CIS field hockey Saturday playoff roundup: Guelph, Toronto advance to OUA final
Photo credit Patrick Eugster
TORONTO - The Toronto Varsity Blues and the defending OUA champion Guelph Gryphons will battle it out in the final of the OUA field hockey championship after winning their respective semifinal matches on Saturday (Oct. 30) at Downsview Park.
The Gryphons were first to earn their spot in the final with a 6-4 win over the Western Mustangs. The Blues earned their spot in the final match of the day, defeating the Waterloo Warriors by a score of 2-0. The York Lions and Dalhousie Tigers, who lost their games yesterday, also battled it out in a match for fifth place in the OUA, which the Tigers won 2-1.
The final two games of the championship will take place on Sunday, beginning at 10am with the bronze medal contest between Western and Waterloo. The gold medal game will follow at 12pm. Guelph and Toronto have already advanced to the CIS national championships next weekend, and the winner of the morning match will join them at the event.
Saturday's first semifinal was a shootout between the top-seeded Gryphons and fourth-seeded Mustangs, two offensive juggernauts. Both teams displayed an uncanny ability to score, combining for 10 goals in the match.
The entire game was back-and-forth, with both teams exchanging one or two goals at a time. Seven goals were scored in a first half dominated by the Gryphons in terms of possession. Brienne Stairs (Kitchener, Ont.) and Tegan Stairs (Kitchener, Ont.) had two goals each for the Gryphons, while Elsbeth Tate (Richmond, B.C.), who also scored two goals, and Megan Scraper (West Vancouver, B.C.) scored for the Mustangs. The Gryphons held a 4-3 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the goal parade continued, with Brienne Stairs adding two more goals for the Gryphons and Taylor Kilmosko adding one for the Mustangs. Breinne Stairs finished with four goals and was an intimidating presence on the pitch all match in her team's win.
The other semifinal of the day was a low scoring affair between the second-seeded Varsity Blues and the third-seeded Warriors.
The Blues dominated possession throughout the match and pinned the Warriors in their own zone on several occasions for minutes at a time. Despite their domination, the Blues mustered only one goal in the first half that came off the stick of Kaelan Watson (Richmond, B.C.); her goal later proved to be the game winner.
The second half was more even in terms of possession, but a confident Blues squad continued to attack the Warriors defence, and in the 62nd minute the Blues found an insurance goal when Yvonne Langen (Cambridge, Ont.) beat rookie goalkeeper Bronwen Clayfield-Jewett (Waterloo, Ont.). The Blues played shutdown defence for the remainder of the match and cruised to the 2-0 win.
Earlier in the day was the fifth place match between the Lions and Tigers and it was a close affair.
Alex Turriff (Vancouver) was a force for the Tigers, scoring twice in the first half. Despite some bouts of sustained pressure, the Lions were unable to respond before halftime.
In the second half, the Lions came out hungry for a goal and pressured the Tigers hard; however, they were not rewarded for their efforts until the 66th minute, when Shannon Vance (Goderich, Ont.) beat Tigers' goalkeeper Ashley Simon (Hammonds Plains, N.S.) to cut the Tigers' lead to just 2-1. Vance's goal sparked her squad, but they could not create any further scoring chances before time expired.
York Sports Info