“For Hilary to get those two goals was really outstanding for us,” said Varsity Blues head coach John DeSouza. “She really played a great game too. This is always the toughest game to play in and I’m so proud of the way she finished and finished out the season for us.”
With the win, the Blues earn their ninth national bronze medal in program history and first dating back to 2006.
Toronto is now 9-9 in 18 third-place match appearances, dating back to 1982. U of T also improves to 9-5-1 versus Guelph at the national tournament.
Ziraldo, a second-year biomedical toxicology major, opened the scoring in the 20th minute and the Blues held a 1-0 lead at the half. The Toronto native added an insurance marker off a penalty corner opportunity in the 55th minute to seal the victory for the home team.
“We were really disappointed when we missed the gold-medal game by one goal,” said Ziraldo. “But this year we knew it’s at home and we can’t let the disappointment get to us and we always want to have our seniors end on the best note possible.”
“When we went to Argentina in the preseason I had no idea whether we would make the national championship after losing eight players from last year,” said Gryphons head coach Michelle Turley. “We had a lot of youth in the program this year and we progressed and improved immensely over the season. It’s one of the best years we have had for how our team has come together. I give full credit to all my players. They played their hearts out and that’s all you can ask of anyone.”