‘Pack works hard for split decision comeback

The TRU WolfPack men’s soccer team played to a thrilling 3-3 draw with the Trinity Western University Spartans Sunday.

Both teams were looking to bounce back from losses, the WolfPack after a 2-1 loss to the University of Fraser Valley Cascades and the Spartans after a loss to UBCO in Kelowna.

For those in attendance this was a spectacle. The Spartans got off to an excellent start as they led the game 3-0 at the halftime break. In most instances a game like this would have been over at that point, but the WolfPack men never gave up and they kept fighting.

No surprise, the star of the game was Mitchell Popadynetz, who scored two goals and had one assist. TRU showed spirit and continued the good season that the team is having.

Two of the WolfPack goals came in extra time and one came from a penalty for TRU WolfPack. The final goal was scored by Justin Donaldson. The game showed the character of the WolfPack team but the defensive vulnerabilities, too.

To concede three in the first half was very disappointing for the WolfPack team. The WolfPack record now stands at 4-2-5, somewhat worrying when you consider the fact that they have drawn more games than they have won all season.

WolfPack coach John Antulov spoke to TRU Athletics after the game and said, “The big thing we told the guys at halftime when we were down 2-0 that we wanted to see fight and battle right till the end. And we saw that.”

He went on to acknowledge that mistakes were made that hurt the team in the first half.

“Overall we did well. We maintained possession and had opportunities. We made a couple of critical mistakes in the first half and were down 2-0. We started to push forward in the second half. We gave them that third goal. I told the boys if we just got one we would go from there.”

This shows how mentally tough the WolfPack team is now and a win like this will only continue to improve their resolve for the future.

Mitchell Popadynetz continues to be a huge part of the team success and on that Antulov told TRU athletics, “Mitch got those opportunities. He played quality balls into the box and guys could get on the end of it. The guys were fighting and battling right until the end.”

The WolfPack have a bye week this week and will hope to return with wins after the break.