The Warriors split two games played on the road last week. One was a spectacular win over the York Lions, while the other was a tight loss to the Guelph Gryphons.
Entering their Thursday, Jan. 17 tilt against York with a four-game losing streak, the Warriors were eager to move back into the win column. Unfortunately, their first 41 minutes of play did not reflect this: after a scoreless first period, York's John de Gray and Tyler McGee found the back of the net within two minutes of each other in the middle of the second period (with de Gray's goal coming on the powerplay) and Michael Santini added a shorthanded goal one minute into the third. Down 3-0 with just 19 minutes to play, the Warriors buckled down and proceeded to score six unanswered goals and claim a 6-3 victory. Captain Kirt Hill scored two (one of which was shorthanded) and the remaining four came from Colin Behenna, Andy Smith, Kain Allicock, and Riley Sonnenburg with his first of the season. Keaton Hartigan made 29 saves to pick up the win, while York's Andrew Perugini made a valiant 38 in his own end.
Alas, the next evening in Guelph was not so magical. After taking the lead nine minutes into the first period with Joe Underwood's partial breakaway goal through the five-hole of Andrew Loverock, the Warriors were pushed back to a tie just 49 seconds later by the Gryphons' Justin Gvora. Five minutes later, Jordan Mock beat Hartigan to pull the Gryphons into a 2-1 lead. One minute into the next frame, James Merrett widened that gap even further with a marker for the 3-1 score. Finally, six minutes later, Hill scored his third goal in two nights to bring the Warriors within one. From that point on, however, the offense on both sides dried up and the game ended on a sour 3-2 note for Waterloo. Hartigan and Loverock both ended the game with 32 saves.
As a result of these games, Waterloo remains in sixth place, two points behind York and four points behind Guelph in the standings.
On Sunday, Jan. 20, the Warriors took on the Windsor Lancers in an afternoon match and suffered a gruelling 2-0 loss. After much back-and-forth play, the Lancers scored their first goal with 38 seconds remaining in the first period, courtesy of Krysten Bortolotti. Three minutes into the next frame, Windsor captain Alyssa Baldin scored to put her team up 2-0. Despite strong play from the Warriors and their goaltender, Rebecca Bouwhuis, they couldn't solve Karlyle Robinson and the score stood to the end of the game. Robinson made a solid 24 saves, while Bouwhuis was impressive herself with 29. The loss leaves the Warriors' eighth-place standing unchanged, but York is gaining on them—just two points behind—and the seventh-place UOIT Ridgebacks are firmly entrenched with a five-point lead.
Track and Field
The Warriors travelled to Guelph over the Jan. 19-20 weekend to compete in the Don Wright Team Challenge. The results demonstrated continued improvements on multiple fronts, 25 lifetime-best performances, three season-bests, and one new Waterloo varsity record. The new record came from Jill Knight, who achieved a 12.85-metre distance in the weight throw. Other notable results included Mohammed Yassin's second-place ranking in the 60m dash, second place for Rachel Brown in the 300m run, second place for Adamn Neale in his own 300m run, Lawrence Xie's fourth-place showing in a 600m run which featured the two-time defending CIS champion, Kristen Flanagan's second-place finish in the 1500m, a first-place victory for the men's 4x200m relay, and second-place marks for Chantel Pilon and Andrew Good in the high jump.
Not only did the injury-crippled Warriors lose 70-54 to the McMaster Marauders Jan. 19, but they also lost yet another starter: Kate Kuntze suffered a cut to the head after a seemingly ordinary fall partway through the second quarter. Despite this setback, the Warriors did the best they could under the circumstances, outshooting the Marauders 40 per cent from the field and coming within eight points in the fourth quarter. These efforts were ultimately undone by turnovers, free throws, and inadequate rebounding. Notable players for the Warriors included Erika Persson (13 points), Gia Spiropoulos (11 points), and Mackenzie Lougheed (10 points). With the loss, alas, the Warriors remain without a win this season.
The men's team also suffered a difficult loss to McMaster Jan. 19. Despite strong performances from Kyrie Coleman (13 points, 6 rebounds, 56 per cent from the field), Jaspreet Gill (11 points), Zach Angelini (10 points), and Wells Davis (10 points), the Warriors fell to the Marauders 81-70. Waterloo had its best performance in the first half, where a seven-point difference at the end of the first quarter eventually led to a tie by the end of the second. Unfortunately, that strong play did not carry over to the second half as the third and fourth quarters saw the Warriors beaten by five and six point margins. The loss puts the Warriors down to 2-11 in the standings, just one win ahead of the basement-dwelling Western Mustangs.