LANGLEY, British Columbia – Playing in its final home game of the regular season, the Trinity Western men’s soccer team suffered a 1-0 loss at the hands of Fraser Valley Friday at Rogers Field.
The Spartans were once again unable to find the back of the net as they have now gone 391 minutes without a goal and, with the loss, are very precariously hanging onto the hope of a playoff position. The Spartans are 3-6-2 and remain two points behind UBC Okanagan for the final playoff position with just one game to play. The Heat have two games remaining.
With a goal from Fraser Valley’s Kree Byrne in the 73rd minute, the Cascades got all they would need to clinch a playoff spot and earn a one-goal road win. The Cascades are now 6-4-1 and are third in the Pacific Division.
The Spartans wrap up the regular season needing a win against UBC Sunday at 2 p.m. Fraser Valley will travel to Victoria to play its season finale Saturday at 7:15 p.m.
“It was a typical game for us where we’ve outplayed and out-possessed and out-passed a team but haven’t out-scored a team,” said Spartans coach Pat Rohla. “We’ve had too many of those types of games to be considered successful. Until we actually find the onion bag, what’s success? Is it good soccer or is it effective soccer? We have to parlay good play into goal-scoring opportunities and actually put them into the back of the net.”
Mark Village was forced to make just one save to earn the clean sheet for UFV while TWU goalie Evan Lowther (Surrey, B.C.) made six saves in the loss.
It was tightly-contested first half as neither team allowed much in the way of offensive forays.
In the 34th minute, the Cascades had their best chance of the opening half when Justin Sekhon stepped around his defender in the TWU box and had a clear-cut shot from six yards out. But the Spartans Lowther cut down the angle and did well to block Sekhon’s shot.
UFV outshot the Spartans 4-1 through 45 minutes but few of the Cascades chances were Grade “A.”
In the second half, it was more of the same. Neither team gave an inch.
But the game changed in the 73rd minute when Byrne opened the scoring. With very little lead-up, Byrne was sprung on a breakaway and from near the top of the box, slotted his shot into the back of net past Lowther.
From there, the Spartans generated a few chances but were unable to put anything on target. Second half substitute Eric Dove (Port Moody, B.C.) came on the field in the 73rd minute and less than a minute later had a good crack from the right flank but his shot missed on the short side. After that, TWU pressed but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Game Notes: On Senior Athlete Appreciation Night, TWU honoured graduating seniors Denny Serifovic (Richmond, B.C.), Jordan Whitehead (Surrey, B.C.), Mitchell Rohla (Langley), Cam Parkes (North Delta, B.C.), Dominic Reinold (Wesseling, Germany), Sam Delfs (Edmonton), Carlos del Aguila (Langley) and Lowther…Whitehead was given a yellow card in the 23rd minute while UFV’s Trevor O’Neill, in the 36th minute, and Tammer Byrne, in the 50th minute, were also shown yellow.