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Women's Soccer
(Credit: Kha Vo)
(Credit: Kha Vo)
PREVIEW: WSOCC host Mac in first round
Game Date and Time: Wednesday, October 25 – 4:00 p.m. (vs. McMaster, OUA First Round)
Game Location: University Stadium, Waterloo
Live Webcast/Radio Coverage: OUA.tv
Tickets: vs. McMaster

THE JOURNEY BEGINS
Another successful season in the books for the Laurier Golden Hawks women’s Soccer team, a grueling two months that saw them fight through adversity and key injuries to be one of the most consistent teams in the OUA in 2017. Their reward? A third-place finish in the OUA West Division and home field advantage for their first-round playoff clash against the sixth-seeded McMaster Marauders (5-6-5) on Wednesday afternoon.

The teams have met twice this season, with the Hawks (6-3-7) holding the season series edge, rallying from behind for a 2-2 draw in Hamilton back in August and more recently securing a comprehensive 4-1 victory over the Marauders at University Stadium.

In terms of recent form, McMaster comes in holding a slight advantage in that regard as winners of three straight, albeit with two of those wins coming over winless Algoma last weekend. However, the Marauders needed to run the table in that fashion to secure themselves the final playoff seed, a fact that should be not ignored if you’re the Hawks. In contrast, the purple and gold have cooled slightly as of late, winless in their last five (0-1-4), though they had a huge result in that span, drawing nationally-ranked Western on the road during that stretch.

Both teams have showed a propensity for goal scoring, with Mac (31 goals for) and Laurier (23 goals for) both ranking high in terms of offence in the West. With the Hawks starters rested on Sunday against Brock, the big question is will we see a shootout or will it be more of playoff-style defensive war of attrition?

THROW-IN’S
-    If the Hawks win, they get Guelph (10-4-2) in Sunday’s quarter-final, McMaster would have to play number one seed Western if they were to make it through
-    Other first round matchups around the OUA include: York at Waterloo, Ryerson at Laurentian, and Toronto at Ottawa
-    The last time the purple and gold hosted a playoff game was in 2015, a 1-0 win over Windsor that sent them on to the OUA Final Four where they would earn a silver medal

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (6-3-7, OUA West #3 seed)

GK Ashley Almeida (Burlington, Ont.)
-    Almeida has been a rock all season for the Hawks, consistently ranking in the Top 10 in almost all statistical categories in the OUA
-    She got her first day off this season on Sunday, with Kaitlyn Dickey (Grimsby, Ont.) performing admirably in relief, will the extra days off mean we see her at her sharpest?

McMaster Marauders (5-6-5, OUA West #6 seed)

F Lindsay Bosveld (Ancaster, Ont.)
-    A key reason why the Marauders reached the postseason, Bosveld was molten hot on the weekend in a back-to-back with Algoma, scoring a ridiculous seven goals in the pair of games
-    She has only started three games in this her first season with McMaster, will coach Joe Valvasori go with form and insert her into the starting eleven on Wednesday?

 
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