The Canisius College women's soccer team completed their spring slate the weekend of April 20 with a shutout sweep of their competition. The Golden Griffins opened the weekend at the Demske Sports Complex on Friday evening with a 1-0 victory over Cambridge United. On Sunday, the Griffs traveled down the I-90 to Fredonia, N.Y. to capture a pair of victories over host Fredonia State, 2-0, and Mercyhurst, 3-0.
To begin the weekend, the Griffs hosted Cambridge United, a Canadian U17 club team from the province of Ontario. Despite the age of the team, they are well-traveled having faced Findlay University, Tiffin University, and Kent State University in the weeks leading up to the friendly with the Griffs.
Outplaying Cambridge for the entire contest, the Golden Griffins came away with a 1-0 victory. The Golden Griffins managed generate multiple chances on net, which displayed the team's offensive ability. The lone Griffs' goal and eventual game-winner came from junior Brooke Bandazian.
On Sunday, the Griffs opened the day against the host Blue Devils. In the opening 30 minutes of action, sophomore Brianna Smith played a square pass to freshman Megan Mahoney. The sophomore buried the ball low into the far-left corner for the Griffs' first goal.
In the second half, Smith tallied her second point of the day on the Griffs' second goal. Off a 20-yard blast by sophomore Kelly McMahon, Smith fired in a loose rebound off the Blue Devils' goalkeeper to help seal Canisius' 2-0 victory.
Facing Merychurst in the second game of the day, the Golden Griffins jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first ten minutes. Freshmen Mallory Illsley walked in on a long breakaway off a through ball from sophomore Katie Griffin.
With an assist in the previous game versus the host Blue Devils, McMahon landed in the goal column with the Griffs' second goal against the Lakers. The sophomore converted on a pass from Smith at the 20-yard mark for the Griffs' 2-0 lead.
Smith wrapped up the Griffs' scoring with the team's third goal. Smith tucked home a low shot into the back-left corner past the Merychurt goalkeeper off a crisp pass from Bandazian to earn the Griffs' 3-0 victory over the Lakers.
Unable to score on their opportunities versus Cambridge United to open the weekend, the Golden Griffins were able to capitalize on Sunday with five goals leading to the weekend sweep.
Smith, McMahon, and Bandazian led the Griffs' offensive attack on the weekend. Smith tallied two goals and two assists, while McMahon and Bandazian recorded a goal and an assist . Bandazian had a goal and an assist.
Beyond the offensive display by the forwards and midfielders, the Griffs received solid-defensive efforts from juniors Emily Paquette and Keily Funk, sophomore Adrianna Suk, and freshman Jenny Piaggione to earn three shutouts on the weekend.
All three goalkeepers contributed to the Griffs' shutout of their weekend opponents, including sophomores Megan Tock and Deanna Bowers, and freshman Brigid St. Leger.
The Griffs conluded their spring schedule with a 5-1 overall record in 11-on-11 contests with their lone defeat coming against Syracuse University.
In six contests, the Griffs outscored their opponents, 8-4. In the team's five victories, they outscored their opponents, 9-1.
"Beside our game at Syracuse, we played very well this spring," said head coach Jim Wendling. "I was especially pleased with our 1-0 win at Akron and how well we played this past weekend."
"We will have a young team next fall with only three seniors," said Wendling. "Our time has continued to show improvement in this spring, as we prepare for our tough fall schedule and work towards getting back into the MAAC Tournament."
In celebrating the rich traditions and careers of former Griffs, the Canisius women's soccer program will host an Alumni game on Saturday, April 28, at 5 p.m.