Nicole Lyon a healthy Hawk for Laurier soccer

Photo by Andreas Patsiaouros

Photo by Andreas Patsiaouros

Throughout her career at Wilfrid Laurier University, third-year forward Nicole Lyon hasn’t had the best of luck.

The Kitchener native was forced to the sidelines for her first few seasons playing soccer for the Hawks after being ridden by injury for most of her career.

Since sticking to the sidelines in her first year, Lyon played through injury all through her second, scoring the second highest amount of goals for Laurier in the 2014 season with 13 goals — enough for fifth-place in the Ontario University Athletics  goal-scoring category.

Coming into her third year, only five games in, Lyon has almost surpassed that total — already scoring 10 goals and leading the OUA. Finally in complete health, Lyon’s third year with the Hawks is her time to shine.

And she is just getting started.

“I’m really confident this year,” Lyon said. “We have a lot of new players, a lot of players are in new roles, which is really exciting. The first couple games we’re just getting our stuff together, learning what we need to do. I’m really excited and think we have a really good team to compete this year.”

Lyon’s first year at Laurier was less than ideal, as she was forced to be red-shirted, sporting a four-inch tear in her hip she acquired after only her second preseason game.

Second year was much of the same. Lyon saw limited action for half the season due to compartment syndrome, a condition resulting from increased pressure within a combined body space. She was limited to half of a game before her foot would go numb.

“I was really only playing half a game, for each game, if that, so this is my first year coming in injury-free,” she said.

After 11 months of waiting, Lyon finally got to see a surgeon to release the pressure in her leg. During that time, she saw limited playing time, but Lyon was in discomfort every time she played.

“Every time I ran my feet would go numb,” she said. “So there was nothing that can be done but waiting as well.”

“We got the surgery done in April, so now I’ve just been coming back and getting my fitness up.”

With an early exit in the 2014 OUA final four still in sight, Lyon hopes to improve on the Hawks’ record.

She said she has her sights set on higher goals — not just winning the OUA championship, but also winning the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championship this year.

“Well obviously you’d like to see the stats go as high as they can go, but that’s not my main priority. I want to see our team succeed,” she said.

“We didn’t do as well as we could last year, so it was a little disappointing how we been the past years, so I really just want the team to succeed and win an OUA championship and go to CIS and win a championship there.”

“That’s my main goal is the team’s success,” she said.

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