Field hockey opens with win

Women tie Guelph 0-0, beat Waterloo 1-0

Women’s field hockey plays the Western Mustangs during the 2005 season.
Women’s field hockey plays the Western Mustangs during the 2005 season.
Jeff Chan

The women’s field hockey team opened their season on a high note in Guelph last weekend, coming away with a win and tie.

In the opening game against the Guelph Gryphons, fine play by veteran goalkeeper Nicole Ross, a fourth-year student, allowed the Gaels to play to a scoreless tie against their OUA rivals. Third-year nursing student Michelle Mattiacci, centre-defense, also played a solid game.

Head coach Chris McArdle said their strategy for the weekend was simple.

“Guelph was at the top last year so it was important to get off to a good start,” McArdle said.

In their second game on Saturday, playing the University of Waterloo, a goal by third-year sweeper Hilary Piets gave Queen’s a 1-0 win over the Warriors. The goal came on a short corner.

“After the good game against Guelph, we wanted to come out strong against Waterloo,” McArdle said.

A revamped defense was the only potentially weak area for the Gaels going into last weekend. The team had only one returning defensive player. While the present defensemen are not all rookies, several players were playing the position for the first time.

However, McArdle said the main focus in practice will be to work on goal scoring.

Last year the Gaels ranked second best in goals with 26, behind Guelph. Having scored only one goal on the weekend McArdle wants to address his team’s lack of offensive output, especially with a big weekend ahead of them.

“We play Toronto, York and Western next weekend,” he said.

Overall McArdle said he felt good about the outcomes of the early season games.

“Guelph finished top last year and Waterloo has been a traditionally strong team,” he said.

The Gaels have set their sights high with a number of ambitious goals for the year. They include qualifying for the OUA Championships, winning the OUA Championships and going to the National Championships. Nationals will be hosted by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in November.

“The top two teams in OUA qualify for Nationals,” McArdle said.

The Gaels finished in the top three in last season, behind Guelph and the University of Toronto.

Next weekend, the Gaels play Toronto and York on Saturday and Western on Sunday. Both Toronto and York are in the top of the standings after their first weekend of play.

“This should be an interesting weekend,” McArdle said.

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