WATERLOO, Ont. (October 26, 2012) - After earning a playoff bye for the fourth straight season, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women's soccer team will host the Guelph Gryphons in the OUA Quarter-finals on Sunday afternoon.
Game time is set for 1 p.m. on Alumni Field.
Despite the loss of a number of key veteran players after last year, Head Coach BARRY MACLEAN
's squad hasnt lost a step as they clinched the top seed in the competitive OUA West Division thanks to an 11-2-3 record. The Hawks opened the season with an impressive 11 game unbeaten streak, during which they went 9-0-2, and although the team lost consecutive games earlier this month, Laurier rebounded to post impressive wins over Windsor and York to close out the regular season campaign.
All eyes have been on second year forward Emily Brown
of Waterloo, Ont., this season. Last year's OUA West Rookie of the Year has led the Golden Hawks offence, scoring a league-best 15 goals. She will be front and centre during Sunday's game but she won't be alone in providing offence for the Hawks. Battery-mate Krista Cellucci
of Mississauga, Ont., chipped in with six goals on just nine shots on goal this year while rookies Shelby Fallis
of Pickering, Ont., and Kayleigh Bell
of Waterloo, Ont., have also showed some offensive flair.
Defensively, the Hawks backline has been solid all season, anchored by two-time CIS All-Canadian Kelsey Tikka
of Thunder Bay, Ont., as well as fifth years Jessica Carter
and Kelsey Abbott
, both of Waterloo, Ont. It just hasnt been the veterans playing well in the back for Laurier though as rookies Sarah Farano
of Oakville, Ont., and Suzanne Boroumand
of Kitchener, Ont., have also played well in the first year with the purple and gold.
In net, both Maggie Carmichael
of Orono, Ont., and Katrina Ward
of Surrey, B.C., have played eight games this year, with Ward getting the majority of the starts late in the year, posting four shutouts during that time.
The purple and gold have faced the Gryphons on two occasions this season so far. Back in September, Laurier overcame a late deficit to post a 3-2 win at Guelph while the team settled for a 1-1 draw against the Gryphons last weekend. Brown has played some of her best soccer against Guelph this year, scoring three of Laurier's four goals in their two meetings.
Sunday's game will be the final opportunities for fans to watch the Hawks on home field as the team will be on the road from here on out if they advance. Admission to Sundays game is free.
NOTES: This will be the first playoff meeting between Laurier and Guelph since 2001 when the Hawks defeated the Gryphons 2-1 in the quarter-finals...the only other time the two teams played in the playoffs was back in 1990, also a 2-1 win for Laurier...a victory on Sunday will send Laurier through to their sixth consecutive OUA Final Four tournament