by Joel Smart (Sports Editor)
In men’s soccer, The University of Saskatchewan Huskies topped the UFV Cascades 2-1 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The UFV defeat dropped the Cascades Canada West regular season record to 2-8-0. The Cascades, currently sitting in sixth place, trail the fourth place Huskies by 11 points this season. There are only four games remaining for the Cascades, all home games at Bateman Park.
The Cascades gave up the first goal to the Huskies seven minutes into the game. Shortly afterward, the UFV team began to put pressure on the Saskatchewan team and began to control the play in midfield. Their hard work paid off 27 minutes into the game as Brent Wantke, a third year Criminology major from Langley, scored the tying goal off a corner that the Huskies failed to clear. In the second half of the game, UFV continued to pressure the Huskies. Josh Atebe, of Mission, came close with a header that went over the net. Stuart Rowlands, from Chilliwack, had Diakiw beaten, but couldn’t find the net. The Huskies scored 80 minutes into the game. The winning goal was Saskatchewan’s Josh Northey’s second goal of the game, swiftly maneuvering the ball past UFV’s goaltender Colton Keam, of Langley. UFV head coach Alan Errington was impressed with the effort, despite the result: “[It was] a good performance today and a step in the right direction. However, we still seem to come up short.”
The women’s soccer club was also unsuccessful against the Huskies, who beat the UFV team 3-1. The defeat caused them to fall to sixth place in Canada West standings, the same as the men’s team. The loss, which also occurred in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, dropped the Cascades to 4-5-1. The Cascades now trail Saskatchewan by two points and Calgary by a single point for the fourth and final postseason berth. Like the men’s team, the Cascades will play their four remaining home games in the “friendly confines” of Bateman Park. The team will need to have more team points than the Huskies in order to claim the last playoff spot.
The Cascades started their game against the Huskies very poorly, playing slow and sloppy. As a result, the Saskatchewan team took advantage just five minutes in and kept the pressure on UFV’s defence. By half time, the Cascades were two goals down. But Ellen Kuyer, of Surrey, gave the UFV team a chance when she scored five minutes into the second half on a feed from Carly Neeson, of Maple Ridge. The Cascades kept the pressure on, but could not turn their “loose ball” wins or six corner kicks into any goals to tie the match. Saskatchewan put a stop to the attempted comeback with a victory-clinching third goal 78 minutes into the game. UFV head coach Rob Giesbrecht was unhappy with the result, despite the strong effort in the second half of the game” “It’s disappointing to come out flat in such a big game,” said Giesbrecht. “In the second half we picked it up, however we could not turn the hard work into goals.”