Going for gold versus a familiar foe
They may not admit to it, but the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks are getting exactly what they signed up for, and maybe what they were hoping for in tomorrow’s Ontario University Athletics’ (OUA) women’s soccer finals – the Queen’s Gaels.
After a 1-0 victory over the Ottawa Gee-Gees in the first semi-final on Saturday at University Stadium, the Golden Hawks will serve up a rematch of last year’s OUA finals between the Gaels and themselves. The Hawks won 1-0 off a goal from the now-graduated Ali Mckee a year ago.
“We’re more looking forward that we’re playing in the Ontario final,” said Laurier head coach Barry MacLean, as opposed to the prospect of beating essentially the same Queen’s team that beat them in extra-time, 1-0 in last year’s Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) final.
Neither coach nor player would bite at the notion of revenge.
“Either team would bring a great game,” said the game’s lone goal-getter, Emily Brown.
The win tomorrow is what’s important to us,” said midfielder Heather Malizia.
Malizia and Brown connected on Laurier’s goal in the 58th minute after Malizia drove up the left flank and outworked two Ottawa defenders before manoeuvring a perfect pass to Brown who was surrounded by red shirts.
“[Malizia’s] great, she can get by anyone on the side,” said Brown.
“I just remember having that touch that took it out of the crowded area,” said the sensational first-year. “And I had that split second, so I took the opportunity and put it into the net.”
Rifled it, was more like it. Brown fired a settled ball into the top-right corner beyond an outstretched Gee-Gees goalkeeper Cynthia Leblanc.
Leblanc played spectacularly along with Mal Woeller, who got Laurier’s second post-season shutout.
Brown’s clutch scoring is nothing new. She finished second on the team with nine goals.
“She’s a kid who’s got a lot of maturity,” said MacLean. “Nobody treats her like a rookie … She doesn’t play like a rookie. She’s been fantastic. She’s up for these games.”
“It feels like she’s been with the team for awhile,” said Malizia.
Brown hung around the team last year to gain a sense of what the games would be like when she arrived to Laurier, says MacLean.
Laurier will play for gold at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow at University Stadium against the Gaels, who got two goals from OUA leading scorer Jackie Tessier in their 3-0 win against McMaster today.
“We want to go all the way,” said Brown.