KAMLOOPS — It looked like a case of history repeating itself on Sunday at Hillside Stadium.
After the TRU WolfPack established a 2-0 lead on the UBC Thunderbirds early in the second half of the USports National Championship Bronze Medal game, the T-Birds tied the match off a corner kick in the 86th minute, a goal which silenced the home crowd and had WolfPack players thinking deja vu.
“I was on the bench at the time, and I thought ‘Not again,’ you know?” Ryan Glanville said when he saw the UBC tying goal go in.
Glanville scored the games first goal in the 23rd minute, taking a pass from Justin Donaldson and beating UBC goalkeeper Chad Bush to establish a 1-0 for the WolfPack.
The goal seemed to wake the WolfPack from a sleepy start after UBC came out strong. The ‘Pack would have several golden chances to open up a 2-0 lead before halftime, but weren’t able to hit the net. TRU would take the 1-0 lead into halftime.
Early in the second half, a pair of former Thunderbirds would combine for to stretch the lead to two for TRU. 16-year old Anatoli Leveille would block the UBC clearing kick, then chase down the ball and get it to Glanville, who put a perfect ball into the box for Mitchell Popadynetz. Popadynetz would beat Bush to the ball and chip it over the UBC keeper for TRU’s second of the match.
But the Thunderbirds would answer back.
UBC’s Zach Verhoeven would be taken down in the area, and Kyle Sohi would bury the penalty kick, cutting TRU’s lead to one with 22 minutes to play.
Then off a corner kick in the 86th minute, Ryan Arthur would beat his man to the left post and direct the ball home, tying the game for UBC.
Regulation time would end with the match drawn at two goals apiece, sending things to penalty kicks.
Popadyntez would score on TRU’s first attempt, while Patrick Metcalfe would miss wide for UBC.
Glanville had a chance to drive a dagger into the T-Birds, but he missed high. WolfPack goalkeeper Allan Connor would pick Glanville up on the next UBC shooter, as he absolutely denied Sohi's attempt.
Thomas Lantmeeters would score in the third round for TRU. Mackenzie Cole couldn't answer for UBC, as Connors once again slammed the door shut for the ‘Pack.
Which meant if James Fraser could score, the Thompson Rivers WolfPack would win the USports National Men’s Soccer Bronze Medal; he made no mistake, sealing the victory for TRU.
The WolfPack win earns the Men's soccer program their first ever medal in USports soccer. It's also their first win over perennial rivals, the UBC Thunderbirds, in the program’s history.
"We've always had troubles finishing them off, especially this year," Glanville said after the game. "When it went to PK's and after my miss, I thought 'You can't do me like this.' But my teammates bailed me out, and it feels like destiny kind of, you know what I mean? On our home soil, Nationals, the first medal for the program. It's been amazing, it's been a wild ride."
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