Guelph Gryphons add to field hockey winning streak
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH — The Guelph Gryphons stretched their winning streak in OUA field hockey play Wednesday night as they dropped the Waterloo Warriors 6-0 at Varsity Field.
The victory was the 16th consecutive win in OUA play for the Gryphs.
While the win streak includes six victories this season, the Gryphs have a different feel to them this year.
“It’s a completely different team dynamic, especially on the field,” Gryphon forward Olivia Lane said. “It’s a lot younger so the rookies have definitely had to step up. People who weren’t starting last year are now starting. It’s good, though. It’s making us a lot closer. It’s a positive atmosphere on the field and I think that’s going to carry us throughout the rest of the season.”
The Gryphs have not lost in league play since dropping a 5-2 game to the Toronto Varsity Blues at Varsity Field Sept. 20, 2015. They also lost twice to Toronto in the playoffs last year as they were edged 4-3 in the league final and 2-1 in the national semifinals.
Lane, a Guelph native and third-year Gryphon who scored her 10th goal of the season Wednesday night, has assumed a different role with the Gryphs this season.
“It’s a different team. We lost a lot of starters so I have to step up a lot and pass the ball,” she said. “The team is really deep this year. We have a lot of people who can score so it’s important not to be selfish and put the ball in the back of the net anyway we can.”
However, her coaches would like to see her be a little more selfish.
“I don’t know, maybe it’s just the way that I play,” Lane said. “I’m confident in all my teammates. I pass the ball with confidence knowing they can put it in the back of the net just as well as I can.”
Wednesday, she helped give her teammates plenty of room in which to operate through her play away from the ball.
“She’s playing unselfish hockey whereby she’s being marked man-to-man and she just literally pulled the best defender out of the game every time and just let our people go in there and work around and score the goals,” Gryphon coach Michelle Turley said. “Very unselfish. Happy for her that she scored at the very end.”
That goal that wrapped up the scoring in the game was reminiscent to goals seen in ice hockey as she redirected a pass from rookie Stephanie Kingsley into the Waterloo net.
“I played ice hockey growing up and through high school,” Lane said. “(It was) a nice little touch at the end.”
Kingsley led the Gryphs with a hat trick while Katherine MacMillan, Olivia Finch and Lane scored once apiece. Morgan Kelley was credited with the shutout.
Despite the one-sided nature of the game, the Gryphs were not entirely pleased with their effort.
“When we control the game that much, I get a little upset when we have penalty corners against us,” Turley said. “I think we had two penalty corners against, not happy with that part of things, but we defended them fine.”
Next up for the Gryphs is a pair of games in Kingston this weekend. They’re to play the York Lions (3-1) Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and McGill Martlets (0-3) Sunday at 9 a.m.