Men’s soccer solidified their grasp on third place in the OUA standings heading into the first round of playoffs.
The Gaels locked down a textbook win over the RMC Paladins on Sunday afternoon, prevailing 5-0 and finishing the regular season third in the OUA.
They’ll face the sixth-place Nipissing Lakers (4-7-5) at home on Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the playoffs.
“Obviously we were keen on getting results today just to ensure that we could finish as high up as possible in the standings,” said Gaels head coach Christian Hoefler.
The Gaels (9-2-5) received valuable contributions from all over the pitch against RMC (3-13-0). They put pressure on early by moving the ball forward into dangerous positions.
Queen’s opened the scoring in the 15th minute as third-year striker Tommy Hong showed his composure on a breakaway, slotting it past the keeper and putting the Gaels in the lead.
Next was a defining moment in the career of graduating player Marco D’Elia. The defender stepped up to take a penalty in the 22nd minute and scored his first goal as a Gael.
Following D’Elia was a set piece goal from second-year midfielder Rohan Sarna in the 29th minute. Queen’s held a 3-0 lead at halftime.
The Gaels continued their offensive prowess into the second half. Second-year midfielder Chris Wellsman packed two goals into eight minutes, making the final tally 5-0 for Queen’s.
“The ambition behind our attack and the organization with our teams shape was great,” Hoefler said. “There’s a sense of belief in the lads and a desire to succeed that you could really feel that especially after the game.”
Hoefler added that the win will give the Gaels momentum to carry into their game against Nipissing. The Gaels will have to be ready to combat the Lakers’ quick counterattack by remaining organized defensively and keeping their shape
“They’ve beaten some top teams and they’ve managed to draw just as many games as we have. They aren’t an easy side to play against, so really the strategy is to stick our own attacking mindset,” Hoefler said.
“I think that if we play like we did today and in our previous matches then we should be able to get to the next round.”
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