End of season momentum wasn’t quite enough for the Queen’s women’s field hockey team at Saturday’s OUA finals. The Gaels finished the regular season at 7-3-4, and had high expectations going into the finals in Ottawa—they were hoping to move on to the national finals in Vancouver, B.C.
Throughout the season, Queen’s had been a strong defensive team that was helped by strong goaltending from Kaylee Milne and Nicole Ross. Despite struggling offensively at times this season, the Gaels ended on a high offensive note, defeating McGill 2-0 and Western 7-0 in their final two regular season games and entering the playoffs on a high note.
The first game was against St. Mary’s University from Halifax, in the first year the OUA had allowed an eastern team to enter the Ontario finals.
“Entering this game, we could only have confidence in our own abilities, since we had no idea what we were up against,” said forward Fiona Dalrymple of the unfamiliar opponent.
Nevertheless, after a tough battle against the Halifax school, Queen’s pulled out 1-0 win, backed by a strong shutout effort by goalkeeper Nicole Ross.
The second match was the important one, since it would determine if Queen’s would be going to nationals in Vancouver. Nearly half the Gaels are from British Columbia, so many of the players were eager to go home and play in front of family and friends.
However, up against Toronto, a team that had beaten the Gaels in the playoffs the last two years in a row, the Gaels knew they had to be firing on all cylinders if they hoped to travel out west.
Both teams showed off their defensive skills throughout the match as the game went into strokes after finishing 0-0 in regulation time.
In strokes, Queen’s missed wide on a shot, hit the post once and hit the crossbar. The end result was a 2-0 defeat, and thus a missed opportunity for a trip to the
Defender Maryam Adrangi said she was upset over the loss.
“It was an amazing game to see—we were frustrating Toronto, since their team was yelling at each other, and despite all this, we still came up short,” she said. “[It’s] definitely a tough pill to swallow.”
Center defender Jennifer Murdoch also said she was frustrated by the loss.
“[It’s a] horrible way to lose, but an even worse way to win,” she said.
Dalrymple echoed her teammates’ disappointment.
“Players came from other teams to watch, since everyone knew this game would be exciting, and to lose this way is heartbreaking,” she said.
Despite the loss, Queen’s had to gather themselves for their last game against York, as they wanted to end the season on a positive note.
“Even though we deserve better, we don’t deserve any less,” said team captain Katie Greenham.
Kaylee Milne started in net and played a strong game for Queen’s. Her play, however, was overshadowed by the tough, physical play of both teams, and it was clear that both Queen’s and York were fighting hard for the third place finish.
Queen’s again came short as York scored near the end to win 1-0. Again, the Gaels said they were upset with the match, adding they felt York’s play was unsportsmanlike.
The team, though disappointed with the way the season ended, still had positives they could take from the season. The players on the team were very tightly-knit and had a strong team chemistry, said Dalrymple.
Adrangi said that the future also looks bright, since the rookies on the team meshed very well with the veterans. The team will have an easy transition next year when they will be the new leaders of Gaels women’s field hockey.
“We want to come back and prove ourselves,” Adrangi said. “We know we can do it, since we have the talent.”
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