Win and tie give Mac soccer women share of top spot in OUA West loop

McMaster Marauders find themselves sharing top spot in the Ontario University Athletics women’s soccer league after a win and a draw opened their 2006 season on the weekend. The West Division Marauders started the new campaign with a 3-0 home shutout of the Waterloo Warriors on Saturday and then played Laurier Golden Hawks to a 1-all tie. Western and Laurier had similar success on the weekend.

On Saturday, Mac jumped into high gear in the second half when Marauders scored all three goals. Strikers Leah Henderson (Forest), Claire Godkin (Waterloo), and Samantha Batten (Stouffville) gave Mac its win.

On Monday, Emily Sidsworth (Newmarket) put the Marauders up 1-0 in the first half but Laurier salvaged the draw when Natalie Mancini (Mississauga) scored the equalizer.

Laurier had beaten the Badgers, 2-1, at Brock on Saturday. Lana Nesbitt (Belleville) and Sara Hooper (Thornhill) had Laurier’s goals. Scoring for Brock was Kristin McDonald (St. Catharines).

Brock rebounded from that setback to defeat the Warriors 1-0 Sunday. Two Burlington products, Tracy Wilson with the goal, and Tiffany Scriver with the shut-out secured the Badgers win.

In other West Division play, Western Mustangs opened up with a 0-0 draw facing the York Lions on Saturday. Lindsey Colwell (Woodstock) earned the clean sheet for the Mustangs, while keeper Aurelea Gumiela countered for York. Colwell picked up her second shutout when the Mustangs blanked the Guelph Gryphons 2-0. Sarah Regan (London) and Jessica Tasios (Markham) netted first-half goals to lead the home side to its first victory.

Guelph started the season with a 3-2 win over the Windsor Lancers on Saturday. Guelph home talents Kate Buddo, Emma Al-Haydari and Natalie Ackerman were the Gryphon shooters. Windsor took a 2-1 lead on a pair of goals from third-year striker Megan Casey (Amherstburg) but Al-Haydari and Buddo netted their goals five minutes apart midway through the second half to rally the Gryphons.

In the OUA’s East division, the Carleton Ravens are quickly establishing themselves as a contender in 2006, after a middle of the pack performance last year. The Ravens were the only OUA team to take a full six points from two road wins over the Nipissing Lakers and the Laurentian Lady Vees. Carleton veteran Melissa Knox (Kitchener) played a key role in both victories as she scored the opening goal in a 3-1 decision over the Lakers Saturday and then netted the only goal of the match in a 1-0 win over Laurentian.

Knox struck in the 17th minute against Nipissing to give the Ravens a 1-0 lead heading into half-time. In the second half, third-year striker Amber Prosia took over, providing two goals to build a 3-0 lead that the Lakers failed to overcome. Didiane Chollet got one back for Nipissing in the 63rd minute. Against Laurentian on Sunday, Knox scored in the 33rd minute.

The Toronto Varsity Blues and the Ottawa Gee-Gees stayed close to the Ravens, managing a win and a draw each in their first two games to sit two points behind Carleton. Toronto posted clean sheets in each of its two games, defeating rival Ryerson Rams 2-0 Saturday and then drawing 0-0 with the Trent Excalibur the following day. Toronto got goals from Linda Lashley and Melanie Seabra to steal the three points. Alexis Vaughn had the Blues shut-out. Vaughn gave way to keeper Maryanne Barnes in the match against Trent and she produced a sparkling performance, making 12 saves for the Blues’ second straight clean sheet. Sarah Asbreuk had the shut-out for the Excalibur.

Ottawa began the 2006 campaign with a scoreless draw in a match with the Lady Vees Saturday. The Gee-Gees offence, led by Katie Lugg, had better success in the second match, a 3-1 win over the Lakers. The second-year forward from Ottawa scored less than two minutes into the first half and than added a second in the 26th minute. The Gee-Gees took a commanding 3-0 lead on a strike from Courtney Luscombe in the 33rd minute.

Diane Landry had the Nipissing goal.