Print Edition: April 3, 2013
UFV men’s soccer continued their rigorous spring schedule this week, as they finished off a run of five games in six days. After losses to SFU and UBC and a tie versus Trinity Western, the Cascades hoped to taste victory in their first game on home soil. First up was the under-18 Alberta Canada Games team, a squad composed of a selection of the best 16- and 17-year-old players in the province of Alberta.
An 11 a.m. kick-off at Exhibition Park in Abbotsford meant UFV had to field an undermanned squad with players missing due to class commitment. Cascades goalkeeper Mark Village was presented with an early test, 15 minutes in, as a cross in the 18-yard box forced two back-to-back saves in close.
Just before half time, midfielder Ryan Liddiard hooked up with Daniel Molendjk off of a corner kick to open the scoring for UFV. The referee’s decision to reward the Cascades with the corner kick was a questionable one that proved to be costly for the Alberta Canada Games team. Molendjk doubled the lead for UFV midway through the second half, ultimately putting the game out of reach for the young Albertan team. The goal came from a mistake deep in Alberta’s half, which allowed Molendjk to come in unchallenged and calmly finish in the bottom corner of the net. That accounted for all the scoring in the match as the Cascades won 2-0.
On Wednesday, USL squad Edmonton FC rolled into Abbotsford to take on UFV as part of their pre-season schedule. Although most the FC regulars would not be playing; a professional team would present UFV with some serious competition. Similar to Tuesday’s game, many Cascades players were scratched due to class commitments. This forced head coach Alan Errington to field another improvised line up.
Unfortunately for UFV, this led to a fairly lopsided affair. Edmonton FC scored first and scored often on Cascades goalkeepers Mark Village and Jake Kubanski, who split time in net. Despite the large deficit, UFV player continued to play hard for the full 90 minutes. The best moment in the game for the Cascades came midway through the first half when Ethan Collins curled in a free kick from just outside the box, only to be turned aside by the Edmonton keeper.
The Cascades fall to 1-1-3 this spring with the loss and have struggled offensively. In the five games so far, UFV has managed to score only three goals, and have been shut out three times. There is room for concern now; however, Errington and his coaching staff have plenty of time to fill this void with training camp still five months away.