The TRU men’s soccer team lost 4-2 to the Cape Breton Capers in extra time Friday, dashing their hopes for a gold medal. Instead, the WolfPack men will play for bronze.
It was an entertaining contest that featured plenty of goals, fouls and yellow cards.
Cape Breton dominated the ball while TRU looked to make plays on the counter-attack.
The ’Pack got off to a slow start, and a tough one, with an early turnover first-year TRU defender Josh Banton, which led to Cape Breton scoring early. The goal was scored one minute into the game.
Eventually the ’Pack team settled down and responded, as fifth-year forward Ryan Glanville scored off a scramble play at the net at the 10-minute mark.
The early goals in the contest were a sign that unlike the game against York, this game was going to be a lot more exciting.
The crowd was raucous and passionate, creating a cauldron of support for the ‘Pack. Stakes were raised even higher than they were before.
After Glanville’s equalizer, TRU were in the ascendency and started creating more opportunities on goal.
The pressure paid off, as TRU took a 2-1 lead when James Fraser scored of a free kick into the box at the 19-minute mark.
TRU was able to maintain that advantage going into half-time, despite Cape Breton outshooting TRU 9-4.
Cape Breton came out strong in the second half to tie it up, scoring a goal seven minutes into the second half after an excellent cross penetrated TRU’s defenses and the ball was shot into the top corner.
The game got feisty as both teams knew a mistake would be costly. There were a total of five yellow cards handed out to both teams – three to Cape Breton and two to TRU.
The game went to extra time, where Cape Breton triumphed. Two goals were scored at the 93rd and 101st minutes in the contest.
It was a tough loss for the WolfPack who had led the game going into half-time, but failed to build on their advantage.
“They are ranked number one in Canada for a reason,” said TRU head coach John Antulov.
“I thought the guys battled and showed real commitment to the end. We had some good opportunities to get back into it, but it didn’t happen today, but I thought the guys were fantastic,” he said.
TRU will now play for the bronze medal against the UBC Thunderbirds. The last time TRU played against UBC, they lost 3-1 in a Canada West final four game. Antulov and his players will be hoping for a change in fortune this time around.
Photos by Juan Cabrejo/The Omega