WATERLOO, Ont. (August 29, 2014) - The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s soccer team kicks off their 2014 campaign on Saturday afternoon at University Stadium when they host the Windsor Lancers in their home opener.
Game time is set for 3:15 p.m. Season tickets and individual game tickets can be purchased by visiting tickets.laurierathletics.com.
The Hawks enter 2014 looking to improve upon their previous year’s record for the third straight season. Since 2012, Laurier has improved their points total by four each year, culminating in a 6-4-6 record in 2013. With a strong core of returning veterans and an influx of incoming talent, the purple and gold are poised to continue this trend as they look to climb the OUA standings.
Leading the way for the returning players are a number of fourth and fifth year players including four-time OUA All-Star Donald Chmura of Waterloo, Ont., last season’s leading goal scorer Adrian Bucksam of Mississauga, Ont., as well as veteran midfielders Jordan Kotsopoulos of Burlington, Ont., Justin Manning of Milton, Ont., and Cameron Stephan of Brantford, Ont. This core group of players for head coach MARIO HALAPIR have gained critical playoff experience over the past two seasons and will be hungry to build upon the team’s quarter-final exits in both 2012 and 2013.
The Hawks stable of young talent is highlighted by Niklas Bauer of Newmarket, Ont., Brady Kelly of Guelph, Ont., and Joren Ramsay-Marshall of Brampton, Ont. All three players head into their second season with the purple and gold after seeing significant playing time in their rookie seasons. Bauer headlines the group as an impressive midfield player who finished third on the team in scoring in 2013 with four goals.
Two new faces to keep an eye on this season are a pair of transfers from the men’s football team as former quarterback Julien John of Oakville, Ont., will suit up as one of Laurier’s keepers while former running back Tyrrel Wilson of Hamilton, will see time at forward. Those two players lead a list of 16 new players with the Hawks, including 13 rookies, who will look to make their impact with the team over the course of the season.
Up first for Laurier in 2014 is a showdown with the Windsor Lancers, a team that the Hawks tied and lost to a year ago. The OUA bronze medalists from last year will provide a good test for Laurier, but one that the purple and gold are used to facing. Last season, the Hawks battled the defending OUA Champion McMaster Marauders in their opening game of the year on the road and game away with a solid 1-0 win that set the team up for a strong season.
Following their home opener against Windsor, the Hawks head out on the road for five consecutive games, beginning with a meeting with their crosstown rivals, the Waterloo Warriors on Sunday afternoon. Laurier will then face Western, Guelph and Algoma for a pair of games on the road before returning home to face Brock on Wednesday, September 17.