The playoffs have arrived in men’s and women’s soccer in Ontario University Athletics and it all begins today (Wednesday) with opening round action.
Laurentian (men) and Brock (women) are hosts for the playoffs.
The Laurentian men play Queen’s in an East Division showdown. The Voyageurs (6-5-3) defeated the Gaels (4-6-4 ) twice during the regular season by 2-1 and 1-0 scores. Johnny Maurizio (Hamilton), Andrew Piccinetti (Sudbury) and Davor Alisic (Charlottetown, P.E.I.) all netted goals for Laurentian against Queen’s, while Scott Cliff (Sudbury) posted the shutout in goal. Patrick Zanetti (Carp, Ont.) scored the only goal for the Gaels against the Voyageurs.
In the other East Division battle, the Ryerson Rams (5-6-3) visit the Trent Excalibur (5-5-4). Despite the worse regular season record, the Rams were tough against the Excalibur this season, winning 3-2 at home and tying 2-2 at Trent.
Ryerson will need to keep Trent’s Thaddeus Bolton (Bowmanville, Ont.) in check, as he netted three goals against the Rams. Nyema Cheljahn (Toronto) scored both goals for Ryerson in the tie.
In the West Division, Guelph (5-6-3) visits Western (7-4-3). The Gryphons will be looking for their first goal against the Mustangs this season, as Western posted 2-0 and 1-0 victories earlier in the year. Kosta Viglatzis (Toronto) was in net for both victories.
In the other West Division game, the Badgers (6-6-2) play host to Waterloo (5-5-4). The Warriors had Brock’s number during the regular season, winning 2-1 in St. Catharines before tying in Waterloo 0-0. Arjun Gupta (Niagara Falls) scored for the Badgers in the 90th minute of the first game, or it would have been two shutouts for Waterloo. Iggy Modero (Victoria, B.C.) and Chris Lam (Guelph) scored for the Warriors against Brock.
The Carleton Ravens (6-6-2) will visit Laurentian (9-5-0) in women’s action. Shutouts have been a theme between these two clubs this season, with the Ravens winning at home 1-0 and the Lady Vees victorious on home grass 2-0. Amanda Ngwafusi (Ottawa) netted the game winner for the Ravens, while Krista Pantin (Mississauga) did likewise for Laurentian.
In the other East Division match, Queen’s (8-4-2) will host Nipissing (7-6-1). In the only regular season meeting between these teams, it was Nipissing winning 3-2 at home. Goal scorers for the Lakers included Amy Laidlaw (Georgetown, Ont.), Leesa Church (North Bay, Ont.) and Stephanie Stubbert (North Bay). Erin Smith (Monrovia, Calif.) and Kelli Chamberlain (North Bay) responded in kind for the Gaels.
Over in the West, Western (6-5-3) will visit Brock (7-3-4). The Badgers have enjoyed success against the Mustangs this season, winning 2-0 and 4-0. Tiffany Scriver (Burlington) was in net for both shutouts. Sloan George (Oakville) and Cassandre Van Bakel (Aurora, Ont.) scored two goals against the Mustangs.
In the final game on Wednesday, the Warriors (2-9-3) play Laurier (8-1-5) in the Battle of Waterloo. The Golden Hawks posted identical 1-0 victories in the regular season against Waterloo, with Mal Woeller (Kinburn, Ont.) in goal for both shutouts.
The winners of opening round games advance to the OUA quarter-finals on Saturday or Sunday.