September 30, 2012, Chilliwack, BC – The University of the Fraser Valley Cascades men’s soccer team tied the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, 2-2, at Exhibition Field, in Chilliwack, BC Friday. The Cascades Canada West record improves to 1-2-2 for 5 points, the Huskies now sport a 4-0-2 record for 14 points.
The Cascades and Huskies played a very entertaining fast paced match tonight. Both teams came out running and each testing the opposing goalkeepers right from the opening whistle. Mark Village, Abbotsford, BC was outstanding in the Cascades net, stopping several early point blank shots by the Huskies offense. At the other end of the pitch Mark Diakiw, Saskatoon, Sk stopped two UFV attempts in close to keep the match scoreless. Most of the play continued back and forth in the middle of the field until the Cascades rookie James Najman, Surrey, BC found veteran captain Craig Robinson streaking down the left side of the field. Najman hit the fifth year Kinesiology major with a perfect pass which Robinson blasted by Diakiw to give UFV the one goal lead. The Cascades weathered the Huskies attempt to tie the match before the half, and went into the locker room up by one.
In the second half, Saskatchewan started to take control of the match utilizing the wings more than they did in the first. The strategy paid off as they tied the game nine minutes in when Brett Levis, Saskatoon, Sk beat Village to his right side. The Huskies continued to push the ball around and 20 minutes later off a free kick Levis set up Brandon Holmes, Saskatoon, Sk who flicked the ball into the UFV net. The Cascades seemed to be fired up from the second Huskiegoal and mounted a comeback effort moving the ball around the Saskatchewan box. Jared Gibbons, Langley, BC and Najman keep the pressure on the Huskienet and rookie Dalibor Plavsic, Coquitlam, BC tied the match when he stole the ball of a Saskatchewan defender and beat Diakiw with eight minutes remaining.
Both teams had opportunities to score the winning goal, but the two defenses held their ground. The tie was the first point earned by UFV at their new home in Chilliwack and UFV is now unbeaten in three straight Canada West conferences.
“I am very proud of the character of the team. The fact that we came back and earn a point shows the team is growing and we believe in ourselves,” said UFV head coach Alan Errington. “Najman played extremely well again tonight and deserved the player of the match award,” talking about his rookie forward. “I was really pleased with my teammates and the comeback, but disappointed that we didn’t earn the three points and the win.”, commented Najman. Levis was the Huskies player of the match.