WATERLOO, Ont. (November 5, 2014) - Welcome to the 10th edition of This Week in Laurier Athletics for the 2014-15 season. In this week’s edition, we preview the home openers for women’s and men’s basketball while taking a look at men’s hockey as they prepare to play at Brantford Homecoming.
Following a month of training camp and another month of non-conference games, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks basketball teams kick off their 2014-15 regular season at home on Friday night with a doubleheader against the Ryerson Rams.
The Laurier women come into the game after posting a solid 6-3 record during preseason action. Despite losing four veterans to graduation a year ago, the Hawks have showed they have a nice blend of veterans and youth in their lineup this season. A variety of players led the team in scoring during the preseason including Whitney Ellenor of Pickering, Ont., Alexandra Spadaro of Grimsby, Ont., Kaitlyn Schenck of Kitchener, Ont., NICOLE MORRISON of Hamilton, Sarah Dillon of Welland, Ont., and Courtney Bruce of Orillia, Ont. That balance of shared scoring responsibility was a key factor in the Hawks success a year ago when they won the OUA bronze medal, something the purple and gold will look to build upon this season.
Friday’s home opener will be a chance for Laurier to avenge their loss last season to Ryerson on the road. In the midst of the Hawks incredible start to the 2013-14 campaign, the Rams were the only team to beat Laurier in their first 10 games. Sam Jacobs of Enniskillen, Ont., led the Hawks in that contest with a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.
As for the Laurier men, they also enjoyed a productive preseason as they went 7-5 in their 12 games of action. Despite boasting a roster that features five rookies and five sophomores, the purple and gold earned victories over CIS opponents including the Nipissing Lakers, the Laurentian Voyageurs, the Manitoba Bisons and the Concordia Stingers.
With the graduation of Max Allin from their lineup, the Hawks will look to fourth year guard Will Coulthard of Oakville, Ont., to be the team’s go-to scorer this season. However, the talented shooter won’t be alone in putting the ball in the net as fifth year transfer Kyrie Coleman of Washington, D.C., Aiddian Walters of Vaughan, Ont., Jack Simmons of Cambridge, Ont., and James Agyeman of Brampton, Ont., have all shown during non-conference play the ability to score the basketball.
Friday’s game will see the Hawks looking to end a two-game losing streak against a tough Rams squad that is ranked third in the country. A year ago, the Rams posted an 84-70 win on their home court. Owen Coulthard of Oakville, Ont., was strong on the night for the Hawks as he finished the game with 12 points.
HOME SWEET HOME
Men’s Hockey vs York (Thursday, November 6 - 7:30 p.m.)
Quick Hits - The Hawks kick off their week with their first meeting of the season against York…these two teams met back in the preseason with the Lions earning a 4-2 win on their home ice…Laurier has enjoyed played at the Waterloo Recreation Complex so far in 2014-15 as they own a perfect 2-0-0 mark on home ice
Men’s Hockey vs Ryerson, at Brantford (Saturday, November 8 - 4 p.m.)
Quick Hits - For the third year in a row, the Golden Hawks will help celebrate Homecoming on Brantford campus as they take on Ryerson at the Brantford Civic Centre…for the Hawks and Rams, Saturday’s game marks the second and final time they will meet this season…Ryerson came away with a 5-3 win in Toronto back on October 23
Women’s Basketball vs Toronto (Saturday, November 8 - 6 p.m.)
Quick Hits - Laurier closes out their season-opening weekend against the Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday…a year ago, the Hawks cruised to an easy 61-47 win over the Blues which snapped a four game losing streak to Toronto…Dillon played a key role for the Hawks in the victory, finishing the game with 15 points
Men’s Basketball vs Toronto (Saturday, November 8 - 8 p.m.)
Quick Hits - In a father-son coaching showdown, Peter Campbell and his Golden Hawks host John Campbell and his Varsity Blues on Saturday…the purple and gold have owned the Blues as of late, winning their last four meetings…W. Coulthard was one of two Hawks to crack the 20-point barrier a year ago as he finished the game with 22 points
Women’s Hockey vs Ryerson (Sunday, November 9 - 7:30 p.m.)
Quick Hits - In a Ryerson-filled weekend, women’s hockey becomes the fourth Laurier team to play the Rams as women’s hockey hosts the Toronto-based squad on Sunday…since the Rams joined the OUA three years ago, the Hawks hold a perfect 7-0 record in their meetings with Ryerson…the purple and gold will be looking for another strong defensive effort as the Hawks are second in the conference in goals against, allowing only nine goals in seven games played