Print Edition: September 11, 2013
This past Friday night, UFV women’s soccer kicked off the regular season with a match against the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) Timberwolves. The Cascades were looking to start their season on a high note after a lacklustre finish last year (6-5-1). In their one and only meeting last year the Cascade women dominated the Timberwolves 7-0. This performance featured a standout two-goal contribution from midfielder Carly Neeson, who is returning for her fourth season with the team.
This year the outcome was similar. The same dominating performance characterized the first half as the women picked up where they left off. The Cascades mounted a strong and consistent attack, no doubt drawing motivation and inspiration from the bus full of fans that made the trek to Chilliwack to support the team. But it wasn’t until the 14th minute that the women made their first strike of the game. Paige Friesen hit a high arching corner kick that found the head of Langara transfer Jade Palm, who deflected the ball into the upper right-hand corner of the net behind Timberwolves keeper Jordan Hall. The teams went into half time with the score 1-0.
The bus of UFV student supporters was prominent and very loud. The fan bus had been organized by third year sociology, psychology, and fine arts student Rachel Kirkpatrick who claimed that she got the idea from a poster at a different institution.
“People don’t get excited enough for big events like this,” Kirkpatrick said of her decision to take initiative and organize the bus. For students who are interested in joining at future events, she promises another fan bus in October and November. A contingent of 56 student supporters is her goal for the next event. “It’s fun … when people come to events like this, they feel like they belong [at UFV],” Kirkpatrick explained.
Sports information and marketing coordinator David Kent applauded the efforts of the students, saying it was “a big accomplishment.” He also praised the fact that it was a student-led project, saying he believed it was “great for the student athletes to see their colleagues at UFV really keen and supportive.”
The women took their 1-0 lead into the second half where they had multiple opportunities to widen the gap, including a great chance from Shelby Beck two minutes into the second half. Beck tried an impressive sliding shot but was robbed at the net. After consistent back-and-forth play for much of the second half, Beck was blessed with another great opportunity, but was robbed again on a breakaway by UNBC goalkeeper Hall.
Finally, in the 75th minute, the women were able to get a second ball past Hall, who had been on point all game long. The women had constant pressure in front of the UNBC net and when the ball was sent out front to striker Danica Krump, she made no mistake, burying it in the left side and sealing the game for the women.
After the game, coach Rob Giesbrecht named midfielder Neeson “Woman of the Match,” saying, “I thought her energy was really good and her attack … she creates space for others.” He also praised new transfers Lana Rockhill and Jade Palm, who he said “had an immediate impact,” with Palm scoring the first goal of the game and Rockhill setting up the second.
Later in the evening, the Cascades men fought a hard battle against the Trinity Western Spartans, but failed to overcome the Spartans’ skill, losing the game 2-1. Fourth year Cascade Ethan Claibourne Collins registered the only UFV goal on a penalty kick.
The men’s team has their next game on Thursday when they travel to Winnipeg to take on the U of W Wesmen. The women will seek to extend their early success in a Friday night match with the Thunderbird women.