Win escapes women’s soccer team’s grasp
The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s soccer team appeared to have defeated the York Lions by a one-goal margin entering added time on Sunday afternoon.
However, York striker Adeife Adekusibe capitalized on a Laurier defensive collapse to tie the game and shock the home crowd at University Stadium.
York surged late in the game and managed to score against the seemingly impenetrable Laurier back four and veteran goalkeeper Katrina Ward.
“[York] had a five second window of opportunity to capitalize and they did,” said head coach Barry MacLean. “We’re disappointed but pleased with the overall result.”
“It was one of those plays that makes you throw your hands up in the air,” he added.
Striker Emily Brown, the Hawks’ leading scorer, gave Laurier the lead at halftime with her fourth goal of the season and finished the game with three shots.
Laurier had the more threatening opportunities despite sharing possession midway through the tightly contested matchup.
The Hawks also appeared to be battling through fatigue after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat of the UOIT Ridgebacks on the road.
Midfielder Katie Bishop was physical and distributed the ball effectively in the defensive third and rookie midfielder Jessica Craig posed a threat to the Lion’s defence as she patrolled the wing.
Striker Kayleigh Bell was substituted in at halftime and sparked the relatively quiet Laurier offence.
Controversially, York’s last defender, Shannon Wood, on a partial breakaway with ten minutes remaining, dragged down Bell.
Bell’s stolen one-on-one with the goalkeeper and goal opportunity resulted in merely a yellow card for Wood. Although the home crowd at University Stadium erupted in disagreement, this proved to be a momentum shift for York. But despite the draw, MacLean was pleased with the strength of his starters.
“Our performance was exceptional considering our eight injuries and we had the same twelve players [that played both Saturday and Sunday],” he said.
“York is as good of a team as we’ll play in the OUA West and we battled.”
MacLean firmly stated that injuries and a grueling schedule contributed to the sputtering Hawks offence and it is not a matter of under-performance.
Though the team has scored nine goals through eight games, the defence has only allowed four goals against.
Laurier now has a record of 4-1-3 and are tied for first in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) West division alongside the Western Mustangs and the Guelph Gryphons with 15 points apiece.
However, Laurier dropped out of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) top ten rankings this week for the first time since Sept. 7, 2010.
The Hawks will host the Ridgebacks on Friday at University Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.