Abbotsford, BC…..The KPU Eagles (PACWEST, CCAA) men’s soccer team fall 5-2 to the UFV Cascades (Canada West, CIS) in their first game of the exhibition season. This interleague match gave the young Eagles program a taste of CIS-level soccer, which proved to be valuable experience to start the year off.
The first half saw both sides work hard for control of the ball, and the Eagles starting line saw strong contributions from returning strikers Jacob Starheim, Delta, BC, and Marcos Teodoro da Silva, Burnaby, BC. In his first university start, David Hicks, Surrey, BC was put to the test early, as UFV opened scoring minutes into the match from a goal by James Najman, Surrey, BC. KPU would respond shortly after when first-year Eagle Nawaf Binsaleh, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, put the ball past UFV goalkeeper Arturo Ortiz, Veracruz, Mexico. The score remained tied going into the second half.
The second half saw more first-year Eagles and returning goalkeeper Ashbir Paul, Richmond, BC, take to the field against last year’s Canada West bronze medallists. Scoring opportunities opened early in the second half when Cascades Trevor O’Neill, Abbotsford, BC, broke the tie followed by a penalty kick goal by Connor MacMillan, Chilliwack, BC to put UFV up 3-1. The Eagles would score once more midway through the second half, when Teodoro da Silva rebounded his own penalty kick to keep KPU in the game. Late goals by UFV’s Justin Sekhon, Abbotsford, BC, and Michael Mobilio, Coquitlam, BC, would end the game at 5-2 in favour of the Cascades.
The experience was tremendous for the Eagles PACWEST squad and Head Coach Srdjan Djekanovic was pleased with his team’s showing today. “It was a great first game for us,” he says, “Many young guys got to play in their first university level game of their careers against a top team who did quite well at the CIS level last year.”
“We gave them a task to get out there and battle hard,” he continues, “In the first half we stood side-by-side with a really good team. I am very happy with the team’s work ethic and overall performance so we will continue building from there”.
The next exhibition stop for the Eagles is on the road Thursday, August 14, to take on the UBC Thunderbirds (Canada West, CCAA) at 7:00pm at Thunderbird Stadium. The Eagles will open their regular season at home versus Capilano University, Wednesday, September 3 at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey. The women kick off at 5:00pm and the men kick off at 7:00pm.
For photos of today's exhibition match versus the UFV Cascades, please visit our Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kpueagles
For more information on the Department of Athletics & Recreation, please contact Junelle Mah, sports information and marketing, at 604-786-0804 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The KPU Eagles Department of Athletics & Recreation enters its 14th season of interuniversity competition. The Eagles are members of the PACWEST conference and play in the Canadian College Athletic Association (CCAA) with 100 student-athletes participating on eight varsity teams in men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, badminton and golf. KPU athletics plays its home games at the Eagles’ Nest (Surrey Campus), Northview Golf & Country Club, Newton Athletic Park, all located in Surrey, BC and the Ace Badminton Centre in Richmond, BC. The Eagles are active in the conference with staff members on various advisory committees and competing to host both provincial and national championships. The student-athletes are mainly from the lower mainland but KPU’s rosters have included student-athletes from North America, South America, Asia and Europe.