Hawks continue hot start
Both of the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks soccer teams remained undefeated over the weekend, taking down the McMaster Marauders and Guelph Gryphons to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Second half strikes from Amanda Mithrush and Sadie Anderson were plenty for the women’s team to power past the visiting Gryphons by a score of 2-0 on Sunday afternoon. It truly was a dominant performance, with the purple and gold claiming possession for a large majority of the match.
Veteran midfielder Heather Malizia gave the visitors fits all game, and it was her sublime cross in the 51st minute that was converted by rookie phenom Mithrush. The finish was the Thunder Bay native’s third tally in as many games – good enough for second in the province.
Veteran fullback Anderson would score on a penalty in the 63rd minute to give the Hawks an insurance goal.
“It is a fair result for us,” commented Laurier head coach Barry MacLean. “We were definitely the dominant side today.”
Fourth-year holding midfielder Tania Pedron was remarkable all weekend for the Hawks, controlling the play with her calmness, composure and intelligent distribution.
On both goals, it was her initial balls up the pitch that were the catalysts.
“She is our team leader,” MacLean said concerning Pedron. “She can play on the ball, she is just a high-end player.”
The victory gives the Hawks a deserved record of three wins in three matches after dropping McMaster 3-2 in Hamilton on Saturday.
By outscoring the opposition by a count of 8-3 in only three contests, the purple and gold have sent a clear message that they intend to atone for their Ontario University Athletics (OUA) semi-final exit last season.
On the men’s side, the Hawks barely squeaked by the Gryphons on Sunday with an uninspired and scrappy 1-0 victory. “We did not show any sort of intensity,” said Hawks head coach Mario Halapir. “I thought we were flat today. We were either scared to win, or scared to compete and I have no idea why.”
Ultimately, it was criminally poor Gryphon marking that handed rookie midfielder Donald Chmura the goal that turned out to be the game-winner.
A 53rd minute indirect free kick by the Golden Hawks was allowed to bounce inside the Guelph 18-yard box, and Chmura, a Waterloo native, found the ball at his feet.
Unmarked, he fired low short-side giving Guelph goalkeeper Chad Paparoni no chance.
Despite the poor performance, the match did give the Hawks their third win in three games, after downing McMaster 2-1 in an away game on Saturday. Nevertheless, they will need to be sharper in the future as the talent is certainly there.
“We have had a great start as far as points go,” said Halapir. “But today [against Guelph] was a step back…we did not execute and we did not compete.”
This Saturday, both teams will travel to St. Catherines for fixtures with the Brock Badgers.
They remain on the road on Sunday afternoon, heading to Toronto to take on the York Lions before returning home to Alumni Field on Sept. 22 to face the Western Mustangs.
The women’s team currently sits atop the OUA west division standings, two points ahead of the second-place Maruaders. They also occupy the number seven spot in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) top ten.
Meanwhile, the men’s undefeated record puts them in second spot, three points back of the Mustangs who have already played four matches. The men’s team also claimed tenth spot in the CIS rankings.