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PREVIEW: WSOCC out to break deadlock
Pair of crucial road games ahead as the Hawks look to tighten their clutch on a top playoff position

Friday, October 13, 2017 - Posted by Mac Turchan

Game Dates and Times: Saturday, October 14 – 1:00 p.m. (at Western) and Sunday, October 15 – 1:00 p.m. (at Windsor)
Game Locations: Mustang Field, London and Alumni Field, Windsor
Live Webcast/Radio Coverage: N/A
Tickets: at Western (Free), at Windsor (Free)

THE FINAL SPRINT
Following an extended run of good form through the middle of the season, the Laurier Golden Hawks women's soccer team find themselves back in what has been a very familiar position for the program in recent memory, right in the thick of the race for a top seed in the OUA West Division heading into the playoffs. The race for the second seed and a first round bye has reached its climax, with the purple and gold locked in a tight battle with local rivals Guelph and Waterloo. Guelph currently sit second in the division with 26 points while the Hawks sit on 23. Waterloo lurks behind on 20 points with one fewer game played.

The Hawks (6-2-5) missed a golden opportunity to create some much needed separation last week against Waterloo, conceding a goal in second-half injury time to draw 1-1. The tough result against the Warriors places added importance on road games this weekend against U SPORTS No. 4-ranked Western (12-1-0) and Windsor (3-3-6).

The nationally-ranked Mustangs have been extremely stingy on defence this season, allowing only two goals through 13 matches. The Hawks proved in their first meeting with Western this year that they do have the firepower to break through against the Mustang defences, but will have to take advantage of the minimal amount of openings they will receive.

The Lancers started the year very strong but have tailed off in terms of performance. Winless in their last six, the Hawks could knock Windsor out of the final playoff seed by defeating them Sunday. If the Hawks want that second seed, they must consider this match a must-win, along with their season finale next week against Brock.

THROW-IN’S
-    The Hawks are one the hottest teams in the OUA recently, gaining points in nine of their past ten matches, going 5-1-4 in that stretch
-    U SPORTS No. 2-ranked UOIT finally had their season-long winning streak snapped last week by the Laurentian Voyageurs, drawing 0-0 at home
-    Despite sanctioning handed down by the OUA two weeks ago for playing an ineligible player, a recent hot streak from the Brock Badgers has them in playoff contention in the OUA West, winning three of their last four

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (6-2-5)

MF Nicole Lyon (Kitchener, Ont.)
-    There is a saying that ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going.’ Lyon has proven that she is that hard-nosed leader for the Hawks, a consistent presence all year long
-    She earned Female Athlete of the Week honours last week, look for her to keep up that level of play

U SPORTS No. 4 Western Mustangs (12-1-0)

GK Megan Girardi (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.)
-    No team can have a No. 1-ranked defence without great play in net. Girardi has provided just that, sitting atop the OUA in several key statistical categories

Windsor Lancers (3-3-6)

F Becca Fuerth (Woodslee, Ont.)
-    The veteran has been a constant presence on the attack for the Lancers, co-leading her team in goals (2) and leading in shots (25)


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