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Nelson’s Mitch Popadynetz powers TRU into Canada West Playoffs

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
October 23rd, 2018

Nelson’s Mitch Popadynetz made his final home game at Thompson Rivers University a memorable one.

The Nelson Youth Soccer grad assisted on the only goal as TRU Wolfpack edged UBC Thunderbirds 1-0 in Canada West Men’s Soccer action Sunday in Kamloops.

“We always get up for UBC,” said Popadynetz, who played for UBC before transferring to TRU.

“They are the number one ranked team in the country,” he added. “We look forward to it. We did it. We are pretty fired up. It feels good to beat them.  It’s a story book ending to our season as we won four of their last five.”

Joshua Banton scored the matches only marker when he converted a free kick from former Thunderbird and Canada West MVP Popadynetz  in extra time.

Popadynetz’s assist was his ninth of the year, which is good enough for second most in the Canada West during the regular season. Jackson Gardner got the clean sheet in goal for TRU, his second of the season.

The WolfPack now travel to Edmonton, Alberta to meet up with the Alberta Golden Bears in the Canada West Play in match.  The Bears beat the WolfPack when they met in the regular season 1-0 on September 21st at Hillside Stadium. The Pack beat Alberta in the Canada West playoffs last year to claim the bronze medal.

The WolfPack honored their graduating players; Mitchell Popadynetz (Nelson, BC), Finlay McPhie (Vernon, BC), Thomas Lantmeeters (Genk, Belgium) and Jason Staiger (Agassiz, BC) at the match. All four were the TRU Bookstore/McDonalds “Leader of the Pack” players of the match.  

Popadynetz, who will conclude his studies at TRU in the spring with a business major, has been a winner wherever he has played.

As a member of the NYS U13 Selects, Popadynetz powered the squad to a silver medal at the 2008 B.C. Soccer Provincial B Cup in Richmond, coming within a penalty shot of capturing the gold medal.

In 2013, he guided Team BC to a silver medal at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que.

Later in 2013, he was part of UBC’s run to the Canada University Men’s Soccer Championship as the T-Birds defeated Laval Rouge et Or 3-1 to capture the gold medal.

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