In what’s been a reoccurring theme for the women’s soccer team, an inability to finish in front of goal has left the team settling for another pair of draws.
The Gaels (4-2-5) could only score one goal on 12 shots in their two games against the Ottawa Gee-Gees and the Carleton Ravens.
In their Friday night game, the Gaels battled the undefeated Gee-Gees (6-0-3). The Gaels kept the number two-ranked Gee-Gees on their heels throughout the opening frame, keeping a strong defensive line to preserve a first-half clean sheet.
In the second half, the Gee-Gees looked to double team first-year forward Jenny Wolever down the left-hand wing, leaving the Gaels with opportunities down the opposite side. In the 70th minute, the Gaels thought they were the first to hit the score sheet, but unfortunately, the goal was overturned due to an offside call.
In the end, the game would finish a 0-0 draw. To head coach Dave McDowell, goaltending was key.
“Madison [Tyrell] was terrific,” McDowell said of his fourth-year stopper. “We gave up far too many corners, and she was very safe in her handling of almost all of them, so she did very well.”
To move the squad around and keep some players fresh, McDowell tinkered with his roster against the Carleton Ravens (3-4-3). Tianna Lombardo — a second-year player who didn’t start against the Gee-Gees — scored within a minute of the game starting. The midfielder struck a ball from the outside the 18 yard box, putting the Gaels up 1-0 early.
From there, the game became more balanced, with both sides given chances. In the 30th minute, Lombardo almost added her second tally of the game, with another strike this time just inside the 18-yard box.
Despite being up at the half, McDowell knew Friday’s game was still weighing on the players.
“We played very well for the first 25 minutes, and then I thought we got especially tired through the midfield,” McDowell said. “Even though we had the day off on Saturday, a game against Ottawa takes that much more out of you.”
A miss in the 75th minute by Jenny Wolever would come back to haunt the Gaels. In the second minute of injury time, a Carleton forward dribbled around Tyrell and curled the ball into the back of the net to secure another draw.
When talking about the late equalizer from the Ravens, McDowell put most of the blame on himself.
“Maybe that’s a coaching problem. We didn’t have the right combination of players in there at the end or the right understanding of how to play in the last 10 minutes.”
Looking to their next match-up versus RMC, McDowell is looking for the Gaels to build off this weekend.
“We have to prove that we can finish on a consistent basis,” he said. “We have already proven that against any team in the league that we can defend and move the ball against them, but in the end the game is all about who scores the most goals.”
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