Ready for the semi-finals
The spirits on the sidelines were high as Hawks fans started to take their seats at Alumni Field on Saturday when the women’s soccer team hosted the York University Lions.
And the crowd went home happy as the Hawks beat the Lions 1-0.
The Golden Hawks, who cleaned up the 2011 Ontario University Athletics’ (OUA) West awards with five players earning a place on the OUA first-team all-stars and midfielder Alyssia Lagonia earning the OUA West MVP award, were dead set on making sure York would go no further into the OUA Playoffs.
The whistle blew, and the game began in earnest, as the Lions initially held the Golden Hawks in their own end, but soon, the Golden Hawks broke out to threaten York.
The Lions had trouble early on penetrating the stalwart defence of the Hawks and too often found their offence scrambling back to defence in the face of Wilfrid Laurier University’s emphatic breaks. Despite the frequent chances and excellent teamwork of the Laurier side, they seemed to lack a finishing touch as chance after chance was not capitalized upon.
Later in the half, York’s defence started to collapse, unable to handle the offensive pressure, but the Hawks still found themselves plagued by a lack of finishing.
Meanwhile, the Lions found little to work with offensively in the face of the unfaltering midfield of the Golden Hawks, especially Tania Pedron, who was a source for offensive creativity and defensive poise throughout the match.
In the second, the Hawks got several great chances early in the half, and the York goalkeeper showed her quality by stuffing every one.
But in the 71st minute, striker Heather Malizia slotted a beautiful ball into the bottom left corner of the York net.
The crowd made their presence known as a roar erupted from the sidelines, illustrating the number of people who came out to support the team with every seat filled.
Laurier would then survive the Lions’ intermittent offensive pressure to ride their lone goal to victory.
“The support was fantastic today,” said head coach, Barry MacLean.
“Hopefully we will get that next weekend [as well].”