Guelph CVI Green Gaels aiming high in D4/10 field hockey
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH — The Guelph CVI Green Gaels are hoping to reach new highs in District 4/10 high school girls’ field hockey this year.
The Gaels, first-place finishers in the league’s regular season, advanced to the semifinals with a 5-0 victory over the Norwell Varsity Reds of Palmerston in Monday’s quarter-finals at the University of Guelph’s Varsity Field.
Another win and the Gaels will be in uncharted territory for them as GC has never played in a league final, let alone won one.
The Gaels have been to the semifinals before. They were there last year and in 2006 and 2007. However, they lost each time.
“We just have gelled this year as a team,” coach Dorothea Whitfield said. “Even the rookies are getting some minutes and they’re learning, too. We’ve played a lot. We played a tournament on Friday so they’ve played a lot.”
All that playing time has helped the players understand their roles on the field and the Gaels also consider using Varsity Field and its artificial turf as their home field another factor in the team’s progression from a no-goal season four years ago into a contender this year.
“Some of the players, it suddenly just clicked with them what we’re supposed to be doing plus we’re playing here and we’re not playing on grass for our home games,” Whitfield said. “That’s made a big difference.”
The Gaels know that they have things to work on if they hope to reach next week’s final.
“On our penalty corners, we need to be more aggressive and score on them as the first half (against Norwell) we had a lot of penalty corners and we didn’t capitalize on it,” Whitfield said. “We need to do that. We just need to keep playing our game.”
Wednesday at 1 p.m., the Gaels are to tangle with the Centre Wellington Falcons at Varsity Field for the right to play in next Monday’s D4/10 final.
Lorraine Vandermyden and Frances McKnight scored twice each in the win over Norwell while Jordyn Farquharson had the other goal and Lou Meloche picked up the shutout.
There were no surprises in the quarter-finals as the top four at the end of the regular season all posted wins. The Bishop Macdonell Celtics blanked the Centre Dufferin Royals of Shelburne 2-0, the Ross Royals slipped by the Orangeville Bears 2-0 and Centre Wellington nipped the Centennial Spartans 1-0.
Wednesday’s other semifinal pits Bishop Mac against Ross at Bishop Mac at 1 p.m.
Bishop Macdonell 2 Centre Dufferin 0
Julia Billings and Sydney Claerbout scored a goal apiece for Bishop Mac.
Ross 2 Orangeville Bears 0
Natassja Dezwaan hit for both goals for Ross while Mackenzie Mollison had the shutout.
Centre Wellington 1 Centennial 0
Sophia Battaglia had the game’s only goal while Jenny Herbert had the shutout.