Popadynetz named Canada West player of the year

Third WolfPack athlete to be named player of the year

The WolfPack’s Mitch Popadynetz, men’s soccer player of the year. (TRU Athletics)

The WolfPack men’s soccer team has had a historical season. For the first time ever, the team made the playoffs and ended up with a bronze medal.

A key part of that success was Mitchell Popadynetz.

Mitchell Popadynetz was named player of the year and first-team Canada West all-star after an excellent season where he led the team with seven goals, 10 assists with 17 points, tying first in Canada West in points and leading the league in assists.

He is the third WolfPack athlete to be named a Canada West player of the year.

Popadynetz, a product of Nelson Youth Soccer, transferred to TRU from UBC, where he was part of a team that won a national championship gold medal.

In 2013, Popadynetz also guided team B.C. to a silver medal at the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que.

“The award is very well deserved for Mitch,” head coach John Antulov told TRU Athletics.

“Not only this season, but over the last three years. We knew we were getting a special player when he came to us from UBC,” Antulov said.

“He is not only an offensive guy, he has taken to everything we talked about on the defensive side of the ball and has become an excellent all-around player. Overall, it has been a fantastic thing for our program. Great leader, great person and I am very happy for him.”

Popadynetz continued his good form into the playoffs providing an assist for Anatoli Leveille in the bronze medal game against Alberta.

Popadynetz is not just involved with U Sports soccer but also with the Premier Development League, where he will play for the TSS Rovers out of Vancouver. The league is a semi-pro organization for players under the age of 23. It is two leagues below MLS.

The WolfPack soccer team has its own star and match winner. His contribution this season has been a huge reason for their success and the ’Pack team will be hoping that good form continues as they head into the nationals. Given the challenge, the ’Pack will need him at his best.