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Hockey's double play
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Hockey's double play
By Sean Maraj
Get your motor running, get out on the highway, looking for adventure and a few wins to go our way.
This was probably the motto of the women's field hockey team as they journeyed to the nation's capital over the weekend to face Carleton university and the University of McGill in a doubleheader. The team managed to win both games 1-0.
It was inevitable that the long journey to Ottawa would be a factor in the team's performance, but the Mustangs still came away with two wins against some strong competition.
"They did okay," said Western assistant coach Karen Murtaugh. "It was a long trip, but we got two wins, I'm happy with the way we played."
Captain Jenn Symmes said she was also happy with her team's performance, especially after the long trip.
"It was a good showing, we weren't quite as energetic, but we came away with two wins," she said.
Through the weekend's results, the Mustangs have cemented their position as one of the strongest teams in the Ontario University Athletics division. This means many of the teams in the OUA have the Mustangs on their list of teams to beat.
"We've done really well in the first half of the season, a lot of teams want to beat us, but we don't want to think too far ahead, we're just more concerned about the next eight games," Murtaugh said.
The Mustangs now find themselves in a unique position. For the first time, Western is one of the leaders in the OUA and as the second half of the season begins, the team will have more pressure put on them to perform.
"We're two to three points behind first place, which means teams are going to start to gun for us," said Western head coach Keith Concisom. "Now we're being chased and not the team doing the chasing."
Western's record stands at 5-1-2 and the team is now neck and neck with league leaders York university and the Universities of Toronto and Waterloo. Despite all the attention Western is garnering, Concisom remained confident for the rest of the season.
"I'm not worried about external pressure. As long as we play consistent, the wins will come. The pressure for us will come from within and I'm looking for the same kind of intensity from the first half in the second."
York coach Marina van der Merwe, whose team is one of Western's closest competitors despite losing to the Mustangs a few weeks ago, said although the OUA is tight, the possibilities are still open.
"First and second will be a tight battle with Toronto and Waterloo and third will be a tight fight with whoever is playing the best at the time," she said.
Symms was quick to point out the Mustangs still had not reached their full potential. She said she hoped the team would reach its full potential later in the season, especially when playoff time is around the corner.
"These are all precursors for the playoffs, we're hoping to peak in the OUAs," she said.