ABBOTSFORD, British Columbia – The Cascades Daniel Davidson scored a hat trick as the University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team defeated the Trinity Western University Spartans a 4-1 Friday night at Abbotsford Secondary School Field in Abbotsford, B.C.
“Our mistakes completely unhinged us. It wasn’t like us in any shape or fashion. Every mistake that we made in the back line ended in the back of our net,” commented Pat Rohla after the match. “We have to regroup, and move forward if we are going to make play-offs. That wasn’t our team out there tonight, but we will patch things up and carry on.”
The Cascades got off to a fast start to take the early lead. In the third minute, Connor O’Neill’s sent midfielder Kree Byrne down the right wing where he delivered a low cross into the box. The ball skipped to striker Davidson who struck the ball past TWU goalkeeper Andrew Hicks to open the scoring.
UFV keeper Alex Skrzeta kept the Spartans off the score-sheet with a big stop in the 26th minute. Winger Jarvis Ambaka outpaced Connor O’Neill down the left flank and put the ball across goal where Leighton Johnson got on the end of it, but the Spartans striker shot the ball right at Skrzeta.
UFV doubled their lead in the 34th minute after some great pressure by James Najman. Spartan defender Kalem Scott tried to escape the UFV forward’s pursuit but couldn’t get away as Najman tracked the ball and touched it back to the oncoming Connor MacMillan. MacMillan took full advantage, slotting the ball past the outstretched arms of Hicks.
Davidson notched his second goal of the game six minutes into the second half. Cascades midfielder Justin Sekhon played the ball forward to Najman, who deftly flicked it to Davidson. He bore down on goal and made no mistake, lifting the ball under the crossbar to give UFV a 3-0 lead.
Moments later, Najman made his presence felt again as he hustled into the box and moved the ball past Spartan defender Taylor Johnson. With Najman charging, Johnson had no choice but to bring the fourth-year forward down. On the ensuing penalty kick, Davidson slotted the ball down the center of the goal to earn the hat trick and ring up the Cascade lead to four.
Trinity Western got one back in the 74th minute. Cascade defender Sukhjit Dhaliwal was whistled for a penalty just outside the 18, giving Elijah Adekugbe a free kick from a prime location. The second year midfielder struck the ball flush, curling it around the wall and into the bottom right corner of the net.
TWU’s Andrew Hicks made one save in the loss, while Alex Skrzela made three saves to earn the win for UFV.
The Cascades defended well the rest of the way to boost their record to 5-3-1. TWU now sits at 3-3-1. The venue switches in favour of the Spartans on Tuesday when the two teams clash at Rogers Field on the Trinity Western University campus (7:15 p.m. kickoff).
Match Notes: TWU had a 5-2 edge in corner kicks…each team finished with eight total shots…