Men’s soccer headed to the playoffs

Adam Williams, Sports Editor Ω

The WolfPack men’s soccer team is headed back to the playoffs.

With a win against Capilano University and a draw against Vancouver Island University (VIU) this weekend, the team improved their record to 7-3-4, good enough to clinch a playoff spot as the third place team in the PACWEST Conference; it’s a vast improvement on their 3-3-5 record last season.

“That was the first time in six years that we missed the playoffs and we knew we had a lot to prove,” said co-head coach John Antulov. “Our guys were really resilient this year and our leaders led and that was the big and that’s what we wanted.”

The ‘Pack will face Sunday’s opponent, the VIU Mariners, in the first round of the PACWEST playoffs. In two games against the Mariners this season, the WolfPack has one win and one draw, despite a strong showing this weekend. According to Antulov, the ‘Pack’s performance Sunday could give them a psychological advantage next weekend at the provincial championships.

“These are the guys we’re probably going to be meeting in the first round of the playoffs so it was good to let them know they’re going to be in for a battle.”

For Justin Smeaton of the WolfPack, Sunday marked the end of a career at Hillside Stadium. Smeaton started the match for the WolfPack and played the entire first half. He started the second half on the bench but came back in for the final minutes of the ‘Pack’s 1-1 draw on Oct. 21. Smeaton is the only player leaving the WolfPack at the conclusion of the 2012 season.