Katie Bishop will be a key member of the Hawks' midfield in 2013 (Photo Credit: Matt Tonkin)
WATERLOO, Ont. (August 28, 2013) - One of the top women's soccer programs in the country is getting ready to hit the field for the 2013 season as the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks will kick off their year's campaign on the road Friday night against the McMaster Marauders.
The Hawks are coming off a season in which they won the OUA silver medal and earned their third consecutive trip to the national championship. All of this was achieved in what was considered a "rebuilding year" as the team had 12 rookies on their roster. Now that the talented squad has another year of experience under their belt, they will be looking to reclaim the OUA banner and push hard to win the program's third CIS title.
During the offseason, Laurier lost a couple of key pieces from their starting lineup including forward Krista Cellucci of Mississauga, Ont., as well as defenders Kelsey Abbott and Jessica Carter, both of Waterloo, Ont. With three big holes in the starting 11, head coach BARRY MACLEAN
has brought in four talented players to replace them including defenders Tierney Dunham
of Waterdown, Ont., and Jacky Normandeau
of Uxbridge, Ont., as well as midfielder Jessica Craig
of Pickering, Ont., and forward Nicole Lyon
of Kitchener, Ont.
Lyon will join a group of forwards that currently boasts one of the top goal scorers in the country in Emily Brown
of Waterloo, Ont. Brown, a First Team All-Canadian, led the CIS in goals a year ago when she netted 15. Combine that with the nine goals she scored as a rookie and she already boasts an impressive career total of 24.
Moving to the midfield, the purple and gold are extremely deep and have a number of players who can provide both offence and defence for the club. Leading the way in the middle will be OUA First Team All-Star Katie Bishop
of Surrey, B.C., as well as Julie Maheu
of Oakville, Ont., Jacqueline Lence
of Mississauga, Ont., Amanda Mithrush
of Thunder Bay, Ont., and Suzanne Boroumand
of Kitchener, Ont. Maheu will be one player that the Hawks will look to join the attack with Brown as she finished third on the team in goals last year with three.
Although the Hawks were hit hard by graduation on defence, the team still boasts one of the country's best as central defender Kelsey Tikka
of Thunder Bay, Ont., returns for her fourth season. A two-time CIS All-Canadian and a member of Canada's entry at the 2013 Summer University Games in Russia, Tikka will be joined primarily on the backline this season by Sarah Farano
of Oakville, Ont., and Cassandra Mensah
of Brampton, Ont. That group will help shutdown opposing offences from getting quality chances on fourth year netminder Katrina Ward
of Surrey, B.C., who was Laurier's top player at the national championship in Victoria last November.
Laurier's quest for an OUA Championship begins Friday night when they face the Marauders in Hamilton before coming back to Waterloo to face the Warriors on Sunday at Warrior Field. The Hawks will then christen their new home, University Stadium, on Wednesday, September 4 when they host the Brock Badgers at 6 p.m. Tickets for that game can be purchased online at tickets.laurierathletics.com