After dropping their last three matches by a combined score of 12-2, Queen’s welcomed the last-place RMC Paladins to Miklas-McCarney field on Wednesday night.
What head coach Christian Hoefler didn’t expect was a come-from-behind 2-2 tie against the winless Paladins.
“That’s the beauty of the sport; you just never know what you’re going to get,” Hoefler said.
In the first half of the game, the Paladins pushed the tempo against the recently struggling Gaels, scoring two goals in the first 30 minutes. While Queen’s has already had success against RMC — winning their earlier match-up this season 3-0 — they were unable to chip into the lead, leaving the score at 2-0 going into halftime.
Although they were down on the scoreboard, Queen’s gained an advantage as a RMC player received a red card on the stroke of halftime.
Determined to change the momentum, the Gaels didn’t disappoint. Eight minutes into the second half, Gaels captain Andrew Martin scored, putting Queen’s on the scoreboard for the first time in two and a half matches. Martin received a great pass in front of the crease, where he carried it forward and knocked the ball right into the centre of the net.
There was rough play between the two teams throughout the game, with two RMC players receiving yellow cards for foul play.
Yet, the Gaels kept their composure and took advantage of the calls that gave them possession of the ball.
Going for goal on any opportunity they could to tie the match, in the last 20 minutes Gaels midfielder Rohan Sarna rung the ball off the top right corner of the goalpost from a free kick just outside the crease.
Finally in the 83rd minute of the game, forward Jacob Schroeter scored on a penalty shot, with the ball travelling past the Paladins keeper into the top right portion of the net. Tying the game at 2-2, the Gaels continued to press for a late win.
With one minute left in the game, Martin was hit from behind by RMC’s Graeme Curran. A free kick was awarded and taken by Sarna, looking for the complete comeback. But, the RMC wall blocked the Gaels’ hopes at a much needed win.
With the final whistle blown, Queen’s finished with a draw, securing their first point in three games. While they would have hoped for more, there were positives to take from the match. Defensively, in the second half they only allowed two shots on goal.
Midfielder Andrew Kim commented on the Gaels’ game afterwards, saying that while he thought the team’s intensity was good, they just weren’t able to execute the way they wanted. “It’s a frustrating result, as we go into each game aiming to win,” Kim said.
Head coach Christian Hoefler is focusing on future games, though.
“We have our match against Carleton, in Ottawa, that we need to focus for. We have our plan, we just need to execute,” he said.
Despite their recent losing streak, the Gaels are still ranked third in the OUA East. Their next game is against the Carleton Ravens in Ottawa this Sunday.
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