November 2, 2012, TORONTO (CIS) – Brittany Seilder, the reigning CIS player of the year, scored her second goal of the match in the 61st minute to lead the Guelph Gryphons to a 3-2 upset win over the tournament host Toronto Varsity Blues in Game 5 of the FHC – CIS women’s field hockey championship, Friday morning at Varsity Centre.
The result marked the first loss of the season for the second-seeded Blues, who entered the contest with a 3-0 record against Guelph this year, including a dominating 5-2 win in last weekend’s OUA final.
Third-ranked Guelph is now 2-0 at the FHC – CIS tourney with two games remaining in the preliminary round, while Toronto falls to 1-1-1 with one game left.
The Gryphons built a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the contest, with Toronto coming back to even the score early in the second half. Seidler of Oliver, Ont., then added the game-winner with nine minutes remaining, scoring her championship-leading fourth goal.
“We were on fire in the first 10 minutes,” said Gryphons head coach Michelle Turley. “Today we capitalized on our opportunities, we settled the game down when we needed to and attacked when we needed to. It’s always a good, extremely competitive game when these two teams play and that’s what makes it so exciting.”
Guelph has a quick turnaround as they take on the top-seeded and reigning national champion UBC Thunderbirds (1-0-1) this afternoon at 4 p.m. Toronto wraps up round robin play versus No. 4 Victoria (0-2) Saturday at 12:20 p.m.
“We still have a tournament to play,” said Varsity Blues head coach John DeSouza. “I don’t think we’re out of it. We’ve got to recover and go into tomorrow and do our thing. We aren’t out of the final by any stretch.”
The Gryphons opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Candice Hawksworth, a second-year forward from Oakville, Ont., buried a rebound off a shot by Samantha Anderson of Delta, B.C.
Seidler then put the OUA finalists up by two when she capitalized on a U of T turnover in the eighth minute.
Things were looking grim for the hosts until second-year midfielder Amanda Woodcroft of Waterloo, Ont., got the Blues on the board with her second goal of the tournament in the 22nd minute. The game remained 2-1 at the half.
Both teams were up for a battle in the second frame. Blues goalie Kathryn Williams of Burlington, Ont., came up with a big save on Seidler in the opening minutes. Toronto then put on the pressure in Guelph’s end, with rookie standout Emma Stairs from Kitchener, Ont., finally poking the ball just over the goal line in the 44th minute to even the score at 2-2.
Seidler had the last laugh however and broke the tie with nine minutes to go to lift the Gryphons to victory.
GAME NOTES: Toronto and Guelph have met each other eight times in the last six CIS championship tournaments, with the Gryphons holding a slight upper hand with a 4-3-1 record… The Blues hold an 80-12-8 head-to-head record over the Gryphons since their first meeting on Oct. 27, 1967… Guelph’s first-ever win over Toronto came on Sept. 25, 2005… Since then, the two teams have been perennial powerhouses in CIS field hockey, with Toronto holding a slight head-to-head advantage (16-12-5).
GUE: 2-1: 3
TOR: 1-1: 2
GUE Candice Hawksworth (1), 6th minute
GUE Brittany Seidler (3), 8th
TOR Amanda Woodcroft (2), 22nd
TOR Emma Stairs (2), 44th
GUE Brittany Seidler (4), 61st
GUE: Kaye McLagan (T, 70:00, 2 GA, 2-0-0)
TOR: Kathryn Williams (T, 70:00, 3 GA, 1-1-1)
Players of the game
GUE: Erin Houle (Burlington, Ont.)
TOR: Henriette Manselll (Toronto, Ont.)