Hawks get valuable rest heading into the playoffs

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Photo by Ahmad Faiq

Having secured third place in the OUA West – regardless of any other outcomes after Saturday’s results – Wilfrid Laurier University’s women’s varsity soccer team took on the Brock Badgers Sunday in their final game of the season. 

With their spot secured, head coach, Barry MacLean decided to rest his starters with playoffs just around the corner. 

“For us it was a really good exercise in, one, we got a good training session with our first team before the game. Two, they got to be rested leading up to our playoff game,” coach MacLean said of his decision. 

“More importantly, we got to see all the players that haven’t played that much in a real game.” 

The first half began with the Golden Hawks starting out slow, but also having to face the wind in addition to the Badgers. 

The Badgers started out fast, as they created opportunities for themselves and opened the scoring by the ninth minute of the game. 

Not much would change, as Laurier’s players were still getting settled into the game. 

“First of all, the wind was against us in the first half, that’s a big factor in soccer but I think the players, a lot … of them haven’t played this year, and they were nervous and anxious in the first half,” MacLean said about his team’s first half. 

At halftime, with it being Senior’s day, five players were honoured during the break.  

In the second half, with the wind behind them, Laurier would look more comfortable.  

With the nerves out of them, Laurier’s second team seemed to gain more confidence in themselves as they would manage to be able to create for each other and put forth a really strong effort. 

“I expect a positive performance and if we get a positive performance, you’ll probably get a positive result. I don’t think we can expect more than that. If we perform well we should move on to the next round, and if we don’t perform well, we won’t.”  

“As the game wore on, as they got more confidence – and we had a good chat at halftime about just relaxing and playing – they got better and better.” 

Unfortunately, they were not capable of scoring and the final score would be 1-0 for Brock. 

Coach MacLean appeared thankful for the opportunity to get more players on the field. 

“We got to see all the players that haven’t played that much in a real game and [we] get to see whose got strengths and weaknesses to be able to carry on and help us into the next round,” he said.  

“In today’s game, there was four or five players that I thought performed really well that we look at right now and say “Maybe we can count on them,” where we might not have been sure before this game. Overall, I was really pleased with the performance.” 

Next up for the Golden Hawks will be a rematch against McMaster on Oct. 25 at home. Their previous matchup was a 4-1 win for the Hawks, also on home turf. 

In regards to his thoughts on the upcoming matchup and how they will prepare for it, MacLean said,  

MacLean expressed  

“Just like every other game, we’ll get ourselves organized. We’ve been organizing ourselves for the playoffs for a while, trying to get rest with players, making sure that players are [going to] be ready to peak in the playoff time,” MacLean said, referring to the upcoming match against McMaster.   

“I expect a positive performance and if we get a positive performance, you’ll probably get a positive result. I don’t think we can expect more than that. If we perform well we should move on to the next round, and if we don’t perform well, we won’t.”  

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