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Popadynetz, Wolfpack capture Canada West Soccer Bronze Medal

Mitch Popadynetz in action this season. — Andrew Snucins photo

Mitchell Popadynetz of Nelson had an assist to spark Thompson Rivers University WolfPack to the 2017 Canada West mens soccer bronze medal Saturday in Vancouver.

It sets the stage for the WolfPack hosting the 2017 USPORTS men’s soccer nationals next week at Hillside Stadium.

The bronze medal is the third Canada West bronze to be won by Thompson Rivers in any sport.

The others were in men’s volleyball.

“Very happy with the win," said Wolfpack coach John Antulov.

"To come away with a medal in our first time at the final four is massive for our program and our players. Couldn’t be happier for the guys. The way they responded today.It was a fantastic effort. Defensively solid. We took our opportunities when we had the chance. Playing one of the top teams in the country posed its problem."

TRU  scored both their goals in the first half. Anatoli Levielle (1st year, midfield, Winnipeg, MB) opened things up in the eight minute mark.

Popadynetz, recently named Canada West, player of the year and first team allstar,  blasted a rocket right at the Alberta keeper Connor James. Leveille knocked in rebound, his first of the playoffs.

The Nelson, BC native (4th year, midfielder) led the team offensively with seven goals and 10 assists with 17 points. He was tied for first in the Canada West in total points and led the league in assists.

James Fraser (2nd year, forward, Penticton, BC) added the second in the 21 st minute. It was Fraser’s fourth goal of the post season.

"The guys played fantastic and represented the university well," said Antulov.

"This is a great motivator and confidence builder going into our first game at nationals against York next week.”

The WolfPack will return home to host the USPORTS Men’s soccer nationals which will be held at Hillside Stadium November 9-12th.

In the other match, UBC took on Trinity for the gold medal. The score of that game was: 3-2 for UBC in overtime as they rallied from a 2-0 first half deficit.

— With files from Thompson Rivers Wolfpack Athletics