Last weekend the UFV Cascades took on the UNBC Timberwolves in two back-to-back home games, Friday and Saturday at MRC Sports Complex. Both games had back-and-forth competitive plays, a bit of drama, excellent goaltending, and incredible effort that saw the Cascades pick up two very tough wins against a UNBC team that played almost as well.
The first game started with a lot of hustle but no scores. Each side made attempts, but the biggest takeaway was how physical the game was between the two sides, with UNBC picking up a yellow card.
Though the score was 0-0 at the half, it didn’t reflect the amount of effort both sides were putting up. The goaltending remained impressive on both sides, with UNBC’s keeper Rob Goodey making an incredible athletic save to keep UFV out, and the battle continued.
It came down to extra time, when finally, the Cascades got the shot they wanted. A great cross from Cascades #11 Parman Minhas set up forward #10 Andrew Peat for the header and the crowd went wild.
Fan energy was remarkable, and what better way to get a crowd going than an extra-time goal for the home team after a great defensive showcase. The game even saw players from opposing sides talking smack, and that combined with the close score only made the rematch the next day that much more competitive.
The second game was every bit as entertaining, maybe more, as it featured all the intensity and effort that the first game did, but with more scores.
In the first half, one of the heroes from the previous game, #10 Andrew Peat shined again as he set up #23 David Parfett for a score to give UFV the lead; something it took them 90 minutes to achieve in the previous game.
At this point, with the Cascades able to score so early, it might have appeared that UNBC wasn’t as game as they were in the previous match, but this was quickly proven wrong. A loose ball situation at the Cascades’ net was turned into a Timberwolves score by UNBC’s #12 Anthony Preston.
Going into the half 1-1, the game looked similar to the last, with each team recognizing that a big play could see them pull away and win, but it would not come easy.
The Timberwolves came out with the first of the big plays, when a foul by the Cascades saw UNBC’s #8 Francesco Bartolillo score on a penalty kick. With UNBC in the lead for the first time in the two games and the going into extra time, it was a longshot to think that the Cascades could rally back and achieve the same feat they did the night before by scoring so late into the contest.
A penalty kick opportunity came to the Cascades,with #8 Gurmaan Jhaj stepped up to the challenge, but was stopped by UNBC’s keeper Rob Goodey, who despite allowing a goal in the first half was playing great yet again. However, the moment came when a penalty from a hand ball in the box gave Gurmaan Jhaj another chance to tie, and Goodey couldn’t stop him twice. The score marked 13 goals this season for Jhaj and it secured the tie for UFV.
With both games sporting dramatic extra-time goals by UFV, it’s safe to say the games this past weekend were nothing short of a success, both for the players and the fans. Two wins would have been great, but with a tie so exciting it almost felt like a win, you almost can’t complain.
Image: UFV Cascades