PREVIEW: Laurier women’s soccer
Wilfrid Laurier University’s women’s soccer team may have a different look when the 2015 season kicks off on Aug. 29 against the Algoma Thunderbirds.
The team is coming off a 12-1-3 record in 2014, securing second place and finishing fourth in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Final Four after a shocking loss to the UOIT Ridgebacks. The Hawks are expecting another strong year as the team maintained most of their core. Striker Emily Brown will returning for a fifth year with the Hawks after finishing 2014 as the OUA leading goal scorer with 21 goals. The team has also maintained their midfielder depth, as Maxine Murchie and Katie Bishop will be back.
On the back end, the Hawks will be looking for someone to step into former captain Kelsey Tikka’s shoes. The veteran defender brought stability to a young defence, and this will be a necessity to see an improvement from last year’s finish. Laurier is also looking for someone to step up and take over the goalkeeper position, as former keeper Maggie Carmichael also graduated.
With this in mind, come opening day, there could be many new faces in the starting 11. Six Hawks are injured and may not suit up against Algoma. Dajana Solomun, Murchie, Julie Karn, Sarah Farano, Pauline McCordic and Kassia Hayek are battling injuries and could be game-time decisions when it comes to Saturday’s match up.
That being said, this also gives the opportunity for some of the new rookies to show what they can do when the Algoma Thunderbirds come to town. Algoma is coming off a win-less season during their OUA debut and will be looking to make an impression. Head coach Barry MacLean may be looking to play some bench players and find the groove going into the season. Health and consistency will be keys for Laurier’s women’s squad.
All the action begins this Saturday. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at University Stadium.