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WolfPack Men’s Soccer Hoping to Secure First Ever Playoff Spot

Image Credit: Thompson Rivers University
October 20, 2016 - 1:32 PM

Another pressure filled weekend for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s soccer team.  In search of their first ever Canada West post season appearance, the WolfPack have ‘critical’ matches against the University of Victoria Vikes and the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.

The WolfPack sit in fourth place in the Canada West Pacific Division with 6-71. That is three points back of third place University of Fraser Valley and two ahead of fifth place UBC Okanagan.  The top four teams make the post season.

The opponents for TRU this weekend are both established franchises. This season, UBC has secured a playoff spot and sit in second place with a record of 7-1-6. Victoria is in the basement at 4-9-1.  This is the final weekend of the Canada West regular campaign.

WolfPack coach John Antulov: “These are critical games as there are still 4 teams including UVIC battling for the last playoff spot, so there is little room for error.  What happened against Victoria last time doesn’t translate to now.  They won’t be happy with their last game against us and will look to change that result.  We have seen firsthand in Canada West that anyone can beat anyone on any given day and we must be mentally prepared and focused to play on Friday. UVIC is a very well coached and balanced team and they will be ready to play us. “

As is the case at this time of the year with all teams, the WolfPack have had a number of players sitting out suspensions due to yellow cards.  After having Thomas Lantmeeters (1st year, defender, Zulendaal, Belgium) and Justin Donaldson (2nd year, midfielder, Kamloops, BC) sitting out Sunday’s loss to Fraser Valley, the ‘Pack will be missing Colton Walker (4th year, midfield, Sicamous, BC) out for both games this week.

“It is a little frustrating as our discipline has been very good this year,” says Antulov. "But we have not been smart the last couple of games and we have been missing key players the last couple of games, but that has given our younger players the opportunity to step up and get starts and they have done well in stepping in and showing they can play at this level.”

Looking at the opponents this weekend, Antulov believes they match up pretty well with UVIC and despite a big victory over them earlier this year at Hillside Stadium (4-0) they aren’t taking them for granted. As for UBC?  “They are a very difficult side to break down.  They are strong from top to bottom and we will have to be at our best to get a result from them.  We have confidence from our first game with them and will have to take that confidence into the game on Saturday.”

Going into the final weekend Ryan Glanville (4th year, forward, Williams Lake, BC) stands third in Canada West goal scoring with 9. That is one ahead of teammate Donaldson.

Should the WolfPack make the post season, it would be their first ever playoff appearance in Canada West. They would battle the Prairie Division regular season champion Alberta Golden Bears in Edmonton next week.

This weekend’s final regular season tilts are available to be viewed on Canada West TV on a pay-per-view basis.

News from © iNFOnews, 2016

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