KAMLOOPS (U SPORTS) – For the first time in program history, the Thompson Rivers WolfPack will play on the biggest stage possible after they upset the Cape Breton Capers in a semifinal shootout at the U SPORTS Men’s Soccer Championship presented by RBC in Kamloops Friday night.
After neither regulation nor extra time could separate the teams, TRU snagged the victory thanks to a pair of penalty stops by Jackson Gardner and a second-straight shootout-winning goal from Patrick Izett.
Marco Favaro and Elijah Dos Santos scored for TRU from free play with Cian Lynch and Muad Mohamoud answering for Cape Breton.
In what was a cagey affair all night long, neither team was able to grab the lead in the opening half despite TRU outshooting CBU 12-6 at the half.
That changed in the 51st minute when Favaro found the back of the net. A corner kick from Izett bounced around the 18-yard box before popping out to Favaro who made no mistake in hammering the ball into the back of the net.
TRU appeared well on their way to clinching their spot in the championship game before the Capers struck late.
CBU goalkeeper Daniel Clarke left his net for a corner kick in the 85th minute and his header bounced to a Cape Breton forward who struck the ball off a WolfPack defender’s hands for a penalty shot.
Cian Lynch made no mistake from the spot, placing the ball calmly past Jackson Gardner to send the game into extra time.
Elijah Dos Santos put the WolfPack back ahead just two minutes into the first extra period after he poked in a corner kick from Izett.
Once again the Capers refused to go away however and tied the game up three minutes from the final whistle off a set-piece of their own.
Ze Cunha sent in a curling ball that was nodded into the box where Mohamoud met it with a thunderous strike to tie the game at 2-2 and send it into a shootout.
For the second-straight night, the WolfPack emerged victorious from the shootout, handing the No. 1 seed Capers their first loss of the season in the process.
Already on the best run in program history, the WolfPack will get the chance to take the gold on home soil when they face the UBC Thunderbirds in an all Canada West championship game at 2:00 p.m. PT on Sunday.
Cape Breton meanwhile, will match up against the Montreal Carabins in a bronze medal game slated for 11:00 a.m. PT on Sunday.
Nike Top Performers
- TRU: Akwasi Agyekum
- CBU: Jamie Watson
51’ TRU #21 Marco Favaro TRU 1-0
84’ CBU #10 Cian Lynch TRU 1-1 CBU
First Extra Time
92’ TRU #5 Elijah Dos Santos TRU 2-1
107’ CBU #20 Muad Mohamoud TRU 2-2 CBU
CBU - #10 Cian Lynch – save (Jackson Gardner)
TRU - #5 Elijah Dos Santos - goal
CBU – #21 Ze Cunha - goal
TRU - #14 Daniel Sagno – save (Daniel Clarke)
CBU – #2 Jamie Watson – goal
TRU - #21 Marco Favaro – goal
CBU - #6 Max Piepgrass – goal
TRU – #4 Josh Banton – goal
CBU – #20 Muad Mohamoud – save (Jackson Gardner)
TRU – #10 Patrick Izett - goal