Kamloops, BC—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack have seen their 2016 exhibition men’s soccer record dip to .500.
The WolfPack gave up a goal in the 90th minute and fell to the visiting Douglas College Royals (PACWEST) of New Westminster 3-2. The game was played Sunday (Aug 14) at Hillside Stadium.
The Royals held a 1-0 lead after the first half on a goal from Race Williams.
TRU came out strong in the second half.
In the 62nd minute, Logan Zimmerman (3rd year, midfield, Kamloops BC) got the ball over to Haris Djelmo (1st year, midfield, Kamloops, BC) who beat the Royals keeper to tie the game at 1.
Two minutes later, alumni Justin Wallace (Kamloops, BC) made a brilliant cross to the left side of the net where Zimmerman was all alone. His leg high kick made it to the upper reaches of the left hand portion of the goal and the WolfPack led 3-2.
But then cue the Royals Nick Pinedasam.
He got Douglas College into a 2-2 tie when he scored in the 70 th minute and then in the 90 th, he was the recipient of a ball that rookie TRU keeper Brady Van Ryswyk (1st year, Penticton, BC) couldn’t hold onto to score the winning goal.
WolfPack head coach John Antulov felt that the two goals given up late were simply inexperience on behalf of his young crew. He dressed a team made up mostly of first year players and red shirts along with some alumni.
“Wins and losses aren’t a high priority right now,’ he said. “ It is how our young guys play. Overall, in the two games that they got to play they did really well. Douglas has quality players and they have a quality program. They capitalized on the mistakes when we gave them.”
He added that it was a good lesson for his rookies on what it takes to play consistently in University soccer.
Antulov was pleased with the effort of Zimmerman. “That is what we expect from Logan. He has that for a couple of years now. We have told him that he needs to focus on his offense this year. Defensively and his work rate are where it should be. But we need him to chip in with some more offense whether it is setting up or scoring himself.”
Douglas co-coach Robby Toor was impressed with how his team fared in the weekend tournament as they came away with a win and a loss (to UNBC on Saturday).
“It was good to see where we are at and make decisions on our personnel for the upcoming season, “he says. “ We saw a lot of good things from both our returning players and new players. We have a roster of 29 right now. We have some decisions to make but we are close to finalizing things.”
As far as the difference in this match was concerned, Toor stated: “We had a good team meeting last night and building an identity . We have a lot of young guys. This was a good character test for us. We were down and battled back to win it.”
TRU is now 2-2 on the exhibition season and will meet up with the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves Monday (Aug 15) at 11 am at Hillside Stadium. The Timberwolves lost earlier Sunday to Quest University Kermodes (Squamish, BC) 2-1. UNBC has an exhibition record of 1-1-1. Quest wound up at 1-1-1.
The other game Sunday had the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat (Kelowna, BC) and the MacEwan University Griffins (Edmonton, AB) play to a scoreless tie. The Heat finished with two ties. The Griffins had a record of 0-1-1.
TRU opens its 2016-17 Canada West regular season on Friday, August 27th when they entertain the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds at Hillside Stadium. Kickoff will be at 1 pm.
The game will be webcast on CanadaWest TV.