WATERLOO, Ont. (November 5, 2011) - For the second consecutive season, the No. 5 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women's soccer team will play for the OUA Championship as they defeated the No. 6 Ottawa Gee-Gees by a score of 1-0 Saturday afternoon at University Stadium.
With the victory, Laurier also automatically qualifies for the CIS Championship that will be contested next week at McGill University.
In a rematch of last seasons semifinal, it was the Gee-Gees who came out of the gate strong, getting two chances on Laurier keeper Mallory Woeller of Kinburn, Ont., before the match was 10 minutes old.
Laurier would settle into the game and get their first great opportunity a few minutes later. After an error by Ottawa keeper Cynthia LeBlanc of Grandby, Que., earned Laurier a corner, Alyssa Lagonia of Kitchener, Ont., found the head of Krista Cellucci of Mississauga, Ont., but her header rattled off the post.
Hawks midfielder Tania Pedron of Maple, Ont., would have the other great chance in the half but her shot from the top of the box was pushed aside by LeBlanc.
In the second half, Laurier continued to pressure Ottawa, spurred on by a boisterous home-town crowd and they were rewarded in the 58th minute. Forward Emily Brown of Waterloo, Ont., brought down a cross from Heather Malizia of Burlington, Ont., before turning and firing the ball past LeBlanc to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
Minutes later, Malizia would generate another chance down the wing but this time LeBlanc punched the ball away before it could find a Hawks attacker.
As time ran down, the Gee-Gees tried to push back but couldnt get a quality chance inside the Hawks box thanks to some excellent work by Lauriers back line. Ottawas best opportunity came off the foot of Tara Condos of Strathroy, Ont., from 30 yards out but was easily handled by Woeller and the Hawks went on to prevail over the Gee-Gees for the second straight year.
"Ottawa's probably the best team we played all year," commented Laurier head coach Barry MacLean after the game. "They created some chances but we created a number of more chances than they did. It was a battle from beginning to end but in the end, we came out on top."
"I remember thinking, I just need to get it in, get it on target," said Brown of her goal. "I was just so happy to see it in the back of the net."
Laurier will now face the winner of the second semifinal game, the No. 4 Queen's Gaels, in tomorrow's championship game at 3 p.m. Sunday's game will be the third time that Laurier and Queen's have faced-off with a championship on the line in the last two seasons.
As for the Gee-Gees, they will take on the No. 10 McMaster Marauders in the bronze medal match at 12 p.m. with the final spot in the CIS Championship on the line. Both games will be webcast live at www.laurierathletics.com/live