Golden Hawks look to defend OUA title
HAMILTON, Ont. - It's now a four-team race for the Ontario
University Athletics (OUA) women's soccer title, as the Wilfrid
Laurier Golden Hawks, Ottawa Gee-Gees, York Lions and Queen's Gaels
converge on York Stadium on Saturday and Sunday to determine the
The No. 7 nationally-ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees (13-2-3) will face off against the division-leading No. 6 York Lions (12-2-1) in hopes of capturing their seventh championship title.
Ottawa could give York a run for its money, if its offence can come together and continue to rack up the points the way they did in the regular season. Courtney Luscombe (Ottawa), Tara Condos (Strathroy, Ont.) and Sara Bullock (Sault. Ste. Marie, Ont.) combined for 19 of Ottawa's 42 goals during the regular season.
Not only is their offence strong, but Ottawa's defence isn't too shabby either.
With defenders Nikki Moreau (Almonte, Ont.) and Gillian Baggot (Ottawa) concentrating on shutting down the opposing offence, goalkeeper Melissa Pesant (Gatineau, Que.) can focus on making big saves to keep her team ahead. In the Gee-Gees quarterfinal game against the Toronto Varsity Blues last Saturday, Pesant proved her strength, shutting down each and every shot from the Blues in a 1-0 victory.
The Lions completed their third straight first-place finish in the West this season, thanks largely in part to their star offensive player Ami Otaki (Kanagawa, Japan). The second-year forward scored an OUA-high 14 goals in as many games.
The threats don't stop there, though. Teammate Samantha Gauthier (Laval, Que.) netted six goals this season, and along with Otaki, create a dynamic duo that the Gee-Gees need to contain.
Veteran defenders Alicia Brown (Brampton, Ont.) and Tania Porretta (Brampton, Ont.) along with goalkeeper Sarah Fiorini (Newmarket, Ont.) will be the last line of defence for the Lions as they seek their second OUA crown in three seasons, and third in five.
The No. 10 nationally-ranked Golden Hawks (10-3-2) will look to defend their 2008 title and play for their seventh OUA banner. They first have to get by the No. 3 Queen's Gaels in the other semifinal.
Laurier's Ali McKee (Bracebridge, Ont.) and Heather Malizia (Burlington, Ont.) scored nine and eight regular season goals, respectively, and will be an offensive force for the Golden Hawks this weekend.
Seasoned defenders Tania Pedron (Maple, Ont.) and Erica Horner (Kitchener, Ont.), who were both part of last year's championship team, will look to keep their opponents in check. First-year goaltender Tristin Vogel (Collingwood, Ont.) has been the Hawks go-to goalkeeper this season and she's asserted herself in her first OUA season.
The East-leading Queen's Gaels will rely on Renee MacLellan (Kingston, Ont.) as they have all season for offensive output. The fourth-year striker finished the regular season with 12 goals in 16 games, second in OUA only to York's Otaki.
Supporting MacLellan on offence in the post-season are striker Kelli Chamberlain (North Bay, Ont.) and midfielder Angela Sullivan (Scarborough, Ont.). Both combined for 10 goals in the regular season and Chamberlain scored the game-winner in Queen's win over the Carleton Ravens in the quarter-final last Saturday.
As far as defence is concerned, Queen's has no problem limiting their opponent's offence. The mostly-rookie defensive squad allowed just five goals past them during the regular season, the fewest of all teams in OUA. Between defenders Victoria Gonzalez-Milroy (Vancouver) and Brienna Shaw (Vancouver) and goalkeepers Chantel Marson (London, Ont.) and Elena Corry (Hamilton, Ont.), the Gaels have a solid line of defence.
The two semi-final winners on Saturday will not only compete for an OUA title on Sunday, but earn a berth to the CIS women's soccer championship, Nov. 12-15, at the University of Toronto.
The semi-final losing teams will play in the OUA bronze-medal game on Sunday at 11:30 a.m., followed by Saturday's winning teams in the OUA final at 2 p.m. All games can be seen via webcast at SSNCanada.ca.
OUA FINAL FOUR WOMEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
November 7, 2009
Semifinals @ York
11:30 a.m. Ottawa vs. York
2:00 p.m. Laurier vs. Queen's
November 8, 2009
Finals @ York
11:30 a.m. Semifinal Losers (Bronze Medal)
2:00 p.m. Semifinal Winners (OUA Final)
- OUA -