EDMONTON – The second week of the Canada West men’s soccer season hit the turf this past weekend, and leading the way were a trio of players who earned conference star honours.
Taking home the Canada West men’s first star for the week ending Sunday, Sept. 3 was Thompson Rivers midfielder Mitchell Popadynetz.
The former UBC Thunderbird, who is now in his third season with the WolfPack, registered three combined points, as TRU earned a 3-0 win over Victoria on Saturday, before a 2-2 draw Sunday against UBC.
Popadynetz, who played this summer with the TSS FC Rovers of the Premier Development League, is second in CW scoring through two weekends with five points after his one goal, two assist weekend.
Also earning star honours this week were UBC defender Connor Guilherme, who registered his first career Canada West goal, as well as goalkeeper Sebastian Colyn, who posted his first shutout of the season.
The first women’s three stars of the week will be announced Tuesday, Sept. 12, as the conference regular season hits full stride with a complete slate of games.
Men’s first star – Mitchell Popadynetz
Thompson Rivers WolfPack soccer
Game log: Saturday, September 2 – one goal and one assist in 3-0 W vs. Victoria / Sunday, September 3 – one assist in 2-2 draw vs. UBC.
On a weekend where the WolfPack faced their first litmus test, they came away with a win and a tie thanks in large part to Mitch Popadynetz. After spending the summer playing in the PDL, the native of Nelson, BC has rocketed off to a great start. He is currently tied for third in Canada West goal scoring with three and tied for second in points with five.
TRU returns to action this Friday and Saturday with road games against Trinity Western and Fraser Valley.
Men’s second star – Connor Guilherme
UBC Thunderbirds soccer
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Game log: Saturday, September 2 – 90 minutes in 2-1 W at UBCO / Sunday, September 3 – one goal and one assist in 2-2 draw at Thompson Rivers.
It was a milestone weekend for UBC Thunderbirds defender Connor Guilherme.
He scored his first goal at the U SPORTS level on Sept. 3 against the Thompson Rivers WolfPack in Kamloops, B.C.
Guilherme’s 54th-minute header off a corner kick started UBC’s comeback from a 2-0 deficit. A Science student in his third year of eligibility, Guilherme then assisted on Kristian Yli-Hietanen’s game-tying goal in the 85th.
He played the full 90 minutes against both UBC Okanagan on Saturday, and TRU on Sunday, despite temperatures that soared above 32 degrees. Guilherme has been on the field for every minute of UBC’s four conference games so far in 2017.
UBC – undefeated after four Canada West contests at 3-0-1 – has a bye until the weekend of Sept. 15-16.
Men’s third star – Sebastian Colyn
Trinity Western Spartans soccer
Game log: Friday, September 1 – shutout in 0-0 draw vs. UNBC / Saturday, Sept. 2 – four saves in 2-2 draw vs. UNBC.
Sebastian Colyn was once again a tower of strength in the Spartans goal this weekend, helping Trinity Western to a pair of draws with UNBC.
Playing in his first home game with the Spartans, the first-year goalkeeper earned his first clean sheet, helping TWU to a scoreless draw in his team’s home-opener Friday. His performance was highlighted by a timely diving save late in the match to preserve the draw. Colyn followed that up with an impressive four-save effort in TWU’s 2-2 tie Saturday with the Timberwolves. Through four matches, Colyn sits fourth in Canada West with 14 saves.
The Spartans, who are 1-1-2 on the season, continue their homestand this weekend, when they host Thompson Rivers Friday and UBC Okanagan Saturday.