Women’s soccer team moves on to playoffs

As the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks’ women’s soccer team closes out their regular
season, stars Ali McKee and Heather Malizia are making sure the team keeps its winning instinct.

The two offensive catalysts for the Hawks have lit up the score-sheet over the duration of the year, including one goal from each in a 3-2 loss versus the McMaster Marauders on Saturday, and another from McKee in a 1-1 tie against the Brock Badgers on Sunday.

Not to be outdone by her friend and teammate Malizia, McKee has come on particularly strong as of late, with six goals in her last five games, and has subsequently surpassed Malizia for the team lead in goals with nine in total for the season.

Malizia, however remains an offensive power, as she finishes the season with just one less than McKee.

McKee can claim bragging rights for now, but the two snipers and the rest of the Hawks have bigger things to worry about as the real season gets underway this week as a playoff spot has been
finalized.

The Hawks want to get back to their winning ways as soon as possible after surrendering three late goals between the two games over the weekend.

However, head coach Barry MacLean doesn’t want to put too much stock in the results of the squandered weekend.

“It makes no difference where we finish now,” said MacLean after the team’s loss to the
Marauders on Saturday. “The first 65 to 70 minutes were the best we’ve played in a long time, so
I’m quite okay with it. For me, this weekend is more about performances than results,” he added.

McMaster played with more desperation late in the game, as the team was looking to move ahead in the standings. They capitalized on two Laurier mistakes in the last two minutes to secure the victory as well as fourth place in the west.

With the weekend’s loss and tie, the Hawks secure second place, behind York, and receive a first-round bye in the post-season.

The Hawks can only hope that the Malizia-McKee duo can continue their hot streak, as well as rectify some breakdowns, as those late-game mistakes can magnify in the one-game elimination playoff format.

The Hawks can expect to face any one of four teams in the second round, including Brock, McMaster, Western or Windsor.
Does MacLean have a preference?

“Not at all, we’ll have to deal with whoever comes our way,” he said.
The Hawks’ quest for two straight provincial championships begins on Halloween day as they play host to an undetermined opponent in the quarterfinals.

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