The men’s soccer team’s surprising season is finally over.
After losing to the McMaster Marauders 5-2 in overtime of their OUA semi-final, the Gaels lost to the York Lions 1-0 in the bronze medal game. McMaster claimed the OUA title with a 5-0 win over the Carleton Ravens.
The Gaels were first in the OUA East this year and qualified for the Final Four — a feat none of the players had previously achieved.
“I’m proud of each and every one of them,” head coach Chris Gencarelli said. “[This weekend] doesn’t take away from our success this year. We’ve grown a lot as a team and as a program.”
Last Saturday, the Gaels played McMaster for a spot at nationals and a chance to play in the OUA championship game.
Early in the game, fourth-year forward Nathan Klemencic put a long shot over the Marauders’ goalkeeper and into the back of the net, celebrating with his signature flip.
Tied at 1-1 in the second half, Gaels captain Joe Zupo re-claimed the lead on a penalty kick to make it 2-1.
The Marauders evened the score again in the 78th minute, sending the game to overtime.
McMaster scored five minutes into extra time and added two insurance markers, finishing the game 5-2.
Gencarelli said the game could be looked at as a learning experience.
“One thing we can work on, moving forward as a program and a team, is just not giving too much respect to opponents,” he said. “We just have to be a bit more aggressive, and play with a bit more of a chip on our shoulder.”
After York lost their first game of the season 1-0 to Carleton in overtime, the Gaels squared off against the Lions on Sunday for bronze.
In the 58th minute, York took the lead when rookie Nicolas Meija came off the bench. He was sent in alone, chipping the ball over backup goaltender Max Materne for a goal.
The game ended 1-0, with Queen’s finishing fourth overall in the OUA.
Although there was a bronze medal on the line, there were young faces in the Gaels lineup Sunday. Gencarelli said the experience of playing in high-pressure games is invaluable for returning players.
“Our objective next year is first in the OUA East again,” he said. “That way we can host the Final Four championship.”
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