Laurier’s women’s soccer has a fresh start
There will be a new look to the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s soccer team when they hit the pitch this season.
Last year, Laurier finished in second place in the Ontario University Athletics conference and earned a spot in the final four, hosted by Ottawa.
Having to beat a potent Gee-Gees squad in the OUA semifinals, the Hawks came through with the victory that propelled them to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships.
Fresh off finishing in seventh place at the CIS championships and with only one veteran returning for a fifth-year, the Hawks are beginning to rebuild.
But there will be growing pains.
The Hawks earned a 2-2 result with the Guelph Gryphons and a 1-1 draw against the Waterloo Warriors to open the 2016 regular season.
Head coach Barry MacLean said that he is happy with the amount of rookies that played their first games, and is pleased with the core of people and the mentality of the group.
But he acknowledges that apart from third-year defenders Pauline McCordic and Jacky Normandeau, the Hawks are sporting a brand new rookie backline, which may take some time to adjust.
“All of our defenders are first-years, so we got to figure out a few things here and there,” he said.
Currently, only a handful of veterans have returned to the lineup. Midfielder Katie Bishop is the only player that returned for a fifth-year, and Maxine Murchie moved into the striker position with Nicole Lyon, while Julie Karn adds a veteran presence to the midfield.
And although it may be a younger squad this year, with 17 rookies currently on the roster and eight rookies dressed for the game, this could also be an advantage for the Hawks.
The rookies are already contributing, with Mackenzie D’Andrade scoring the second goal in the Hawks’ tilt against the Guelph Gryphons and many of the rookies saw action last Saturday.
Bishop is excited for the year and feels that this is the time that the Hawks are going to be able to build as a team and bond really well with each other.
“The next few years are going to be great,” she said. “They are only going to be losing me next year and then a couple more the next year, so, I think it looks really positive going forward.”
Even though the result against Guelph wasn’t the one they were looking for, Bishop is optimistic that the Hawks will be victorious the next time the two squads meet on the field.
“I think we were good. We had some ups and downs but I think our result was fair. Obviously we would have wanted to win, but it’s the first game of the season, obviously it’s a new line up, new information for us too, so I think we can only go up from here,” she said.
“Next time we play them we’ll beat them.”