Women’s soccer defeats Western to win OUA championship

Katrina Ward makes a stop during penalty kicks. (Photo by Heather Davidson)

Katrina Ward makes a stop during penalty kicks. (Photo by Heather Davidson)

LONDON, Ont. – It took two games of 120 straight minutes of play and two sets of penalty kicks, but the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s soccer team got it done.

Despite this year being considered a “rebuilding year” by head coach Barry MacLean, fighting through a series of injuries that went late into the year and trying to figure out a confidence offence, the Hawks headed into the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Final Four weekend with a bit of uncertainty.

But despite that uncertainty, the Hawks captured the OUA title in a 1-0 win over the Western Mustangs in penalty kicks.

“Honestly, I’m just so proud of the team,” said fourth-year keeper Katrina Ward. “We fought through double overtime for the second time in a row and it just feels fantastic. I don’t even have words.”

The Hawks held their own in the game against the No. 1 nationally ranked Mustangs, putting through chances and pressuring with every possibility.

On several occasions in the first half, second-year Suzanne Boroumand, third-year Julie Maheu and third-year Katie Bishop had excellent opportunities, but Western keeper Tori Edgar would make the save.

Just before the half, Maheu would send a beautiful cross to striker Emily Brown, but Brown wouldn’t be able to get her foot on it for the go-ahead goal and the score would remain scoreless.

Captains Emily Brown, Kelsey Tikka and Emily Brown hold the championship trophy and banner. (Photo by Heather Davidson)

Captains Emily Brown, Kelsey Tikka and Katie Bishop hold the championship trophy and banner. (Photo by Heather Davidson)

In the second, Western would put on the pressure. A lot of chances down the wing would come forth, but fourth-year goalkeeper Katrina Ward would put them aside.

The game would be sent into extra time, but with back and forth playing and a solid backline on both sides, the game would go no where, needing penalty kicks to decide a provincial winner.

In penalty kicks, Ward would put aside two shots and have help with the post to put the Hawks up. On Sarah Farano’s shot, she would bury it, giving the Hawks the sealed victory and the OUA championship banner.

“I’ve been here two other times and unfortunately it’s been a disappointing outcome,” Brown said. “So it’s a great feeling to be to finally have the red ribbon around our neck and to finally have the trophy. I’m so proud of my team. We fought to the end, we played so much soccer this weekend and we got the results we needed, so I couldn’t be happier.”

With the win, the Hawks win their second OUA banner in four years and advance to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championship as the number one seed from the OUA. They will face the Trinity Western Spartans, the finalists from the Canada West division, on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

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