Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack and Penticton Pinnacles alum James Fraser tries to hold off the Trinity Western Spartans during the Canada West conference championships at UBC in Vancouver, Nov., 2, 2018. Rich Lam/UBC Athletics Photo

Penticton Pinnacle alum help WolfPack to Canada West bronze medal

Three Penticton players are on the TRU WolfPack squad that won a bronze medal

It was deja vu for Penticton’s James Fraser as he ends the soccer season with a Canada West bronze medal around his neck.

Three Penticton Pinnacles (Fraser, Jordell Afonso and Brady Van Ryswyk) hit the pitch looking to capture another medal with Thompson Rivers University WolfPack last weekend in the Canada West Final Four.

Related: Penticton soccer players headed to Canada West Final Four

A lone goal, in the 24th minute during a torrential downpour, gave the WolfPack the win over the University of Fraser Valley Cascades.

It was the first time in three meetings between the two squads that the WolfPack defeated the Cascades.

Related: Fraser’s penalty kick earns TRU WolfPack bronze

The match started slow but opened up about 14 minutes in when Fraser (third year, forward) took a pass, turned and fired just wide of the net. The Cascades had a good chance in the 16th minute when Canada West First Team All-Star Gurmaan Jhaj had a free kick which created a scoring chance at the side of the WolfPack net.

The ‘Pack opened the scoring in the 24th minute when Donaldson deflected a free kick into the net past UFV ‘keeper David Hicks.

Two medals, in two seasons makes it especially sweet for the young program.

“It is always great to get a medal.

The fact in the first five years we have been able to go to two final fours and get a medal out of it.

It is a big accomplishment for our group. For our players. I am especially happy for our fifth years,” said said John Antulov, head coach of the WolfPack.

The WolfPack went into the Final Four riding a five game unbeaten streak that was ended by the Trinity Western University Spartans, who defeated them 3-0 in the quarter-final.

“That first goal really hurt.giving it up early.We had to fight back a little bit after that. That second goal they scored was kind of against the grain a little bit. We came in the second half. We were going hard and pushing bodies forward,” said said John Antulov, head coach of the WolfPack.. “Defensively, they played very sound. We had some opportunities here and there but we weren’t clicking like we were in previous games. Kudos to Trinity. They played a very strong team game and got the result in the end.”

The Spartans have three Pinnacles alum as well (Dylan Kelly, Michael Boehmer and Kyle Martins), all of which had not seen game action this season.

They moved on to the Canada West championship where they were defeated by the UBC Thunderbirds 2-0.

However, the Spartans will join the Thunderbirds as two of eight teams that will compete for the men’s national soccer championship starting on Nov. 9.

The quarter final loss pushed the WolfPack into the bronze medal game, deju vu for squad who took the bauble last year.

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