By Larry Read
Thompson Rivers University Sports Information Officer.
VANCOUVER, BC—The Trinity Western University Spartans will play for the 2018 Canada West men's soccer championship.
The Spartans downed the upstart Thompson Rivers University WolfPack 3-0 at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver on Friday (Nov 2).
The loss snapped the WolfPack's six match winning streak .Trinity led 2-0 after the first half. Sebastian Colyn got the clean sheet.
The Spartans got a two goals from Cody Franson. Trinity Western had two assists from Leighton Johnson.
Sebastian Colyn notched the shutout for Trinity Western.
Jackson Gardner played the first half in the nets for TRU with Alex Ram playing the final 45 minutes.
The Spartans will play the UBC Thunderbirds in Sunday's gold medal match. The Thunderbirds pummelled the University of Fraser Valley Cascades 7-0 in their semi final. UFV will meet the WolfPack in the bronze medal match Saturday (Nov 2).
TRU outshot Trinity 11-10 in the contest.
The Pack will play the Cascades in the bronze medal match Saturday (Nov 3) at 7 pm. TRU lost both its regular season matches to Fraser Valley. The scores were 1-0 in Kamloops and 3-1 in Abbotsford.
The Spartans will take on the Thunderbirds in the gold medal match Sunday (Nov 4) afternoon at 2 pm at Thunderbird Stadium. Both teams will advance to the U SPORTS soccer nationals which will be hosted by UBC next week.
Trinity head coach Mike Shearon said the team dedicated the victory to student Maddy Hardy, a student at their school who is battling cancer. Shearon says she is his teams inspiration at these championships.
- Trinity Western-5:28—Dominic Poletto (4th year, forward, Calgary, AB) from Leighton Johnson (5th year, forward, Strathmore, AB)- converted corner kick. TRINITY WESTERN 1 TRU 0
- Trinity Western-28:09—Cody Franson (4th year, forward, Lynden, WA) from Leighton Johnson-capitalized on scramble in front of TRU net. TRINITY WESTERN 2 TRU 0
- Trinity Western-88:00—Cody Franson challenged TRU keeper Alex Ram, who headed the ball right to Franson who put it in the empty net. TRINITY WESTERN 3 TRU 0
Shots: TRU: 4-7:11 Trinity: 6-4:10 Corners: TRU: 3-2:5 Trinity: 4-1:5
Saves: TRU 2-2:4 Trinity: 0-3:3 Fouls: TRU: 8-8:16 Trinity: 9-6:15
Keepers: TRU: Jackson Gardner (1st year, Chilliwack, BC) 45:00 (1-1)/Alex Ram (2nd year, Leicester, England) 45:00 Trinity Western: Sebastian Colyn (2nd year, Langley, BC): 90:00 (2-0)
THEY SAID IT! (post match quotes):
TRU head coach John Antulov (5th year):
On the match: "That first goal really hurt.giving it up early.We had to fight back a little bit after that. That second goal they scored was kind of against the grain a little bit. We came in the second half. We were going hard and pushing bodies forward. Defensively, they played very sound. We had some opportunities here and there but we weren't clicking like we were in previous games. Kudos to Trinity. They played a very strong team game and got the result in the end."
On swapping keepers: "We were just trying different things. Jackson has been fantastic all year. Those two goals weren't his fault. We were trying some different things. Alex has a strong service and he is good on his feet. We were just trying different things."
What was his message to his troops after? ' Just really, really proud of them. From where we were to put ourselves in this situation. To potentially play in the national championships for a second straight year. To get us there was fantastic. Really proud the way they have battled all year. It happens sometimes-it doesn't go your way. As long as we continue to put ourselves in this situation, as a program like ours—at the end of the day—is still a super young program. To put us into two final fours in two years—in our first five years of existence says a lot about our program. We have a lot of great pieces going forward."
On playing for Bronze: " We have one more game tomorrow. We want our fifth year players and graduating players to go out with something they will remember. It is not the medal that we want but those medals mean a lot to our program. It means a lot to the players that are leaving that we go out on a high note. We don't want to go out like this. It will be a battle tomorrow but we will be ready for it no matter whom we play."
Trinity Western head coach Mike Shearon (3rd year):
The two goals in first half set tone: "It was important to get the first one. It's always important to get the first one against this team (TRU). They have worked really hard all year. They keep building on their momentum. We needed to get an early one to cool them down. The second one was very timely. That settled things down."
On weathering storm in second half: " We talked a lot about that at half time. They are a team that has doesn't quit. They were going to fight the entire match. If we didn't match their effort we were going to be in trouble. Credit to the guys in the back. Credit to Bussy. We locked a lot of stuff down. We had to work really hard to get the shutout."
Praised Leighton Johnson: "Leighton Johnson was fantastic tonight. He has been one of our best players over the year. We can always count on him. Dom Poletto had a goal. He was fantastic. Dommy keeps pushing forward. The guys in the back did awesome as well."
On Playing either UBC or UFV in gold medal match: "It's a trophy. You want to win trophies. That is what its all about."
The Bronze medal match will be played at 7 pm PDT on Saturday (Nov 3) at Ken Woods field. The gold medal will be at Thunderbird Stadium Sunday (Nov 4) with a 2 pm kickoff. Before the match, Jan Pirretas Glasmacher of the WolfPack and Joel Waterman of the Spartans were recognized for being Canada West all stars. Waterman was a first team selection while Glasmacher was chosen for the second team.
Saturday's match will be the final ones in a TRU uniform for Mitchell Popadynetz (Nelson, BC), Finlay McPhie (Vernon, BC), Jason Staiger (Agassiz, BC) and Thomas Lantmeeters (Genk, Belguim). The first three are playing out their athletic eligibility. Lantmeeters is graduating from his Masters of Business program with two years of athletic eligibility remaining. He is expecting to return to his native country once he graduates.
Sunday's gold medal match will the the final one for Trinity fifth year players: Joel Waterman, Leighton Johnson, Vito Poletto, Josh Hardy and Austin Kasian.
The Canada West final four will be webcast on a pay per view basis on www.Canadawest.TV.