By Larry Read
TRU Sports Information Officer
KAMLOOPS, BC— In one of the wildest finishes local soccer fans have ever seen, the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack and University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves scored twice in stoppage time and saw three goals in the final three minutes of the contest as they drew 3-3 in Canada West men's soccer action on Sunday (Oct 7). The match was played at Hillside Stadium.
The Timberwolves got goals from Abou Cisse, Cody Gysbergs and Emmanual Drame. TRU got markers from Thomas Lantmeeters, Finlay McPhie and Justin Donaldson.
Gybergs got his goal in the 88 th minute. Donaldson and Drame tallied theirs in two minutes of extra time.
UNBC moves to 4-3-4 on the year while TRU is 3-6-3.
TRU had the good chances early. The WolfPack had two corner kicks in the first 12 minutes, both just missed the mark as they were crossed into the crease occupied by Rob Goodey of UNBC. In the 16th minute, Kalifa Fanne (3rd year, midfield, Tours, France) drove to the net and fired it just outside the left post.
But it was the Timberwolves who drew first blood. In the 30 th minute, Abou Cisse put in a loose ball after a set piece for his first goal of the season.
UNBC had a glorious chance six minutes later: Owen Stewart (3rd year midfield, Prince George, BC) went down the right side and took a shot which hit the cross bar. Liam Stewart (4th year, midfield, Prince George, BC) picked up the loose ball rebound and couldn't capitalize.
The WolfPack tied the match seven minutes later as a left foot swipe by Thomas Lantmeeters resulted in his fourth goal of the year.
Thompson Rivers lost veteran Mitch Popadynetz (5th year, midfield, Nelson, BC) in stoppage time in the first half after a lower body injury. He did not return for the second half and was replaced by rookie Dylan Hooper (Winnipeg, MB).
UNBC could have taken the lead in the 50 th minute. Gardner came out of the net and left two UNBC players wide open. Francesco Bartolillo had a wide open net but put it outside on the left hand side of the cage.
In the 57 th minute, TRU's Justin Donaldson (4th year, midfield, Kamloops, BC) got a loose ball and blasted it from 30 yards out that Goodey had to stretch to his right to get a piece of it.
UNBC keeper Goodey came up with a big stop in the 71 st minute when Donaldson saw some open ground and hit a laser to the near left side.
The WolfPack took the lead off a corner kick in the 76th minute. Finlay McPhie was served a beauty from Donaldson for his first goal of the year. He outleapt two defenders to head the ball in. It was his first goal of the season.
In the 89th minute, UNBC got a penalty kick. Cody Gysbers drew the Timberwolves even when he was awarded a penalty kick and beat Gardner to he left.
The WolfPack immediately came down field off the kick off. Donaldson showed his speed and accuracy as he blew down the left side and blasted it past a startled Goodey's left shoulder. Donaldson was named the "TRU Bookstore/McDonalds's" Leader of the Pack player of the match for the second straight day.
But in the 95th minute, Gordon Hall of UNBC threw the ball into the center of the box where Emmanual Drame turned and fired it upstairs on a scrambly Gardner to tie the contest at three.
- UNBC—30:53- Abou Cisse (2nd year, midfield, Bamako, Mali) found the ball after it was punched away by TRU keeper Jackson Gardner on a free kick taken by UNBC's Francesco Bartolillo (5th year, forward, Calgary, AB). Cisse's first goal of the season. UNBC 1 TRU 0
- TRU—36:50-Thomas Lantmeeters (4th year, midfield, Genk, Belguim) got the ball from Khalifa Fanne (3rd year, midfield, Tours, France) and blasted it from 25 yards out to the top right side of the net. Lantmeeters fourth goal of the year. TRU 1 UNBC 0
- TRU—76:54-Finlay McPhie (5th year, defender, Vernon, BC) headed the ball of a corner kick from Justin Donaldson. Donaldson placed it to the far right side of the net. McPhie's first goal of the year. TRU 2 UNBC 1
- UNBC—88:56—Cody Gysbers (3rd year, middle, Victoria, BC) scores on a penalty kick to Gardner's left. Gysbers second goal of the year and second in as many matches. UNBC 2 TRU 2
- TRU—90:00—Justin Donaldson(4th year, middle, Kamloops, BC) took the pass on the left side from James Fraser (3rd year, forward, Penticton, BC) . He rocketed down the left side and cut in blasting the ball over the left shoulder of the UNBC keeper. Donaldson's 3rd goal of the campaign. TRU 3 UNBC 2.
- UNBC—95:00—Emmanuel Drame (4th year, defender, Passama, Liberia) got the throw in from Gordon Hall (5th year,defender, Chilliwack, BC). He turned with the ball to his left and went upstairs on Gardner. Drame's first goal of the year. UNBC 3 TRU 3
Shots: TRU 6-11:17 UNBC 6-6:12 Corners: TRU 3-9:11 UNBC 4-3:7 Saves: TRU 1-0:1 UNBC: 2-5:7
Shots on Goal: TRU: 4-7:11 UNBC: 2-2:4 Fouls: TRU: 7 -11:18 UNBC 3-9:12
Keepers: TRU: Jackson Gardner (1st year, Chilliwack, BC) (2-3-1)
UNBC: Rob Goodey (3rd year, Langley, BC) (4-3-4)
TRU 3-6-3 (tied for 5th in Pacific) UNBC:4-3-4 (4th in Pacific)
THEY SAID IT! (game quotes):
TRU head coach John Antulov:
On the game: "For us, it was making critical errors at the end. We were up 2-1 in the 90 th minute. A really sloppy play to give that PK away. We had it defended. There was no reason to do that unfortunately. We came back right away. Then again, we weren't able to defend a simple throw in and it cost us."
On play of Justin Donaldson this weekend: " Justin had a good weekend. That is what we expect from him. To get the ball and go at players. Get shots on goal. He was able to do that today and get some goals. That was good for him."
Video of Coach Antulov's post game interview: click here
TRU midfielder Justin Donaldson (4th year, Kamloops, BC):
On scoring the third goal in extra time: " I have had a few really nice goals in the past. This one is certainly up there when you consider the moment of the game. Last minute to score to go up is exhilarating but it tough when we can't finish the game ahead."
On difference in the game: "We really drove at each other hard. I don't think there was a difference. I thought we played well and held a lot of possession and finished our chances. But at the end of the day, we didn't get what we were here for (a victory)."
Donaldson's video comments: click here
UNBC head coach Steve Simonson (4th year):
On wild finish: "I have been involved in a few ones but this was one of the wildest for sure. It had a bit of everything. The fans got their money's worth. Even though I am on the bench I am still a fan. It was stressful for sure. I appreciate the effort and the attitude from the players on both these teams. TRU kept us on our toes. For Justin (Donaldson) to score that goal. We thought he buried us. But we came back. This is a big point for us. But more importantly it is a moral victory . I thought we had chances to win that game today and we didn't. We had some adversity. If we had lost this one late it would have killed us emotionally. The tie certainly helps us."
Coaches video comments: click here
The WolfPack have the bye next weekend while UNBC will return home to host the UBCO Heat in back to back games Oct 12-13. Next action for Thompson Rivers will be the makeup of a postponed game from August 26th. Their opponents will be the Trinity Western University Spartans. That match will be a 3 pm PST start time on Wednesday, October 17th. The Spartans and WolfPack played a couple of weeks ago in the Central Fraser Valley with the Spartans winning 3-2. The winning goal was scored in stoppage time. All of the remaining WolfPack home matches will be webcast live on a pay per view basis on www.Canadawest.TV.
The WolfPack played the match without two of their players who were serving automatic one game suspensions for too many yellow cards: Koffi Nyavor (Coquitlam, BC) and Josh Banton (Leigh-on-Sea, England).