The University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer squad earned their first win of the season Saturday night, downing the Thompson Rivers University Wolf Pack 1-0.
The game was played in Kamloops, and saw the goal-starved Cascades score their first of the year in open play.
A header from striker James Najman in the first half broke the ice. Colton O’Neill set up the game’s lone strike with free kick that Najman redirected up and over the TRU keeper.
A second goal seemed tantalizingly close in the second half as UFV peppered the TRU net with 12 shots. Between the 60th and 62nd minute the Cascades took four corner kicks in a row and came close to doubling their lead.
The always tricksy Kree Byrne worked magic on the right flank, while his brother Tammer helped shut down a very tall and aggressive TRU offense.
UFV keeper Arturo Ortiz made several key saves, including a point-blank denial of TRU striker Oriol Torres in the 19th minute. Making his first start of the season, the former Wolf Pack netminder earned his first shutout as a Cascade.
“I’m very pleased with tonight’s performance,” said UFV coach Alan Errington. “There were a few more chances that I would have liked to see go in, but every player contributed. It wasn’t an easy game, but I don’t think there are easy games anymore in this league.”
UFV returns to the friendly confines of Abbotsford secondary school for its next match, Friday against the UNBC Timberwolves.
Game time is 7 p.m.