Men’s soccer fought hard but didn’t get the result they wanted, as they finished off the weekend with two tie games.
The Gaels (5-2-3) drew 1-1 with the UOIT Ridgebacks (1-5-4) on the road Saturday, holding their ground despite having a few key players missing.
Captain Chris Michael sat out Saturday’s game following a red card last Sunday against the Toronto Varsity Blues. Also missing from the starting lineup was fourth-year midfielder Henry Bloemen.
The Gaels were tested further in the first half, as third-year midfielder Oliver Coren went down after a tough challenge and didn’t return to the game.
Late in the second half UOIT managed to slide a shot in to open up the scoring. Queen’s answered seven minutes later with a strong finish from veteran striker Eric Koskins, tying the match in the 82nd minute.
Gaels head coach Christian Hoefler expressed his frustrations with the result, but said the depth of his squad made up for the missing starters.
“It’s an opportunity for guys who maybe haven’t had many minutes before to step up and many of them did,” he said.
Hoefler said the team suffered from a lapse in focus, which cost them the win.
“It comes down to believing in one’s ability, believing in the team’s ability and running our tactics the way we should be,” he said. “It wasn’t on – it wasn’t on at all.”
Sunday saw similar results for the Gaels. They weren’t able to finish the chances that would have put them ahead against the Trent Excalibur (1-7-2).
The squad started with a spark. Second-year striker Tonko Bacelic laid away an early goal to put the Gaels out in front.
The momentum shifted in favor of the visiting Trent team in the 35th minute, as the Excalibur tied it up with a flick off of a deep throw-in.
The Gaels showed a lot of spirit by pressing hard in the second half, but were unable to capitalize on their chances and left the pitch with another 1-1 draw.
Hoefler said the team’s Sunday performance was an improvement from Saturday, but it still wasn’t enough to get the result they wanted.
“We came out very fast paced – we like to attack, we’re very fluid, we want to play entertaining and possession based football,” he said. “But the end of the day one mental lapse at the back results in a goal and we didn’t give in, but we needed that extra composure right at the end of the game.”
Overall, Hoefler said the weekend wasn’t what the team had expected in terms of results, and it was disappointing.
“At the end of the day we didn’t give in, but normally I felt we could have came away with six points,” he said. “It was just a lack of focus, lack of preparation, and things have to be different for this week.
“It’s frustrating, but you know it’s not the end of the world,” he added.
The Gaels will look for a three-point result on Wednesday as they take on the nationally second-ranked Carleton Ravens (6-1-3) in Ottawa.
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