The York University Lions men’s and women’s soccer teams will play host to the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks in their home openers on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 3).
The women will kick off the action at 1pm and the men will follow at 3:15pm. Both games will be played at Alumni Field (formerly York Stadium) and admission is free for all fans. The matches can also be seen live online on OUA.tv.
The women have not lost an Ontario University Athletics (OUA) regular season contest since Oct. 19, 2014 – a span of 18 games in which they have a 17-0-1 record. They have outscored their opponents 72-7 in that stretch and are coming off a season in which they finished in first place in the OUA West Division for the first time since 2009.
The Lions started the year with a pair of blowout victories over the Algoma University Thunderbirds, winning 8-0 in the season opener on Saturday and 11-0 the following day. Fifth-year striker Nour Ghoneim, the reigning Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) player of the year, tallied six goals over the two games, including five in the first 21 minutes of Sunday’s match.
The Lions will face one of their fiercest rivals in the Golden Hawks, who are perennial contenders in the conference and finished in second place behind the Lions last year. Last weekend they got off to a slow start by their standards, earning a pair of draws against the University of Guelph Gryphons and the University of Waterloo Warriors.
For the men, Saturday’s contest marks the first time the hometown fans can see their team since witnessing the squad capture the national championship on home turf last November. That CIS title, their second in a row, capped another remarkable season in which the Lions lost just once and finished atop the OUA West for the ninth straight year.
They also began the season with a pair of shutout wins over Algoma, winning 7-0 this past Saturday and 4-0 on Sunday. Ryan Telfer, a second-year forward making his first career starts for the Lions, netted three goals over the two games to lead all players.
The Lions and Golden Hawks men’s teams also have a strong rivalry. Last year, Laurier was one of only two teams to earn a point against the Lions in the regular season, earning a 1-1 draw in the first match-up, and from 2012-14 the two teams met in the first round of the playoffs each time, with the Lions winning all three games.