Popadynetz ignites brilliant comeback as WolfPack draw Spartans

By Larry Read
October 1, 2017 - 3:47pm Updated: October 2, 2017 - 6:11pm

KAMLOOPS —  Fans who attended Sunday’s (Oct 1) Canada West men’s soccer match between the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack  and the Trinity Western University Spartans definitely got their money’s worth.

They saw the Spartans jump out to a 3-0 lead but the WolfPack staged a dramatic second half comeback including scoring twice in extra time to tie the match at 3.

Mitchell Popadynetz (4th year, midfield, Nelson, BC) showed why he is one of the Canada West’s leading point producers. He had two goals and assisted on the game tying marker by teammate Justin Donaldson (3rd year, midfield, Kamloops, BC)


TRU and Trinity were both coming off defeats on Saturday (Sept 30).  The Spartans fell to UBCO in Kelowna, while the WolfPack fell 2-1 at the hands of the University of Fraser Valley Cascades. As a result, TRU entered play Sunday in fourth place in the Canada West Pacific Division. The Spartans were second.

Trinity had only two shots on goal in the first half and they both went in the net.

Trinity markers came from Josh Hardy, Joel Waterman and Matthew Roxburgh.  Popadnynetz with two and Donaldson replied for the WolfPack



Goal scoring:

Trinity—13:56: Josh Hardy (2nd year, midfield, Burnaby, BC) catches WolfPack defenders napping and blasted it past TRU keeper Alex Ram on the short side (right of the net). His first goal of the year.  Trinity 1  TRU 0
Trinity-45:00 Joel Waterman (4th year, midfield, Aldergrove, BC) fancy footwork as he fired a rocket low left side past Ram for his 3rd goal of the year. This coming in extra time.   Trinity 2  TRU 0
Trinity-73:54: Matthew Roxburgh from Josh Hardy:  He headed the ball to the bottom of the net after taking the cross from the right side of the pitch. Roxburgh’s second goal of the year. Trinity 3  TRU 0
TRU-76:51: Mitchell Popadynetz (4th year, midfield, Nelson, BC) on a penalty shot. Popadynetz’s fourth goal of the campaign.  Trinity 3  TRU 1
TRU-90:00-Mitchell Popadynetz from Jan Pirretas Glasmacher.  Popadynetz’s fifth goal of the year as he took the pass from Glasmacher and shot bottom right hand corner.  Trinity 3  TRU 2
TRU-90:00-Justin Donaldson (3rd year, midfield, Kamloops, BC) assisted by Popadynetz. Donaldson’s fourth goal of the year on a header from six yards out to the top right corner.  TRU 3  Trinity 3

Shots:    TRU 8-14:22  Trinity Western  2-6:8    Corners:   TRU 0-7:7   Trinity Western 0-1:1

Fouls:   TRU  6-7:13    Trinity Western  13-9:22       Shots on Goal:  TRU 2-5:7      Trinity Western 2-5:7

Keepers:  TRU: Alex Ram (1st year, Leicester, England)  4 saves

Trinity Western: Sebastian Colyn (1st year, Langley, BC) 4 saves


TRU    4-2-5          Trinity Western: 5-3-4


TRU head coach John Antulov: 

On the game: “The big thing we told the guys at halftime when we were down 2-0 that we wanted to see fight and battle right till the end. And we saw that.”

Breaking down the match: “Overall we did well. We maintained possession and had opportunities. We made a couple of critical mistakes in the first half and were down 2-0. We started to push forward in the second half. We gave them that third goal. I told the boys if we just got one we would go from there.”

On play of Mitch Popadynetz: “ Mitchy got those opportunity. He played quality balls into the box and guys were able to get on the end of it. The guys were fighting and battling right until the end.”

Was this a good way to enter a bye week? “This was almost like a win. Being down 3-0 with 10 minutes to go. Overall, I thought we played really well this weekend. We made some critical mistakes at bad times. That cost us the goals. It was great the boys were able to fight back.”


WolfPack forward Mitch Popadynetz (2 goals and 2 assists this weekend)

What was told to the team when they were down 2-0 at the half: “I didn’t think we had a bad first half. We were pretty down. John came in and hyped us up a bit. We knew if we got an early one we could take it to them.”

Has he ever been involved in a wild finish like this match: “No I haven’t. I think there was a lot of excitement for both teams. A little bit more for us. It was fun to play.”

With the team having a bye this coming week, he says the tie was huge: “To get a point today. I think we are just a couple of points back of Trinity so we are battling them for second place. This was big. We wanted three points but we will take the single one.”

Trinity Western head coach Mike Shearon:

On match:”We were leading at half and were up 3-0. We did everything we wanted to do. We shifted a lot. We gave away too many fouls. Some were questionable but that is the game. Took our chances. If we capitalized on our break away we would have made it 4-0 at the time.  We took the chances that we had but came up a bit short today.”



The WolfPack have the bye next week and don’t return to action until Friday October 13th when they visit the Thunderbirds at the University of British Columbia. The teams played to a 2-2 tie earlier this season at Hillside.

The following day (Saturday, October 14), Thompson Rivers will visit the University of Victoria to face the Vikes.

The Spartans will be home next weekend for a home and home series (Oct 6 and Oct 8) with the University of Fraser Valley Cascades. The teams play the Friday night in Langley, BC and then the Sunday in Abbotsford. BC.

Today’s match will be shown later this week on Shaw TV in Kamloops, BC.

All of the WolfPack matches—home and away—will be webcast  live on a pay per view basis on www.Canadawest.TV.

The WolfPack are hosting the 2017 USport Men’s Soccer Nationals November 9-12th. Tickets are now on sale .


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