Sunday afternoon was a game of finals for the Queen’s men’s soccer team. Playing at Richardson Stadium, it was the team’s final home game of their regular season and for the 12 senior Gaels on the team, it could’ve been the final home game of their careers.
But the Gaels couldn’t come out with more than a 2-1 loss against the Trent Excalibur.
“This season has been really important for them, and losing today was a hard pill to swallow,” Gaels’ head coach, Christian Hoefler said.
Watching, it was clear that this game was important for the Gaels, as they dove into the first half vigorously, with very efficient defence.
The Excalibur kicked off the first half with an instant pursuit at the Queen’s goal. Within the first minute of the game, Trent was awarded a free kick about 30 yards out from the Queen’s net. Goalkeeper Daniel van Woerkens made a picture-perfect save, keeping the game level at zero.
In the sixth minute, the Gaels began charging Trent’s net. A Trent player slide tackled Gael’s captain Andrew Martin about 20 ft. from Trent’s goal, leading to a free kick taken by Queen’s Henry Bloemen. The shot sailed towards the top right corner of the net, but was caught by Trent goalkeeper David Ellis to block the Gaels’ chance of obtaining an early lead.
By the 30th minute of play, the Gaels had seven shots on goal against Trent’s two.
While Queen’s had the momentum, Trent was able to strike first. Their goal left the Gaels in an unfortunate situation, with the Excalibur leading 1-0 at the end of the first half. Nevertheless, the Gaels kept pushing.
In the second half, Queen’s defenseman Kristian Zanette made a far throw in front of the opposing net. The ball was met by the head on an incoming Martin. However, the scoring opportunity was again snatched away by Trent’s goalkeeper.
With a scoreless game for the Gaels, the Excalibur sunk another goal in the 69th minute. The ball flew into the open left side of the net, just passing the diving attempt from the Gaels’ goalkeeper by a hair.
Down 2-0, the Gaels still fought hard. In the 84th minute, the Gaels’ Tommy Hong approached the Trent net from the left side; after just avoiding being offside, he found striker Jacob Schroeter running in from the right side who was able to securely knock the ball into the bottom left side of the net. Finally Queen’s was on the scoreboard.
With four minutes left of play, the Gaels kept coming with three more shots on net. Despite the struggle, the Gaels weren’t able to sink another goal against the Excalibur.
The Gaels lost 2-1, with a total of 23 shots on goal compared to Trent’s six.
After the game, coach Hoefler said the team executed a “very fluid attack, very ambitious attack” on the Excalibur.
He also commented on the Gaels’ current position in the OUA standings. “We are fairly confident that we’ll make the fourth spot position into the playoffs.”
The Gaels are currently in fourth place in the East division of the OUA. They’re set to play the Nippising Lakers — a team they beat 5-1 last time they played — this Saturday, Oct. 22 in North Bay.
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