Gryphon soccer women slip by Waterloo
GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons used a first-half goal to edge the Waterloo Warriors 1-0 in OUA women’s soccer league play at the Gryphon Soccer Complex Friday.
Venessa Mazur struck for the game’s only goal in the 31st minute. Brooke Morton collected an assist on the play.
Guelph Gryphons 1 Waterloo 0
The Gryphs thought they had scored another one about seven minutes later, but the play was ruled offside after a consultation between the referee and a linesman.
Brooke Davidson made three saves in the Guelph net for the shutout win while Morgan Berg made 11 saves for Waterloo.
The Gryphs carried the majority of the play in the game, outshooting the Warriors 15-5 including a 9-2 advantage in the first half.
Three corner kicks were awarded in the game, two to Guelph.
This year’s OUA schedule is different in that teams play a single opponent in a home-and-home series each week. That should mean there are few surprises in the second game each week. In previous seasons teams would play each other twice, but rarely during the same week.
“It’s a little bit more interesting in how it all plays out because you almost have to consider how you’re approaching the two games,” Gryphon coach Shayne Campbell said. “Sometimes you have to think about your approach because both teams get (an immediate) second opportunity to play each other so how do you make adjustments, how do you do different things and that’s why we’re proud of the group. We felt that we needed to make some adjustments from Wednesday and I felt like we really made some adjustments and I thought that we really did well with the adjustments that we made for this game.”
With a late start to the season and a reduced number of games, any playing time players got with club teams in the summer is proving to be beneficial. In 2019, the last season before the pandemic hit, the Gryphs played 14 regular-season games with the first one on Aug. 31. This year the regular season is 10 games and it started Sept. 22.
The Gryphs have 17 players on their roster who were on the Guelph Union’s roster for play in the League1 Ontario women’s championship division in the summer including Mazur and Davidson.
“It helped us to keep them all together and helped part of their growth, we were able to see that through the summer and that definitely helps,” Campbell said. “It definitely helps with culture and cohesion in the squad. It definitely helps.”
With the 2020 season cancelled it means teams have two years’ worth of rookies on their roster. This year according to their website the Gryphs have a roster of 32 players, five more than in 2019, and 20 of those players were not with the team in 2019.
“We’re really excited about the players who came in last year and we’re really excited about the players who came in this year,” Campbell said. “They started to contribute and there are things that are happening for them. It’s exciting for us to see what we thought of them and how they’re starting to perform and really be part of the group.”
The Gryphs lead the West Division at 3-1-2 and are followed by the ninth-ranked Western Mustangs at 3-1-0, Laurier Golden Hawks at 2-0-1, Windsor Lancers at 1-2-1, Brock Badgers at 1-4-0 and Waterloo at 0-2-2.
“As soon as the divisions were made, we felt like this division has parity everywhere,” Campbell said. “Every game is a game and the schedule has proved it so far. Everything from a couple of years ago is a couple of years ago and this is the present and the present is a league that’s full or parity and that’s full of difficult games and you have to approach every game like that. It’s almost like playoff games, all of these.”
The league is operating with three divisions this year instead of the usual two. Top two teams in each division plus two wild-card teams qualify for the playoffs. The eight playoff teams will then be seeded with the top four hosting league quarter-final matches Nov. 3. Winners are to advance to the semifinals Nov. 6 and the semifinal victors are to clash in the league final Nov. 13. Highest seeds in each match are to host the game.
The Gryphs have a bye this week and are to return to league play Oct. 22 with a home game against Brock.
- Guelph Sports Journal