Vernon’s Finlay McPhie, left, of the Thompson Rivers WolfPack, carries the ball past Nathan Ramirez of the Mt. Royal Cougars. (Jonathan Amponasah/TRU Athletics)

Vernon’s Finlay McPhie, left, of the Thompson Rivers WolfPack, carries the ball past Nathan Ramirez of the Mt. Royal Cougars. (Jonathan Amponasah/TRU Athletics)

Vernon athletes boost WolfPack

Canada West sports roundup

Morning Star/TRU Staff

Vernon athletes enjoyed weekend success with the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) WolfPack in Canada West athletics.

In men’s soccer, Vernon’s Finlay McPhie and Scott Cramer helped the WolfPack ground the Mount Royal Cougars of Calgary 4-0 Saturday at Hillside Stadium to stop a five-game winless skid.

TRU’s offence mainly came off the foot of James Fraser (third year, forward, Penticton). He scored once in the first half and added two more in the second half with his hat-trick goal coming on a penalty kick. Jackson Gardner (1st year, Chilliwack) earned his first Canada West shutout in his third straight start. The other WolfPack goal came from Jason Staiger (5th year, forward, Agassiz).

Both teams came out fired up forcing referee Todd Wiseman (former Hamilton Tiger-Cat) to call three fouls in the first two minutes. Each team wound up in double digits in fouls with both picking up a pair of yellow cards.

The WolfPack had a number of great scoring chances in the opening half. Many of them came from veterans Fraser, Koffi Nyafor (3rd year, midfield, Coquitlam), Justin Donaldson (4th year, midfield, Kamloops) and Jan Pirretes Glasmacher (second year, midfield, Barcelona, Spain). Fraser finally beat Cougars keeper Kyron Valley in the 20th minute.

“The goals were just landing on my foot,” said Fraser. “I was lucky to get three. It’s good for the team to get four. I am more pumped about the win. I liked the second goal. The first one — I know my coach would have lost his head. I am so glad it popped back out to me. It was a 100 per cent team effort. We knew coming into this match that it was an ‘all or nothing’ situation. We just kept going at them, wave after wave after wave. So pumped about how the team played today.”

In men’s volleyball, Vernon’s Land0n Currie helped TRU go .500 in their opening weekend of exhibition play.

The Trinity Western University Spartans dispatched the WolfPack in three straight sets Friday (25-21,25-17,26-24).

TRU came back Saturday to take Trinity Western in four (25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 26-24). Thompson Rivers was led by Charlie Bringloe (fourth year, outside hitter, Waterloo, Ont) with 22 points and Tim Dobbert (5th year, outside hitter, Aichelberg, Germany) with 21.

Said WolfPack head coach Pat Hennelly: “They were both solid. Tim Edge (fifth year, outside hitter, Langley) was strong with his passing, blocking and serving as well. Sam Taylor Parks (fourth year, middle, Kelowna) had a solid night with 15 points. Overall, every starter was good. Kyle Behiels (4th year, middle, Edmonton) and Landon Currie (2nd year, libero) had good efforts. It took a while to get the offence rolling but Anton (Napolitano, third year, middle, Victoria, Australia) hit his stride in the second set. Trinity was resting starters who played this summer but we executed very well in the pass-and-serve department. This was and is our major goal this year.”

The WolfPack are in the UBCO tournament in Kelowna this weekend.

The cross country season opened Sunday with the WolfPack competing in the ‘Dirty Feet Race’ at Kenna Cartwright Park.

Both the TRU women and men ran five kilometres and swept their respective podiums. Calum Carrigan (1st year, Kamloops), Troy Morgan (second year, Hythe, Alberta) and Liam McGrath (2nd year, Vernon) were the top-three male finishers.

Kendra Murray (second year, Whitehorse), Zoey Painter (second year, Whitehorse) and Brooklyn Higgs (first year, Squamish) were the top-three females to cross the line.

Said interim head coach Ryan Pidhirnak: “ All athletes performed well and look strong going into next weekend’s duel against UBCO.”