Guelph Gryphons

Field hockey Gryphons edged in OUA final by familiar opponent

LONDON — It was a familiar story for the Guelph Gryphons Sunday at Western’s TD Stadium as they dropped their third consecutive OUA women’s field hockey championship match to the Toronto Varsity Blues.

Toronto won this year’s final 3-2.

The Gryphs, who have played in 10 consecutive OUA finals, last won the title in 2013 when they defeated the Waterloo Warriors 4-1. They last defeated Toronto in the gold-medal match in 2010. The Gryphs also beat Toronto in the final in 2007 and 2009, giving them a total of four OUA titles. Toronto has won the league championship 32 times.

The Gryphs never led Sunday’s game, but never trailed by more than a goal.

Emma Wingrave opened the scoring for Toronto four minutes into the game before Guelph’s Nicole Paola tied it four minutes later.

Alison Lee put the Varsity Blues ahead again in the 33rd minute. That lead held until the 56th minute when league MVP Olivia Lane pulled the Gryphs even with a goal on a short corner.

Emily Ziraldo wrapped up the scoring with Toronto’s winning goal in the 67th minute.

Both teams were already assured of playing for a medal in the four-team U Sports field hockey championship tournament that is to start Thursday at Toronto following OUA semifinal victories Saturday.

The Gryphs are to play the Canada West finalist Victoria Vikes Thursday at 4 p.m., Varsity Blues Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Canada West champion UBC Thunderbirds Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

UBC is seeded first, Toronto second, Victoria third and Guelph fourth.

The bronze-medal game is to go Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and is to be followed by the McCrae Cup gold-medal game at 3 p.m.

The Gryphs have never won the national title and claimed silver once when they were edged by Toronto 1-0 in overtime in 2007. They’ve won bronze five times, all in the last six years. They were fourth in 2014.

UBC enters this year’s tournament having won the national title each of the last five years and 17 times altogether. Toronto has won it 11 times, the last time being 2010 when it was held in Guelph. Victoria has also won it 11 times, but none since 2008.

  • Guelph Sports Journal