Lancers down Golden Hawks
Coming off of a two-game winning streak after beating York by 30 last week and beating Western in a close game on Wednesday, Laurier was looking to add another tally in the win column this past Saturday. Playing the Windsor Lancers, ranked fifth in thecountry, proved to be a tough task.
The Golden Hawks managed to get off to a quick start in the first quarter, bolting out of the blocks to an early 7-2 lead, but once Windsor found their rhythm, they proved too much for Laurier. The Lancers showed why they were the fifth ranked team in the country Saturday afternoon, as they finished the first quarter, leading 25-14.
The second quarter proved to be much of the same, as the Lancers imposed their will inside as they finished the half, leading 49-30.
Despite the huge lead going into halftime, the Hawks showed the no-quit mentality that got them to 5-1. They came out in the second half, playing with more intensity, especially on defence, with first-year Tayania Siwek-Smith leading the charge. She showed fearlessness and aggressiveness defending against the size of the Lancers, also showing she’s more than capable of defending players like Cheyanne Roger and Emily Prevost in the post. The Golden Hawks managed to pull themselves closer, finishing the third quarter on a 12-5 run, bringing the score to 59-47 in favour of the Lancers.
As the fourth quarter rolled around, Laurier continued fighting to bring themselves within reach, at one point bringing the lead down to 65-54. But Windsor proved to be too much with their size, as they managed to pull out the win with a score of 73-56.
Leading the charge for Windsor was Roger, a two-time First-Team OUA all-star with 23 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. Emily Prevost also played a big role as she also helped Windsor win, as she finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds, two steals, and one block.
For Laurier, it was an afternoon where buckets were simply hard to come by as only two players made it to double digit scoring. Irena Rynkiewicz led the way with 14 points, and Nicole Morrison finished with ten points, along with nine rebounds and five assists.
This game proved to be a tough test for Laurier as they got to see how they fare against a team of Windsor’s caliber.
“Definitely, the defensive effort in the second half compared to the first half [was positive]. It was a significant change in what we were able to do on the defensive end. I think the first half, we weren’t ready for their transition. We knew they were a good transition team but we just weren’t able to slow them down and they scored a lot in bunches there and we made a couple of adjustments on how to defend inside as well, and that seemed to help a bit, but overall, you know, the second half and the way we competed even though we were down a bunch, it was definitely positive,” head coach Paul Falco, said.
Games like these tend to be learning experiences for teams on the come-up like Laurier, especially with how much youth there is on this year’s squad.
“We knew there was going to be some bumps along the road right? And this is definitely one of them and we just played the number five team in the country and I think we played them well in the second half, but we learned right out of the gate that if you don’t play four quarters, then you’re not going to have much of a chance against a team like that,” Falco said.
When asked about the strong effort from Siwek-Smith, Falco said that her performance is comparable to some of the more experienced players.
“She’s a good defender, a good rebounder and she gave us some great minutes there in the second half and that bodes well for the future, for us in terms of trying to guard other tough post players in our league,” he said.
Next up, the Hawks will play the Laurentian Voyageurs on Friday as they look to get back into the win column.