Soccer Lions look to continue winning ways in the inaugural Community Day games

The York University Lions soccer teams are rolling as the regular season winds down and they will be back on the pitch on Friday for the inaugural Community Day Games against the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks.

The women kick off the action at 11 a.m. at Alumni Field and the men will follow at 1:15 p.m. Both games can also be seen live online on OUA.tv.

The two squads have played a combined 20 games and have just one loss between the two of them, an opening day defeat by the women to the second-place University of Guelph Gryphons. They have earned points in every game since and are riding a season-best three-game winning streak in which they have outscored their opponents 6-1. The Lions won all three games they played last week, defeating the McMaster University Marauders 1-0 on an 89th-minute goal by Kiyani Johnson, followed by a 2-1 win over the Brock University Badgers and a 3-0 defeat of the University of Waterloo Warriors.

Johnson has scored in four of her last five games, beginning with a hat-trick against the Golden Hawks in their earlier meeting this season, and is now sixth in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) scoring with six goals.

The men know all about long streaks and are currently riding their best unbeaten stretch against OUA opponents in program history. The Lions have not lost to a conference foe in more than two years, a run that is now at 46 games and reaches back to Aug. 30, 2017. Last week they did not allow a goal in three matches, posting a 0-0 draw with McMaster and then a 5-0 victory over Brock and a 1-0 triumph over Waterloo.

Fans at Friday’s games have the potential to see plenty of goals if the first meetings between these teams are any indication. Three weeks ago, the Lions were in Waterloo, Ont., and won big, with the women posting a 4-0 victory and the men pouring in a season-high nine goals in a 9-3 triumph. The Lions men have not lost to the Golden Hawks since Laurier upset York in the OUA final in 2008, posting a 15-0-5 record since then and winning the last seven match-ups. The women’s teams split their season series last year in a pair of one-goal games that saw the home team win each time.

In addition to their offensive prowess, both Lions squads are also strong defensively. The men lead the OUA West with just five goals allowed and have eight clean sheets in 10 games, while the women are second in the division with six goals allowed.

All eight of those clean sheets came courtesy of Mike Argyrides, who has started all 10 games this season and earned York’s male athlete of the week award for making 14 saves and allowing zero goals in three games last week.

Laurier’s soccer teams have struggled this season and have matching 1-6-3 records. The women recorded their lone win over the University of Windsor Lancers in mid-September and the men picked up their victory against the Western University Mustangs the week prior.

After Friday, the Lions each have three games remaining. They will head to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., on Sunday to face the Algoma University Thunderbirds before the final weekend of the regular season. They will be in London, Ont., to face the Mustangs on Friday and will host the Lancers on Sunday, Oct. 20 at Alumni Field.

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