Andrew Snucins/TRU WolfpackColton Walker kicks the ball past a York University Lions player during the U Sports Men’s Soccer national tournament on Nov. 9.

Walker of Sicamous wins national soccer medal

Local midfielder named to tournament all-star team as TRU wins bronze medal

Colton Walker, a Sicamous local and Salmon Arm Secondary graduate played a part in the Thompson River University Wolfpack’s thrilling home victory in the bronze-medal game of the U Sports Men’s Soccer National Championship.

The five-foot-eleven midfielder closed out his fifth year of university soccer eligibility with a podium finish after playing for TRU since 2012.

Walker was named to the tournament all-star team along with teammates Ryan Glanville and Mitchell Popadynetz.

TRU won the tournament fair play award.

The win in the bronze-medal game of the tournament came against league champion UBC thunderbirds.

TRU’s Ryan Glanville got the first goal of the game, chipping the ball under the UBC keeper off his left foot in the 23rd minute. TRU’s lead held into the second half.

Glanville had another scoring chance in the 60th minute, evading a defender and getting in close to the UBC net, but a bad bounce kept it a one-score game.

Three minute later Mitchell Popadynetz, the Canada West player of the year, sent the ball bouncing past the keeper into the UBC net, leaving the score 2-0 Wolf Pack.

UBC got on the scoreboard with a penalty kick in the 68th minute after Anatoli Leveille, a Wolf Pack rookie, hauled down an opposing player in the box.

Ryan Arthur of UBC tied the game up in the 86th minute, converting a corner kick to make the score 2-2 as regulation time drew to a close.

The tie game led to a dramatic penalty kick showdown for the nearly-1,000 fans who turned up to cheer on the Wolfpack at Hillside Stadium.

Popadynetz, Thomas Lantmeers and James Fraser all scored for TRU while Wolf Pack keeper Allan Connor stood tall, stopping two UBC shots while the third was kicked wide.

Walker tallied up one goal in the 2017 season. He started in 14 of 15 games for the Wolfpack.