Silver and bronze for TRU at soccer national championships

Adam Williams, Sports Editor Ω

The Humber Hawks of Etobicoke, Ont. defeated the TRU WolfPack in the gold medal match of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s national championship Saturday. TRU will bring home the silver medals.

The WolfPack men pose for photos with their silver medals. (Photo courtesy TRU athletics)

The WolfPack men pose for photos with their silver medals. (Photo courtesy TRU athletics)

It was a well-played match by the Hawks, one in which the WolfPack had a hard time generating any offence. What had been, at times, a surprisingly potent attack throughout the tournament was stymied by a sound defensive game from Hawks. TRU was tentative all match and didn’t put much on goal, instead playing from the perimeter and attempting to cross the ball into the middle; Humber’s defence was there every time.

“This is very disappointing after the season we had,” said WolfPack co-head coach Sean Wallace in a news release. “The guys were playing well.  We didn’t win the silver it was more that we lost the gold. I feel bad for the guys. They worked so hard all season to get this chance.”

Humber opened the scoring in the 28th minute. With the Hawks pressing, the WolfPack gained possession of the ball near its back line, to the right of the goal. Before being able to clear the WolfPack gave the ball away, inside the 18-yard box, and Humber buried the ball past Thompson Rivers goalkeeper Travis Froehlich to go up 1-0.

Humber’s second goal came on a partial breakaway, with a Hawks attacker breaking free on the right side and putting a strike past goalkeeper Travis Froehlich. The marker came just seconds after the WolfPack’s Jacob Kaay picked up the ball in Humber’s 18-yard box but fired the ball over the crossbar.

Despite a much improved second half by the WolfPack, the Hawks held on for the shutout.

Braeden Burrows  left the match in the first half with what appeared to be an ankle injury. He was helped to the sidelines by two of his teammates after the injury and at the end of the half he limped off the field, with one of the team’s coaches supporting his weight.

It was a physical match. Three yellow cards were assessed in the first half and three more yellows and two reds were given out in the second. One of the reds went to the Humber Hawks while the other went to the WolfPack’s Kyle Logan after making contact with a player on a slide tackle.

Despite the loss, Wallace managed to draw some positives from tournament’s final game.

“This is our last  year at CCAA,” he said. “To make it to nationals and come away with a silver – I am proud for the guys.”

Following the match, Oriol Torres and Kyle Logan were named to the tournament all-star team.

The WolfPack played the entire tournament without Justin Wallace, the Pacific Western conference’s player of the year and the top player in the country.

With the championship complete, TRU will not focus on its transition to the Canada West division of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport league, the nation’s top level for university sport. It’s first season in the league will be 2014-15.

WolfPack women defeat Algonquin Thunder 2-0 to win bronze medal

The WolfPack's Katie Sparrow hugs her mom following TRU's bronze medal victory. (Photo by Andrew Snucins)

The WolfPack’s Katie Sparrow hugs her mom following TRU’s bronze medal victory. (Photo by Andrew Snucins)

The TRU WolfPack women’s soccer team defeated the Algonquin College Thunder 2-0 Saturday to win the bronze medal at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s national championship in Surrey.

WolfPack head coach Tom McManus celebrates his team's 2-0 victory against the Algonquin Thunder in Saturday's bronze medal match. (Photo by Andrew Snucins)

WolfPack head coach Tom McManus celebrates his team’s 2-0 victory against the Algonquin Thunder in Saturday’s bronze medal match. (Photo by Andrew Snucins)

“The last few years we’ve been in this match and come up short so this year we were a little disappointed we didn’t get to the gold medal, but I’ll take this one. It was a good game and it’s a good feeling, for sure,” said ‘keeper Emily Edmundson, in a news release.

Edmundson back-stopped the shutout for the WolfPack and striker Courtney Daly had both of the game’s goals, her first of the tournament.

“I thought Algonquin came out and played a great game against us,” said WolfPack head coach Tom McManus. “That’s one of the best teams we’ve played all year long.”

Following the game, Alanna Bekkering was named to the tournament all-star team.

TRU women defeat Ahuntsic College Indiennes 4-1, advance to bronze medal match; last updated Nov. 8, 7:20 p.m.; TRU W, 4-1

Alanna Bekkering scored two goals and picked up an assist as the TRU WolfPack women’s soccer team defeated the Ahuntsic College Indiennes 4-1 in CCAA women’s soccer national championship action on Friday.

Emily Edmundson makes a save on a penalty kick by the Ahuntsic Indiennes. Edmundson shut out the Indiennes, propelling the WolfPack to the bronze medal match. (Photo by Andrew Snucins)

Emily Edmundson makes a save on a penalty kick by the Ahuntsic Indiennes. (Photo by Andrew Snucins)

The WolfPack will play the Algonquin Thunder of Ottawa for the bronze medal tomorrow. The Thunder defeated the NAIT Ooks 2-1 in the other bronze medal semifinal match.

“We’re still down in the dumps for not getting to the gold medal match,” Bekkering said, in a news release. “I think we deserved to be (in the gold medal match) but we had a small lapse for 30 seconds. But knowing we have the team to be there puts a bit of fire in our butts to win bronze.”

Jaydene Radu scored the third goal of the game on a cross from Alanna Bekkering, which came to a stop in the box, allowing Radu to slip it past the Indiennes goalkeeper.

Bekkering scored on a penalty kick to give the WolfPack a 2-0 lead over the Indiennes. She froze the goalie as she came in for the kick and tapped it into the bottom left side of the goal, with the keeper able to do nothing but watch.

Earlier, Bekkering broke down the left side of the field before cutting into the middle and firing a shot in the top-left corner of the goal to give TRU a 1-0 lead.

Kickoff for the game between the Thunder and WolfPack is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

WolfPack men win 2-1, advance to gold medal match; last updated Nov. 7, 4:24 p.m.; TRU W, 2-1

UPDATE: The No. 1 Humber Hawks defeated the No. 5 NAIT Ooks 4-1 Thursday night in New Brunswick. It will be No. 1 versus No. 2 in the gold medal match on Saturday, when TRU is scheduled to play Humber. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. 

The No. 2 TRU WolfPack defeated the No. 3 MacEwan Griffins 2-1 in its semifinal match Thursday, advancing to Saturday’s gold medal match.

Dion Gouldsborough (black jersey) goes up for a header during Thursday's championship semifinal against the MacEwan Griffins. (Photo courtesy TRU Athletics)

Dion Gouldsborough (black jersey) goes up for a header during Thursday’s championship semifinal against the MacEwan Griffins (Photo courtesy TRU Athletics)

TRU will play the winner of this afternoon’s semifinal between the No. 1 Humber Hawks and the No. 5 NAIT Ooks. With the victory, TRU has guaranteed itself at least silver at the championship.

Kyle Logan delivered the ball into the middle of the field on the WolfPack’s first goal of the match and, after pin balling around in front of the goal, Oriol Torres scored his first marker of the tournament.

Later, Dion Gouldsborough put the ‘Pack ahead 2-0 after coming free in the middle of the field and letting a strike go, which beat Griffins goalkeeper Anthony Papaianni.

MacEwan drew within one with 12 minutes remaining in the match, when a throw-in from the WolfPack zone was played and put past WolfPack ‘keeper Travis Froehlich; it was the first goal Froehlich had allowed in more than a game and a half of play at the tournament.

MacEwan pushed as the final minutes of the semifinal waned and at times had their Papaianni playing on the WolfPack’s side of centre in hopes of scoring the tying goal. In the final minutes of the four-minute penalty time the Griffins had a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box but Froehlich was able to make the save. MacEwan also had a shot ring off the crossbar, twice.

“I had to hold my breath at the end there,” said co-head coach Sean Wallace in a news release. “ I saw that shot on the ground. I couldn’t see the ball and was waiting for the cheer by them.  Then Travis came up with the ball and I knew that was it. We made the result a little tougher. We should have finished it off earlier in the second half with a couple of chances that we had.  But we are going to the gold medal game.”

The gold medal match is scheduled for Saturday, 1 p.m. PST (5 p.m. AST).

WolfPack women still on track for bronze; TRU W, 5-0

The women’s 5-0 victory over the eighth-seeded Kwantlen Polytechnic University Eagles on Thursday has kept them on track for a bronze medal at the CCAA national championships.

Katie Sparrow, yesterday’s player of the match, was first on the board for the WolfPack when she scored just six minutes in. Her day would come to an end, however, on the 22-minute mark, leaving the game with a leg injury.

Alanna Bekkering, Jaydene Radu, Kelsey Martin and Bronwyn Crawford also scored for the WolfPack in their 5-0 win.

WolfPack goalie Emily Edmundson came through with the shutout, getting a little help from the crossbar when the Eagles’ Samantha Vegh bounced it off from 20 yards in the 82nd minute.

Eagles defender Gurneet Josan and WolfPack defender Vanessa Zilkie were named players of the match.

Friday’s match between the MacEwan University Griffins and the Ahuntsic College Indiennes will determine the WolfPack’s next opponent, with the winner moving on to play for the bronze medal.

WolfPack women fall to Ooks; last updated Nov. 6, 7:15 p.m.; TRU L, 1-0

TRU’s WolfPack women’s soccer team had its dreams of national gold dashed Wednesday, falling 1-0 to the NAIT Ooks of Edmonton, Alta.

Marlie Rittinger heads the ball during the WolfPack's Wednesday CCAA national championship match in Surrey against the NAIT Ooks (Photo by Andrew Snucins)

Marlie Rittinger heads the ball during the WolfPack’s Wednesday CCAA national championship match in Surrey against the NAIT Ooks (Photo by Andrew Snucins)

NAIT scored in the first minute of the match, when two players got behind the WolfPack defence for a 2-on-1 and put the ball past WolfPack ‘keeper Emily Edmundson.

Later in the match, Edmundson prevented a second goal from NAIT, running back for a ball that had bounced past her and getting to it just as it got to the goal-line.

The Ooks controlled much of the play in the first half but it was TRU that took control in the second; the WolfPack couldn’t find the equalizer.

“We played poorly for 30 seconds and well for 89 minutes and 30 seconds, but we didn’t score, we didn’t finish, unfortunately,” said head coach Tom McManus.

With the loss, the WolfPack can finish no better than third place.

WolfPack men win first game at nationals; last updated Nov. 6, 12:56 p.m.; TRU W, 3-0

UPDATE: The MacEwan Griffins defeated the Dawson Blues, 3-2. TRU will face MacEwan on Thursday at 11 a.m. PST.

TRU WolfPack striker Jacob Kaay (15) fights off a MSVU Mystics defender during a Wednesday match at the CCAA men's soccer national championship in Saint John, N.B. Photo courtesy TRU Athletics

TRU WolfPack striker Jacob Kaay (15) fights off a MSVU Mystics defender during a Wednesday match at the CCAA men’s soccer national championship in Saint John, N.B. Photo courtesy TRU Athletics

In the first game of the 2013 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association national championship in Saint John, N.B., TRU’s WolfPack men’s soccer team played to a 3-0 victory against the Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) Mystics.

The Mystics, from Halifax, N.S., entered the tournament as the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association champions. MSVU is ranked seventh in the tournament, while TRU is ranked second.

Dion Gouldsborough opened the scoring for the WolfPack in the 13th minute, heading in a cross from defender Kyle Logan.

Also in the first half, in the 40th minute, WolfPack forward Jacob Kaay was brought down in the box, resulting in a penalty kick for the Pacific Western champs. Kyle Logan took the shot for TRU and picked up another point, scoring low left.

In the 90th minute midfielder Kyle Fertile put the topper on the match, scoring the WolfPack’s third goal; Gouldborough assisted on the goal.

Travis Froehlich was in goal for the WolfPack, picking up his eighth shutout of the season.

“I thought we came out strong,” said WolfPack co-head coach Sean Wallace in a news release. “Our game plan was to keep possession of the ball. We knew that they would play a defensive style of game — and they did. They did it quite well. But we were able to get behind their back line and put some pressure on them.”

The WolfPack ‘s next game will be Thursday, 3 p.m. PST, when they will face the winner of this Wednesday morning’s match between the MacEwan Griffins of Edmonton, Alta. and the Dawson Blues of Montreal, Que. The Griffins head into the game as the tournament’s third seed, while the Blues are ranked sixth. MacEwan is the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference champion, while Dawson is the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec champion.

The WolfPack women will play at 11 a.m. PST in Surrey against the NAIT Ooks of Edmonton, Alta., the ACAC champions.

Wallace, Torres, Crawford, Bekkering win awards

On Tuesday, Justin Wallace was named the CCAA’s men’s player of the year. Wallace, in his first year back in the Pacific Western conference after spending the last two in the NCAA’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference, had 12 goals in 14 matches this season. He was named the his conference’s player of the year earlier this season and a first-team all-star. He and teammate Oriol Torres were also named all-Canadians Tuesday.

Wallace beat out athletes from the ACAC, the Ontario Collegiate Athletic Association, the RSEQ and the ACAA. He will be not playing this week, though he is with the team in New Brunswick. The midfielder was injured in a Pacific Western conference semifinal match and required a procedure on his spleen.

On the women’s side Alanna Bekkering was named an all-Canadian for the second consecutive year and was joined by teammate Bronwyn Crawford.