PREVIEW: WSOCC open 2017 campaign on the road
OUA Opening Weekend sees the Hawks begin their season with matchups against Brock and McMaster away.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - Posted by Meghan Daniels

Game Dates and Times: Friday, August 25 – 2:00 p.m. (at Brock) and Sunday, August 27 – 1:00 p.m. (at McMaster)
Game Locations: Alumni Field, St. Catharines; Ron Joyce Stadium, Hamilton;
Live Webcast/Radio Coverage: N/A
Tickets: Free entry at both Brock and McMaster

While most Laurier students enjoy a relaxing end to the summer this weekend, the Golden Hawk women’s soccer team will be all business as they return to the pitch this Friday and Sunday to kick off the 2017 OUA Regular Season. 

Following an August of training and preparation, the Hawks will need to be able to put those hard days and weeks of work to use as they face a difficult path from day one, with early road games against formidable OUA West foes Brock and McMaster.

Success away from University Stadium was hard to find for the purple and gold in 2016, with just one win on the road.

That one win though? It came over the Marauders in an early-season matchup in Hamilton.

In last year’s OUA playoffs, the Hawks collided with the Guelph Gryphons in what turned out to be an epic first round encounter. Unfortunately, their season ended that night with a bitter loss on penalty kicks. It marked the end of what was a trying second half of the season for the Hawks, which saw them lose six of their final seven games of the season. You can guarantee that Head Coach Barry MacLean and his team will be hungry to come out early and show that they are once again one of the premier sides in the OUA.

The purple and gold will be squaring off this weekend with two teams in Brock and McMaster that will be similarly motivated to kick off their seasons in a strong fashion after disappointing ends to 2016. The Badgers finished just outside the playoff picture in the OUA West Division a year ago, sitting just a single spot in the standings behind the Hawks and the final playoff seed. The Marauders endured a similar fate to the Golden Hawks as the fifth seed in the OUA West, bowing out in the first round in the ever-dramatic penalty shootout to Windsor.

The Hawks will likely be without one of their key offensive pieces for both games this weekend as veteran forward Maxine Murchie (Kitchener, Ont.) is off representing her country at the 2017 Summer Universiade in Taiwan. After a win over Ireland and a defeat to Mexico in the group stage, Murchie and Team Canada will face Brazil in one of four Thursday Quarter-Finals.

In her absence, look for veteran leaders such as Laurier Outstanding Woman of the Year award winner Julie Karn (Waterloo, Ont.) and fellow midfielder Pauline McCordic of North Vancouver to hold down the fort on both halves of the pitch. A number of younger players will also have their opportunities as everyone moves up a cog in the lineup.

-Written by Mac Turchan

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