A strong second half propelled the TRU WolfPack onto a 4-0 shutout of the visiting UNBC Timberwolves in exhibition Canada West men’s soccer action. The match was played Monday, Aug 15, at Hillside Stadium in Kamloops.
The result leaves John Antulov’s squad with a record of 3-2 in the exhibition season. UNBC falls to 2-2.
The WolfPack had the only goal of the first half when, at the 32nd mark Mitch Popadynetz (3rd year, forward, Nelson) fed the ball to Ryan Glanville (4th year, forward, Williams Lake). His shot deflected off a leg right to a streaking Colton Walker (4th year, midfield, Sicamous). Walker blasted it past a startled Timbverwolves keeper Mitch McFarlane.
In the second half it was all TRU. In the 72nd minute, Popadynetz took a corner kick in the left side of the attack area. The ball went right into the middle of the box where Justin Donaldson (3rd year, midfield, Kamloops) was able to head the ball off his right as he out-jumped a UNBC defender to make it 2-0.
Five minutes later (78th minute), it was Donaldson who set up Japanese import Yuya Nakano (1styear, Aichi, Japan) to make it 3-0.
The WolfPack closed out their scoring in the 80th minute when Olamide Ajibike (2nd year, middle, Maple Ridge,) was able to feed Jason Staiger (3rd year, forward, Chilliwack) to make it 4-0.
The last three goals came on UNBC back up Breaden Rake.
All three TRU keepers: Brady Van Ryswyk (1st year, Penticton), Lubo Magdolen (1st year, Kamloops, BC) and Clay Harsany (2nd year, High River, Alta.) shared in the shutout.
“Overall I thought we did really well, “said Antulov. “ It was a continuation of the good work the last three or four days. “
Antulov says the offensive outburst in the second half stemmed from changes the Timberwolves made in their line up combined with his club capitalizing on its chances.
“We started moving the ball more. We have a lot of pace on the outside. That is where we started to exploit at the end. “
Antulov praised the play of Nakano, Donaldson and the team’s backline. “I don’t think they (UNBC) had a shot on net the entire 90 minutes. I thought Yuya and Justin had some outstanding chances. Mitch had four shots alone in the first half and their keeper made some great saves.”
The Timberwolves now head to Kelowna for a pair of exhibition matches with the UBCO Heat. TRU will go to Kelowna this weekend for two exhibition matches including one Sunday, Aug. 22, against University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
TRU opens its 2016 Canada West season at home on Saturday, Aug. 27, against UNBC Thunderbirds. Kickoff will be 1 p.m. at Hillside Stadium.