Gryphons oust Western, off to field hockey semifinals
GUELPH – A pair of second-half goals powered the Guelph Gryphons to a 2-0 win over the Western Mustangs in OUA women’s field hockey quarter-final play Wednesday night at the Gryphon Soccer Complex.
The goals allowed the Gryphs to keep their unbeaten streak against the Mustangs as they haven’t lost to Western since Nov. 3, 2012. Since then they’ve now gone 22 games without a loss to the Mustangs. That streak includes 21 wins and a 2-2 tie at Western last year in September.
Wednesday, the Gryphs goals in the opening minutes of both the third and fourth quarters.
Delaney Jacklin scored both goals while Madison Martin assisted on the first one and Elly Peters assisted on the second one.
Maryam Maamoun had four saves for the shutout for the Gryphs. Western’s Alyssa Evans had three saves.
The Gryphs outshot Western in shots on target and 9-5 overall. Of the 14 shots taken in the match, eight were in the fourth quarter while Guelph had the only two shots taken during a tentative first half.
“We have 10 returning people and we have 10 first-year players. I think nerves came into play for that entire first half,” Gryphon coach Michelle Turley said. “We just seemed really anxious so we’d come up with the ball and then no sooner did we come up with it, we’d throw it away without kind of a play.
“The second half, we said ‘It’s a new game’ and we were a totally different team. It was nice we scored fairly early in that second half.”
Maamoun is the lone Gryph in her final year of eligibility, but six others are in their third year and three of those are in their fourth year of schooling.
The locals also had three penalty corners, one more than Western.
“Defensively, we played very solidly,” Turley said. “We only had two penalty corners against and that’s the least number of penalty corners we’ve had against us all season. That was just because we were so focused in the defensive end and we made sure we made the tackles outside of the circle. Honestly, the defenders played outstanding.”
The game was the league’s lone quarter-final match as five of its eight teams qualified for the playoffs. The teams ranked in the top three gained byes to Saturday’s semifinals, leaving the fourth- (Gryphs) and fifth-placed (Western) teams in the quarter-final.
The game was also the final home game of the OUA season for the Gryphs as they will not host a semifinal match or the championship game should they qualify for it.
The Gryphs are to play the first-place York Lions at York Stadium Saturday at 5 p.m. The Lions edged Guelph 2-1 in league play at the Gryphon Soccer Complex Sept. 23. The Gryphs are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games against York and were outscored 14-8 in those games.
The locals aren’t expected to change anything in their play, although York representatives were at Wednesday’s game to scout both teams.
“We don’t really change things up in the playoffs,” Turley said. “A lot of teams worry about various players on other teams, but we try not to focus on what the other teams bring. We try to just play our own game and have them worry about us.”
The other semifinal has the second-place Waterloo Warriors hosting the third-place
Toronto Varsity Blues Saturday at 1 p.m.
The league’s final is scheduled for Oct. 28.
OUA champion is to host the Canada West champion Nov. 2 to 5.
- Guelph Sports Journal