The 2012 campaign looked all but over for the women’s soccer team.
The Toronto Varsity Blues were in control of the OUA quarter-final match at West Campus Field. They scored in the 30th minute to take a 1-0 lead, which they held until the dying minutes.
Gaels midfielder Alexis McKinty changed the script, burying a goal off a broken corner kick play in the 88th minute to tie the game.
The Gaels’ momentum carried into overtime as they scored twice, securing the 3-1 victory.
Gaels centre back Mikyla Kay said the Varsity Blues’ first goal made for a challenging comeback.
“I think the first goal got us a little bit down, but we knew if we kept our work rate up that eventually things would work out,” Kay said.
The Varsity Blues generated several quality chances in the final 10 minutes of regulation, including a scoring attempt from just outside the six-yard box with five minutes remaining.
Starting goalkeeper Madison Tyrell managed to keep the Blues at bay, making 10 saves to earn her first career playoff victory.
Gaels head coach Dave McDowell was happy with his team’s resiliency in the second half.
“Tough goal to give up in the first half, to be honest … I told our coaching staff if we get to 0-0 by halftime, I like our chances,” he said. “I thought we battled back and never gave up.”
McDowell tinkered with the lineup all game, subbing in different combinations of players. He finally found the right one at the right time.
“I tried to make a few little alterations to see if we could generate any offense,” McDowell said. “We got [McKinty] going and we looked like we still had lots of energy left. It looks like our fitness work paid off.”
McKinty lead the charge with two goals, while striker Jackie Tessier scored on a breakaway in overtime to seal the win.
“It’s funny, I thought we played our best soccer in overtime when were up by a wee bit,” McDowell said. “But you know, that’s just playoff soccer.”
The OUA Final Four will be held in Ottawa next weekend, featuring the Gaels, the Ottawa Gee Gees, the Laurier Golden Hawks and the McMaster Marauders — the same four teams as last season.
Queen’s will take on Laurier on Saturday in the semi-final.
Gaels, McKinty, playoffs, Women's soccer
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