Hawks bounced in CIS quarters

(Photo courtesy of Armando Tura/UVIC Athletics)

VICTORIA, B.C – It was a fate the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks didn’t dream of, but it was certainly more than they expected.

In the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championship quarterfinal match, the Trinity Western Spartans defeated the Hawks 2-1 to advance to the semi-final.

The loss sends Laurier to the consolation semifinal Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. PST.

Playing the champions of the Canada West conference, the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) finalists came in with a lot to prove, pushing to expand on their performance from last year when the Hawks lost against the Montreal Carabins in their quarterfinal game.

However, the team from Trinity Western became too much physically to handle, with a dominant offence of 13 shots and a balanced structure throughout the field.

“For me, Trinity Western was by far the best team we’ve played all season,” said head coach Barry MacLean. “They can hurt you from every position on the field, they’re very athletic and every player that came off the bench was as good as the one’s that started.”

In the 20th minute, the Spartans’ striker Jessica King sent a ball past Laurier goaltender Katrina Ward to put the team up 1-0. The offence continued to place shots on Ward, forcing the third-year netminder to react quickly.

Although the Hawks were outplayed, the team managed to hold their own in a series of situations. The defenders, consisting of Kelsey Tikka, Jess Carter, Sarah Farano and Kelsey Abbott, held their own against an aggressive and big team.

In the 67th minute, the Spartans capitalized off a corner kick after Ward punched the ball out. The Hawks were unable to clear the box Jennifer Castillo sent the ball past Ward to put Trinity Western up 2-0.

The Hawks continued to press in the last portion of the game, trying to find an opportunity to split the lead.

Krista Cellucci sent a ball across the Trinity Western 18-yard box, where Emily Brown tipped the ball back to Amanda Mithrush. With time, Mitrush sent the ball flying into the net off the crossbar.

“The moment the ball went into the net I just felt everyone’s spirits pick up,” said Tikka. “We knew we had a chance from there and we knew we had to dig deep and there was a chance we were actually going to come back from that.”

However, the last-minute spur of hope was not enough for the Hawks as they were sent to the consolation semifinal.

“It’s a tough one,” MacLean said. “I think, for the girls that were in their fifth year this was their last kick at it and it’s going to be a little bit of a downer for them, but the other girls, that’s the standard that they have to play at and they’ve seen it now and they can compete at that standard so it’s a good learning experience for them.”

In a game that featured a well-developed, experienced Spartan team, third-year Kelsey Tikka believed that her Hawks should be proud of their performance.

“I’m so proud of everybody on the field. We gave it all we’ve got. We have nothing to be upset about,” she said.

The Hawks will now play the Sherbrooke Vert et Or in the consolation semis Friday afternoon. The winner will move onto the consolation final on Saturday.

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