Tops in the country

Rookie Emily Brown attributes her Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks’ women’s soccer 4-1 win against Waterloo on Saturday to their remarkable team chemistry.

“Coming in as a rookie, the team is so strong,” Brown said. “Their chemistry is so high and we have a lot of new rookies that are really talented. The vets just kind of take us in and we learn their way of play. I think the whole team atmosphere just makes it such a great team.”

Coach Barry MacLean echoed Brown’s humble yet confident ability in the team this year. “We have some great chemistry from the bottom to the top,” he said.

It came as no surprise last Saturday when the nationally-ranked No. 1 Hawks trampled over their defenceless neighbouring Warriors.

With precise passing and impressive team chemistry, the Golden Hawks took control of the game early on with Krista Celucci burying an early goal just nine minutes into the game.

“Playing Waterloo, we knew they would come out strong because they are our local competitors,” Celucci said. “I think that is one of the biggest reasons why we came out hard right away in the very first half. We kind of just wanted to prove a point and get as many goals as we could as fast as possible.”

And coming out hard is just what they accomplished.

Celucci finished the game with a pair of goals and Alyssa Lagonia followed to set the score at 4-0 after the first half.

“The rookies are great, but our fourth- and fifth-year players have great character and it’s a very cohesive team. I’m very pleased with what we have right now,” said MacLean.

In a disappointing last few seconds of injury time, Waterloo managed to sneak behind the Hawks’ defence and squeeze in a header off a corner kick to finalize the score at 4-1.

This was particularly disappointing for rookie goalkeeper Margaret Carmichael whose hopes of getting a shutout on her first-ever university start were upset.

“The game was pretty well over at that point,” MacLean said. “I think our team took our foot off the gas a little bit but that was the first shot on goal and it went in the net so it is what it is. I would have preferred to get a shutout for her. We just let ourselves slip out of the game a little bit at the end.”

The Golden Hawks will face off against the Brock Badgers on Sept. 28 for the second time this year.

Winning their last game by a score of only 1-0, Celucci is preparing for a very physical game.

“The last game we played against Brock, they were really physical and I think we have to keep in mind that they are a hard team to compete with but it’s nothing that we can’t handle,” she said.

“We just have to make sure that we have our priorities straight, and we come out strong like we did in the last game. If we do the same thing and stay composed against them like we did last time, we shouldn’t have any problem with them.”