Hockey, volleyball and championship soccer on weekend home schedule

Above: York Lions’ player Nicole Markowitz takes the ball upfield in her team’s 2-1 shootout  victory over McMaster in the OUA quarter-final game last weekend. Photo by Alex Pylyshyn.

The women’s Lions soccer team will be gunning for its third provincial championship in five years when they host the 2009 Women’s Soccer Final Four Championship this weekend at York Stadium. It’s all part of another busy sports weekend at York.

The Lions start the four-team Ontario University Athletics (OUA) event with a semifinal game against the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday morning at 11:30am. The second semifinal between the Queen’s Gaels and Laurier Golden Hawks will begin at 2pm with the winners of each game facing off on Sunday for the provincial title. Also at stake is a berth at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championship, being held this year at the University of Toronto, which both Saturday winners will receive. All four teams are ranked among the top 10 in the CIS coaches’ poll – Queen’s is No. 3, York No. 6, Ottawa No. 7 and Laurier No. 10 – ensuring a fierce and exciting two days of soccer.

The men’s hockey team kicks off their OUA league action this weekend with a game on Thursday against the visiting Western Mustangs, last year’s OUA champions. The Lions have collected seven of a possible eight points in their past four games with victories over the Windsor Lancers, University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks and Guelph Gryphons and an overtime loss to the Laurier Golden Hawks. The Mustangs have won five straight games, including a 3-0 victory over York three weeks ago. Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm at Canlan Ice Sports.

The men will return to home ice on Saturday evening for a game against the Waterloo Warriors that also begins at 7pm. The Warriors are currently leading the OUA West division with a sparkling 6-1-1 record.

The women’s hockey team will play a pair of games at home this weekend against the Guelph Gryphons (4-2-1) on Saturday and the Brock Badgers (3-3-1) on Sunday. Both games will start at 2pm at Canlan Ice Sports. The Lions have won two games so far this season while Guelph and Brock are currently third and fourth, respectively, in the OUA standings but have each played two more games than the Lions so far this year.

Finally, the men’s volleyball team is also hosting two games this weekend, welcoming the Western Mustangs to Tait McKenzie Centre on Friday night and the Windsor Lancers on Saturday. The first serve will go at 8pm on both nights. Western and Windsor are tied with two wins and a loss each, while the Lions are 1-3 on the season.

Tickets for all games are available at the door of the Tait McKenzie Centre.