Posted on: June 15, 2017
The Canada West men’s and women’s soccer seasons have been released with the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s team starting the 2017-18 campaign on the road. The TRU women’s squad gets to open their season at home.
The WolfPack men—who will host the 2017 USport Soccer nationals at Hillside Stadium in November—will open their season Friday August 25th in Prince George, BC.
Thompson Rivers will meet the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves twice that weekend. The other match will be played Saturday August 26th.
“We are excited about the start of the new season,” says TRU head coach John Antulov. “ As always, it will be a tough go as the Canada West is one of the strongest divisions in the nation. There are no easy matches. Anyone can be beaten on any given day. It’s a challenge that our group looks forward to.”
The WolfPack men open their training camp the beginning of August. TRU will be led by two time Canada West all-star Ryan Glanville (Williams Lake, BC). Glanville is going into his fifth and final year of eligibility.
Two other veterans returning are Mitchell Popadynetz (Nelson, BC) and Justin Donaldson (Kamloops, BC). Both are playing this summer in the PDL (Professional Development League).
The TRU men’s home opener will be Labor Day weekend (September 2 and 3) against UBC and UVIC. UVIC is up first with a 1 pm kick off on Saturday September 2nd. UBC is here the following day for a 2 pm kick off.
Other teams paying a visit to Kamloops this year are: Trinity Western, Fraser Valley, Lethbridge, and arch rival UBCO out of Kelowna, BC.
The Canada West women’s soccer season begins Saturday, September 2nd. Kelly Shantz and the TRU women have the first week bye and don’t see action until Saturday September 9th when the MacEwan University Griffins pay a visit for a 1 pm showdown at Hillside Stadium. The following day, TRU will entertain the UNBC Timberwolves. That kick off is also 1 pm.
“I like our schedule just fine,” says Shantz. “As a coach, you always think about starting at home vs the road or stringing together road games so you can have some at home as well. But our schedule is balanced with the home and road matches alternating for the most part. That should allow our players to manage their academics properly as well. We open at home (which I like) against teams that we will see twice during the course of the year. Having a home opener gives us something to really focus on to start. We follow that up with a flight to Saskatchewan and Regina. Avoiding the long bus trips should be easier for us. The only possible fly in the ointment as far as the schedule is concerned is finishing the year on the road at UNBC and MacEwan. Those are likely to be crucial games for all and it’s a lot of time on the bus as well as the threat of snow and cold in late October up north, which we hit last year. All in all, a good schedule for us for the most part and we are looking forward to it.”
Shantz is expecting to field a young team as well led by vets Natalie Verdeil (Powell River, BC) and Christine Fergin ( Waterloo, Ontario).
Defending league champion: UBC, Victoria, and UBCO will also pay a visit.
The WolfPack women begin their training camp in mid August.
The complete Canada West schedule for soccer is available by logging onto www.canadawest.org.