Golden Hawks’ season comes to an end in a 2-1 loss to host Toronto

Laurier's women's soccer team dropped a 2-1 decision to the Toronto Varsity Blues in the consolation semifinal of nationals. (Photo by Heather Davidson)

Laurier’s women’s soccer team dropped a 2-1 decision to the Toronto Varsity Blues in the consolation semifinal of nationals. (Photo by Heather Davidson)

TORONTO, Ont. — Wilfrid Laurier’s women’s soccer team journey at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championships came to a quick halt Friday night as the Hawks dropped a 2-1 decision to the host Toronto Varsity Blues in the consolation semifinal.

The Ontario University Athletics (OUA) champions couldn’t hold the Blues back as Claudia Piazza beat third-year keeper Maggie Carmichael for the go-ahead and game-winning goal.

With the loss, the Hawks are eliminated from the tournament and their season comes to an end. This is the third time in a row that Laurier has gone 0-2 at the CIS tournament.

“I think that they all came out and competed and they did very well,” said head coach Barry MacLean. “We’re a pretty banged up team and the roster has really shrunk down to a few players … It was tough, but they’ve had a great season.”

Laurier got into a hole early when, in the 14th minute, Diana Esteireiro was awarded a free kick for Toronto and sent it perfectly into the top corner to put Toronto ahead 1-0.

However, Laurier would respond with their first goal since the OUA quarterfinal matchup against the UOIT Ridgebacks when third-year Julie Maheu sent a beautiful strike with her left foot flying by Toronto’s keeper to tie it up before the half.

In the second half, Toronto would apply the pressure. The Blues outplayed the Hawks for the majority of the half and in the 68th minute, Alyssa Golin just missed an opportunity to put a nice cross past Carmichael, but she couldn’t get her foot on it and sent it wide.

In the 86th minute, Piazza would seal the Hawks’ fate.

It was the first time since 2003 that Toronto and Laurier had faced each other.

The loss ends Laurier’s season with a 9-3-4 record. Emily Brown was named the OUA West MVP and a CIS all-Canadian, and the Hawks captured the OUA championship 1-0 in penalty kicks against the No. 1 ranked Western Mustangs.

The only player that leaves the Hawks after this year is fourth-year goalkeeper Katrina Ward. Everyone else has the ability to return.

“It’s a little disheartening to finish on this note, but this season probably exceeded expectations,” MacLean said. “I thought that they played fantastic as a group. Our young players came to the forefront. We had a lot of great performances and as a team we were superb.”

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