After reaching the postseason for the fourth time in four years, the TRU men’s soccer team took the flight to Calgary hoping to make a deep run into the postseason.
Unfortunately, their endeavours were quickly cut short after they were defeated 2 – 0 to the Mount Royal Cougars in Canada West quarter-final play. The game marks the second consecutive season that the Wolfpack failed to get past the first round of playoffs.
“I thought it was the best team we have played all season. We knew who their key players were before going into the game, and I thought we did well to neutralize them and limit their impact on the game. We shot ourselves in the foot with the first goal – they capitalized off our mistake. For the second goal, we had all our numbers up the field trying to equalize and push the game to extra time,” Marques Scott, third-year midfielder explained.
“Overall, I thought we played pretty well. We had our fair share of possession but just could not work anything serious into the final third. We will have plenty to fix our faults during the off-season,” Scott said.
The Wolfpack will now enter a lengthy off-season where they will continue to train and play exhibition games against various opponents.
This off-season will be unique for the Wolfpack, as Thompson Rivers University has funded a move for the Wolfpack to purchase a B.C. League One franchise. This will allow the players to train and play all year round in an uber-competitive league, adding an extra element to this year’s off-season and pre-season training.
This may be exactly what the Wolfpack needs, as Hillside Stadium and the city of Kamloops have been selected to host the U-Sport Men’s Soccer Nationals for the 2022 season. As the host, they will automatically qualify for nationals, but the squad is still aiming high and hoping to win hardware before the national tournament.
“I don’t want a bye to nationals, I want to earn it on our own accord. We have a lot of weaknesses that we need to fix, luckily we have nine months to prepare for it,” Jonathan Rinaldi, first-year, claimed. “I fully believe in our team and our coaching staff. I think we have an excellent foundation to grow upon. I’m expecting big things to come for our future.”
The Wolfpack will enjoy the upcoming weeks off before finals week and Christmas break. The ending of the season came soon, ending with a bittersweet feeling for the boys. They will take this time to reflect and rejuvenate before they get ready for possibly the biggest season in Wolfpack Men’s Soccer history in 2022.