September 10, 2009
From Rob Massey of the Guelph Mercury
One more year and the Guelph Gryphons women’s field hockey team will actually get to play a real home game.
“Next fall, we should be having home games and that’ll be the first time in 12 years,” Gryphon head coach Michelle Turley said.
The U of G is to have artificial turf installed on its multi-purpose field in time for the 2010 season.
“It’s difficult playing on all the various surfaces,” Turley said. “We practise on an Astroturf-like facility and then we go play in league play and everywhere we play is on turf grass, which is longer. It slows the game down by about 20 per cent.”
Slowing the game down goes against the Gryphon style as the perennial powerhouse likes their games to move as quickly as possible.
“It’s very frustrating to go on a slower surface because the team is built for speed,” Turley said. “Our forward and midfield line is fast. It’s been fast for the last three years and it’s extremely fast still.”
In league play this year, the Gryphs, Toronto Blues and Western Ontario Mustangs are expected to be the title contenders. Guelph and Toronto have battled for league honours most of the last five years but Western has joined that battle.
“On a yearly basis, we’re neck and neck (with Toronto),” Turley said. “Western will be solid, it’ll be one-two-three. It’s pick or choose any day, I think.”
The Gryphs have four fifth-year players this year and have added a couple of players from B.C.
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