A win in their final game of the regular season has women’s soccer on the right track heading into the playoffs.
The Gaels finished fourth in the OUA East at 9-4-3 and will face the fifth-place Carleton Ravens (7-5-4) tomorrow in the opening round of the OUA playoffs.
The Gaels and Ravens met once this season, playing to a 1-1 draw on Oct. 1.
The Gaels played host to the RMC Paladins (0-15-1) on Sunday, scoring six straight goals to open the match and cruising to a 6-3 win.
Head coach Dave McDowell took advantage of playing a weaker opponent to rest players in preparation for the post-season.
“We got to rest some players who were in card trouble and couldn’t risk playing for another game,” McDowell said. “It was nice to … get some players in for a run who haven’t had a ton of playing time this year.”
RMC goalkeeper Nicolle Gaudet was pelted with 20 shots throughout the match, as Queen’s scored four times in the first half. Midfielder Laura Callender, defender Melissa Jung and strikers Tara Bartram and Brittany Almeida all got on the board.
Queen’s keeper Madison Tyrell faced two shots in the first half, saving both, before being replaced by backup Michaila Frawley during the break.
Queen’s scored twice more early in the second half, with Bartram and Callender’s second goals of the match making it 6-0 at the 56-minute mark.
Though RMC was unable to fully dig themselves out, second-year Paladin Brooke Bloggs almost singlehandedly led a comeback attempt.
The defender recorded a hat trick in a nine-minute span, beating Frawley in the 71st, 75th and 80th minutes.
“Not exactly the ending we wanted, but it was a good, comfortable win,” McDowell said.
With Carleton next up, McDowell has a simple strategy for post-season success.
“We try to be as healthy and playing our best at the end of the year,” he said.
Offensive pressure will be key, and the Gaels will have to take advantage of scoring opportunities. If they’re only going to get a handful of shots like in their previous meeting with the Ravens – when they mustered five – a few fanned shots could mean not moving onto the quarterfinals.
“[We have to] limit the mistakes that we have that are costing us errors in the back,” McDowell said. “And be a little more insightful in terms of finishing chances … We always seem to create a number of good chances and whether we put them away or not is another question.”
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