, 3rd in Pacific Division) vs. UBC Okanagan Heat (2-4-4, 6th in Pacific Division), 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 29: Cascades vs. Thompson Rivers WolfPack (2-4-2, 7th in Pacific Division), 6:30 p.m.

MRC Sports Complex / Field 4

Webcast: CanadaWest.tv

The Cascades men’s soccer team, coming off a thrilling 1-0 win over the Saskatchewan Huskies last Friday, continue their three-game homestand against Pacific Division foes UBC Okanagan and Thompson Rivers.

The UFV side has seen both teams already – they defeated the WolfPack 1-0 in Kamloops to open the season on Aug. 27, and they suffered one of their two losses in conference play by a 1-0 score at UBCO the very next day.

“Having played them both already, we know what to expect going in game plan-wise,” UFV head coach Tom Lowndes said. “Both teams are fighting for their lives to get into the playoffs, so they’ll be desperate and hungry. We have to match that desire, and continue to do the things that have given us some success so far.”

Players to watch: Cascades freshman Rajan Bains has had a stellar debut for the Cascades this season. As a defensive midfielder, he won’t put up huge counting stats, but the Surrey, B.C. product been influential in solidifying a defence which has surrendered just five goals in seven games – the third-best goals-against-per-game rate in Canada West. Bains and his counterparts on the Cascades backline will be tasked with slowing down UBCO’s Luke Warkentin and TRU’s Mitchell Popadynetz this weekend. Warkentin is tied for the Heat team lead in points (three goals, one assist) with Hamish Walde, and he leads the squad in shots with 16. Midfielder Popadynetz, the reigning Canada West player of the year, is second in the conference with four assists in six games this season.

WSOC: Cascades hit the road to face UBCO, TRU

The Cascades women’s soccer team is looking for more reasons to celebrate this weekend as they hit the road for two games.

Saturday, Sept. 29: Cascades (1-3-2, T-6th  in Pacific Division) at UBC Okanagan Heat (2-3-1, 5th in Pacific Division), 1 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 30: Cascades at Thompson Rivers WolfPack (1-5-0, 8th in Pacific Division), 1 p.m.

Webcast: CanadaWest.tv

The Cascades women’s soccer squad has the inverse schedule to that of the men this weekend – facing the same opponents, but on the road. Head coach Rob Giesbrecht’s side is coming off a weekend of mixed results, earning its first win of the season last Friday vs. UNBC before dropping a 3-0 decision to MacEwan on Saturday.

The time is now for the Cascades to earn some points and solidify a playoff spot, and Saturday’s opponent, UBCO, is just ahead of them in the Pacific Division table.

“The conference as a whole is improving, and these emerging teams like UBCO and TRU are a big part of that,” Giesbrecht noted. “Both coaches are going a great job with improving the athleticism, talent and quality of their teams. UBCO is going to play a possession-based style, and for us, it’s about making sure we’re prepared to press in the right areas and look to be effective when we get the ball. TRU is a hard-working team, well-organized. They’ve played a lot of good teams very close, and they’ll be a challenge.

“Coming off a weekend where we got our first win, we’re excited about what our team can be. Our patience is wearing thin with the amount of lessons we have to learn before we break through.”

Players to watch: Third-year centre back Simi Lehal is coming off a strong weekend, and the Cascades will continue to look to her to anchor the backline. Among her primary tasks this weekend will be limiting UBCO’s Kylee Walker and TRU’s Marisa Mendonca – midfielders who lead their respective teams in goals this season with two apiece.

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