Hawks suffer first loss of season

On Saturday afternoon, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks’ women’s soccer team lost for the first time this season, falling 3-0 to the Western Mustangs.

The Hawks dominated the play until the Mustangs notched a controversial goal 30 minutes into the first half. 

Western’s Chantal Blais’s shot from just inside the 18-yard box hit the cross-bar and ricocheted downward. Laurier’s goalkeeper, Tristin Vogel, grabbed the ball before it arguably entered the net. However, the referee judged otherwise, making the score 1-0 for Western. 

“It’s questionable,” said Barry MacLean, Laurier’s head coach. “But I couldn’t see it better than [the referee] could. We had players down there that didn’t think it was in.” 

Aside from this goal, Laurier outplayed Western on many fronts. They controlled the game and outshot the Mustangs considerably. Western’s goalkeeper, Marissa Chinn, though injured, saved the game for the Mustangs, making several exceptional saves. 

Entering the second half, the score was still 1-0 for Western and storm clouds were rolling in. Within the first minute of the second half, Western’s Erin Grand scored her team’s second goal. 20 minutes later, Grand scored again, putting the Mustangs up 3-0. 

With 10 minutes to go in the second half, the weather took a turn for the worse; the game was temporarily suspended and eventually abandoned due to lightning, giving Western a 3-0 victory. 

Despite the loss, MacLean remains optimistic about his team’s situation.

“Obviously we’re disappointed to lose,” he said. “But better to have these things happen in the middle of the season than at the end of the season.”

The loss was unexpected since Laurier had defeated Western 1-0 earlier this year. 

Also, Laurier’s record coming into the game, 5-0-1, was superior to Western’s 3-3-0.
 
“We were ready for today knowing what a big game it was,” said Mustangs head coach Sarah Regan.

“Our team came ready to play today and we just shut them down. They are a strong team and our team was just the better team on this day.”
 
On Sunday, Laurier had a chance to redeem themselves in a game against the Windsor Lancers. The Hawks got a pair of goals from Heather Malizia – who is currently tied for the league lead in goals with six – and another from Alyssa Coppolino. This earned them a 3-0 shutout win, giving the team a record of 6-1-1.

While the loss to Western dropped the Hawks to fifth in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) rankings, they still sit alone atop the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) West division with 19 points.

They continue their season this Saturday when they take on the Waterloo Warriors at 1:00 p.m. at Alumni Field.

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