Cascades men’s soccer back to .500 after road loss to Vikes

Jun Won Choi and the Cascades fell 2-1 in Victoria on Saturday. (UFV Athletics file photo)

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team hit a speed bump on the road on Saturday, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Victoria Vikes.

The Cascades had defeated the Vikes by a 4-0 score in Abbotsford back on Sept. 2, but UVic exacted a measure of revenge at Centennial Stadium on Matteo Ventura’s goal in the 65th minute. The two teams had been level at the half, with Victoria’s Rees Goertzen and UFV’s Charandeep Rangi exchanging early goals.

The result drops the Cascades’ record to 6-6-1 on the season. That’s still good for third in the Pacific Division, but they’ve got the UNBC Timberwolves (4-3-5) and the Vikes (4-7-3) still within striking distance. The top four teams make the playoffs.

UFV has just two regular-season games remaining – next Friday and Saturday at home vs. UNBC.

“I thought first half was pretty even, and then second half, we’ve lost our way,” Cascades head coach Tom Lowndes said, reflecting on his team’s performance in Victoria. “We stopped competing, made their lives way too easy, gave the ball away way too much. We were very, very poor, and at the end of the day, we got what we deserved.”

The Vikes drew first blood on Goertzen’s first of the year in the 13th minute. Ian Whibley crossed the ball into the box, causing a scramble in front of the net before Goertzen picked up the loose ball and put it into the back of the net.

The Cascades answered back just two minutes later when Rangi volleyed an outstanding cross from Andrew Peat past Victoria keeper Harjot Nijjar. The two teams would remain scoreless for the remainder of the opening half.

The Vikes would have the first prime scoring opportunity in the second half when Whibley found himself in alone with just UFV keeper David Hicks to beat. Hicks made an aggressive challenge to force Whibley to attempt a chip that ended up going over the net. But Ventura would restore the Vikes’ lead with his ninth goal of his campaign, and it stood up as the winner.

– with files from Braedan Willis, Victoria Athletics

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