Photo Contribution by Laurier Athletics
Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford Golden Hawks kicked off their season after competing at their first tournament of the year.
Both the men’s and women’s team looked forward to competing and were excited to start their season.
The women’s team is coming off a spectacular season last year after qualifying for provincials for the first time in Laurier Brantford’s history. With a lot of their players graduating, the women’s team is now in their rebuilding stage with only a few returning players from last season.
The women’s team started their season against the Conestoga College Condors. The Condors qualified for provincials last season and are a talented team. The Golden Hawks held their own against them, but it wasn’t enough. The Golden Hawks fell short after a last minute goal by the Condors, losing 3-2.
The second game was against Centennial College. A back-and-forth game left the two teams tied 1-1 after the final whistle.
Their final game of the group stage was against Toronto Metropolitan University. The women’s team left it all out on the field and came up short, losing 2-0 to a strong TMU team. The women’s team, which is filled with a lot of rookies, played like the team was filled with veterans.
“For a rookie team rebuilding, I believe we performed and stepped up to the plate and made our school name heard against teams who have had many years playing with each other,” said Nia Maidens, a first-year student athlete for Laurier Brantford.
On the other hand, the men’s team was back in action after a disappointing season last year. They kicked off the tournament against a strong St. Clair College side. The boys fell short and lost 3-0. The second game was against Centennial College. Another back-and-forth game led to a 1-1 draw after the final whistle. The men’s team rounded off the group stage against a tough Seneca College side, losing 4-0.
The men’s side is also in a rebuilding stage with only a few returning players. This tournament was an insight for the rookies in how this season will be.
“As a rookie it was certainly challenging,” said Camden Smida, a first-year student athlete for Laurier Brantford. “As a new arrival to this year’s squad, it was difficult to adapt to a new system, however, overall I had a positive experience being alongside my teammates out on the pitch and giving it our all.”
It was not the tournament both teams had in mind, however, it was a step in the right direction for regionals.
“Next steps for this team definitely resolves around transitioning from defence to offence as well as looking to improve our defensive structure and be more disciplined when defending,” said Emmanuel Nwankwo, a second-year student athlete for Laurier Brantford.
The Golden Hawks look to improve on their season and are preparing for regionals on Feb. 27 at the Ontario Soccer Centre.