Banner Season: Host Ridgebacks, defending champion Gaels join top seeds in semifinals

Photo by Chris Tanouye
Photo by Chris Tanouye

Oshawa, Ont. (via Ontario Tech Ridgeback) – The final four teams are locked in after the opening day of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) women’s lacrosse championship hosted by Ontario Tech University in Oshawa.

Ontario Tech will face the Trent Excalibur in the first semifinal on Saturday at 2:15 p.m., followed by the defending champion Queen’s Gaels battling the Western Mustangs at 4 p.m.

The host Ontario Tech Ridgebacks were the lone low seed to win an opening day match as the OUA east third seed earned a 13-12 victory over the Laurier Golden Hawks, who entered as the west’s second seed.

Player of the game Nicole Martindale scored seven goals to lead the Ridgebacks, while Chelsea Crang scored twice for the Laurier Golden Hawks. With the victory, Ontario Tech advanced to a semifinal for the first time since hosting the OUA championship in 2014.

“Laurier was a tough opponent – to say they didn’t give us an inch would be an understatement,” said Ridgebacks head coach Liane Chornobay. “But, from the start of our warm up to the very last second of the fourth quarter, all 18 athletes were completely dialed in, able to keep their composure, dig deep and come up with our quarter-final win. We have a lot of work ahead of us and are now focused on our next game.”

Queen’s, the defending OUA champions, punched their ticket to the OUA final four with a 12-4 victory over the McMaster Marauders. Kiah Shanks led the Gaels with four goals.

Under the lights the top seed from the OUA west, the Western Mustangs, earned an 11-7 victory over the Toronto Varsity Blues. Toronto earned their way to the quarter-final by defeating the Brock Badgers 14-6 to open the championship. 

Western’s offence was led by Timmia Bomberry’s three goals. Heather McDougall led the Varsity Blues offensively with five goals through their opening two games.

The final game of the day saw the Trent Excalibur dominate the Guelph Gryphons 18-1. Avery DiGiorgio scored a team-high four goals for the Excalibur in the victory. Guelph advanced to their quarter-final by defeating the York Lions 15-0 earlier in the day.

Saturday’s action opens at 9 a.m. with consolation action. All games are held at Vaso’s Field.  

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