Unusual start to the season for women’s soccer

Photo by paige Bush
Photo by paige Bush

The Wilfrid Laurier women’s soccer team had an unusual start to their 2016 Ontario University Athletics season, last weekend. Facing off against the Guelph Gryphons and the Waterloo Warriors, the Hawks picked up two points, earning a 2-2 draw against the Gryphons and a 1-1 draw against the Warriors.

“I think we were good. We had some ups and downs but I think our result was fair,” fifth-year midfielder Katie Bishop said. “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.”

The Hawks brought in a lot of fresh faces to the team this year, with eight rookies seeing playing time during the matchup against the Gryphons. Out of those eight rookies, the Hawks are also sporting an entirely new backline, one that could cause growing pains, according to head coach, Barry MacLean.

“A lot of [the first-year players] played so that’s awesome from our perspective,” he said. “We’re happy with the core of people, we’re happy with the mentality of the group, but we’re going to have some growing pains.”

MacLean also said that he thought the game was of two halves — in the first half, Laurier had lots of chances and controlled the tempo of the game. In the first half, Laurier took the lead with two goals, one by fourth-year Maxine Murchie and another by rookie Mackenzie D’Andrade.

But in the second half, the Gryphons evened it up with a strike by Victoria Hinchcliffe to tie the game up at two. Guelph took the game to Laurier and had a lot of chances.

“Second half I think we wilted a little bit,” MacLean said. “The reality is, the score is a reasonable result, but we’re going to have to figure out how to play a 90 minute game, a 90 minute performance.”

Murchie was the lone goal scorer against the Waterloo Warriors when she evened the game up at one in the 88th minute to pick up a point.

The biggest change to the squad this year is how much younger it became.

Along with the eight rookies that dressed last Saturday, the Hawks added 17 new recruits to the current roster. MacLean said that the Hawks were excellent in possession in the first half, but with the amount of young players being introduced to the team, the Hawks have some things they need to figure out.

And with Bishop the only player that graduates this year, and with a handful of players graduating next year, she is optimistic that the Hawks will become stronger in future years.

“This is the time that we’re just going to build as a team and everyone can bond really well, 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,” she continued.

“I’m just hoping that our team can build from that this year. Start strong and keep going from there,” she continued.

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