Midfielder Donald Chmura will be an important part of the Hawks' success in 2013 (Photo Credit: Matt Tonkin)
WATERLOO, Ont. (August 29, 2013) - Boasting a roster that boasts a nice blend a veteran leadership and youth, the Wilfrid Laurier University men's soccer team heads into their season opener against the McMaster Marauders with high hopes for 2013.
The Golden Hawks are coming off a season that saw them show bursts of strong play as well as growing pains as the young squad searched for an identity. At various points of the season, the team went through a stretch that saw them take away points in six straight games as well as a winless stretch of six games. However, the team came together in the opening round of the playoffs and stunned the third-seeded Western Mustangs. The Hawks scored two late goals while playing with 10 men to upset the home team 3-2. Laurier then battled perennial national championship contenders, the York Lions, in the quarter-finals but fell just short, losing 1-0 on the road.
With valuable experience gained in last year's playoff run, this year's version of the team will look to build on their inconsistent season and attempt to vault themselves into the top tier of teams in the OUA West division. Starting with the teams backline, the Hawks have a strong, veteran group that will help shutdown opposing offences. They feature team captain Trevor Schein
of Brantford, Ont., as well as returnees Troy Puckerin
of Burlington, Ont., and Blake Whiteley
of Toronto. Playing in front of goalkeeper Brett Harringston of Tillsonburg, Ont., Lauriers defence should be able to improve upon their 20 goals allowed in 16 games in 2012.
Finally, looking at forwards, the Hawks will have three primary men who will be asked to find the back of the net in 2013. Sandro Stojakovic
of Waterloo, Ont., as well as Adrian Bucksam
and Matthew Maughn
, both of Mississauga, Ont., have all demonstrated in the past that they have the ability to score goals. With only 13 goals from 16 matches last season, the trio will look to provide the offensive boost necessary to help the Hawks climb the OUA West standings.
Laurier will begin their season this Friday night when they travel to Hamilton to face the defending OUA Champions, the McMaster Marauders, before returning 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 8 p.m. Tickets for that game can be purchased online at tickets.laurierathletics.com.