The halfway point has arrived for some teams, while others are just starting to get deeper into their season. Below is our sports update for September 30, 2015.
The women’s soccer team has had a strong start to their season having gone undefeated through 9 games to lead their division and are currently ranked fourth in the nation. Laurier’s next three games will be against teams ranked in the CIS top 5.
Laurier has gone 8-0-1 so far this season with their only tie coming in a road visit to the third ranked Western Mustangs. They will have a chance for revenge at home on Sunday October 4th. Laurier’s strength has been their offence which leads the country in goals per game, scoring an average of 5.7. This is ahead of Western’s 5.3 and almost three more per game than Ottawa, which is averaging 2.9 while leading the East division.
The offence has been led by Emily Brown who is leading the nation in both goals with 13 and total points with 14. Nicole Lyon has also helped lead the offence scoring 11 goals which ties her for second in the nation in goals and points.
After Stacey Simmons made the first two starts of the season at keeper, Ashley Almelda has made seven straight starts and has a goals against average of 1.29 to help Laurier shut down the opposition.
Laurier faces the fifth ranked York Lions on Thursday October 1st at home in their first meeting of the season before facing them again on October 8th at York. In between, Laurier will be looking to redeem themselves against Western after allowing the Mustangs to tie the game in the final seconds. Laurier will need more big performances from last week’s OUA female athlete of the week, Emily Brown, if they want to continue to lead the division.
Laurier’s men’s soccer team has not been as successful, but with a 4-3-2 record, they are currently fifth in their division and on track to make the playoffs. Laurier has a difficult schedule to finish the season with five of their last seven games coming against teams above them in the standings, including two against York, the top ranked team in the country.
Laurier is a strong overall team, ranking seventh in the OUA in both goals per game and goals allowed per game. The offence is being led by Niklas Bauer, who is leading the nation in goals and points with eight goals so far this season. The next highest total on the team is two goals from Nikola Miokovic, which shows the importance of Bauer to the team.
Stephan Brudiu has taken over as the starting goalie, starting three of the last five games for Laurier including three shutouts, which has helped Laurier climb up the standings. Brudiu has starred for Laurier with the second best save percentage in OUA, as well as the fifth best goals against average in the conference.
The Golden hawks have an eight point lead on seventh place in their division, so they should be able to qualify for the playoffs. The tough stretch to end the season can be used to build confidence ahead of the playoffs, or could show that Laurier is not ready to contend for a title this season.
The Golden Hawks football team has had a rough season after four games, with only one win so far. With a 1-3 record and only four games remaining, Laurier will most likely miss the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
Dillon Campbell has struggled this season after he was expected to lead the team. He is fifth in the conference in rushing yards per game. After leading the conference last season with 180 yards per game, this season he is only averaging 93.
Campbell isn’t the only returning player who is struggling on offence. Returning quarterback James Fracas returned from injury to throw five interceptions in two losses and was replaced by Eric Morelli, who helped Laurier win their opener, but lost in his start against Windsor.
A bright star for the team has been freshman kicker Nathan Mesher. Mesher is currently tied for second in the OUA in field goal percentage, making nine of ten, including a 47 yarder, which was the second longest in the OUA this season.
The Golden hawks still have a chance to the playoffs with a game against winless Waterloo on October 3, followed by Ottawa the week after which will be a must win game. Ottawa is currently in the final playoff spot with a 2-2 record. If Laurier enters their final game on October 24 with a 3-4 record against Queen’s, they may have a chance to qualify for the playoffs with a win.
Laurier’s baseball team has started the season 4-4 and is currently on track to make the playoffs. With half the season done, Laurier is currently in fourth place with a set of big games on schedule for Saturday, October 3 against Guelph, currently in first place. A split would be a good sign for Laurier heading into the rest of the season as they begin to prepare for the six team playoffs.
They are currently second in the OUA in stolen bases, and is being led on offence by outfielder Adam Raithby. Raithby has a .500 batting average this season, which is tied for the conference lead.
The pitching has been led by Andrew Ziedins who has an ERA of 2.00, fourth best in the OUA. They should be able to qualify for the playoffs, which will be double elimination, and that means anything is possible.
The cross country team has competed in two events without much team success, but in the men’s division they have had a couple of top 10 individual performances.
Elliot De Lange has a pair of top 10 finishes in both events, finishing eighth in the season-opening Vic Matthews Open, followed by a tenth place finish at the Western Invitational. Another senior, Adam Cornwall, finished fifth at the Western invitational. The OUA championships will be held October 31. Both Cornwall(29th) and De Lange(50th) will be looking to improve on their performances from last year.
The men’s golf team has competed in three tournaments so far, and have achieved both individual and team success. The team finished tied for first with Western at the Western invitational on September 18, and were led by Curtis O’Reilley and Connor Wilks. They both shot 71’s to tie for third. The strongest individual performer for the team is Eric Flockhart, who has finished in the top 20 of all three events including a second place finish in the Toronto Invitational on September 21. Flockhart has continued his strong play from last year’s Canadian University and College Championships where he finished 13th, but was leading after the second of four rounds.
The women’s team has competed in two tournaments so far with a top finish of fourth in the team competition at the Toronto Invitational. The team was led by Jamie Wood, who shot an 87 to finish the individual competition in a tie for eighth. Wood was also the only Golden Hawk to finish in the top 20 at the Western Invitational, shooting 92 to finish tied for 19th. Wood was also the top finisher at the OUA championship last season for Laurier, finishing 20th.
The OUA championships for golf will be held October 19 and 20 in Oshawa, with both teams looking to finish strong.