Soccer Lions kick off post-season on Saturday

The York University Lions men’s and women’s soccer teams will play their first games of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoffs on Saturday when they host a pair of OUA quarter-final games at York Stadium.

The women will face the McMaster University Marauders at 11:30am and the men will play the University of Western Ontario Mustangs at 2:15pm.

Right: York Lions player Samantha Gauthier in game action against McMaster earlier in the year

Both Lions teams enter the games with long undefeated streaks and as the top seeds in their respective OUA West divisions. The men ended the regular season on a 10-game unbeaten streak and finished atop the OUA West for the third consecutive year. This week the reigning Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) champions moved back into the top spot in the CIS national rankings thanks to dominant play over their opponents that resulted in a 9-2-3 record.

The women stretched their unbeaten streak to eight games last weekend and moved up to No. 7 in the CIS rankings. They finished the regular season with a sparkling 11-2-1 to grab first place in the OUA West.

The Marauders and Mustangs both advanced to face the Lions with victories in the first round of the OUA playoffs on Wednesday, Oct. 28. The Lions did not play as they received byes for the opening round.

McMaster, the No. 4 seed in the OUA West, got through the first round with a convincing 4-1 win over the Western Mustangs. The Marauders were 6-5-3 in the regular season and lost both games to the Lions by scores of 1-0 and 2-0.

The Western men, seeded sixth, posted a stunning upset of the No. 3 Waterloo Warriors by a 6-0 score. They were under .500 in conference play with a 4-6-4 record but showed up when it mattered most to move further into the playoffs. In head-to-head action, the Lions held the Mustangs scoreless in two games earlier this year, defeating them 2-0 at the beginning of the season and then 3-0 last weekend in London.

The Lions will be looking to take the first steps toward another OUA title with wins this weekend. Both the men and the women won their respective OUA banners in 2007 and last year the men were silver medallists before claiming CIS gold.