Soccer wins bronze

Women fall to York in only loss of season, beat Brock for medal

Women’s soccer suffered their only loss of the season in the semifinals, but earned the bronze.
Women’s soccer suffered their only loss of the season in the semifinals, but earned the bronze.

Fifty-six days after their season opener against Western on Sept. 10, Golden Gaels women’s soccer lost their first game in OUA play. That one loss, however, came after what was arguably their most important game of the season.

The Gaels lost 1-0 to the York Lions on Saturday in the OUA semifinals, denying Queen’s a CIS championship berth and a chance to improve upon their CIS bronze medal from last season. Queen’s did, however, pick up another OUA bronze medal by virtue of their victory over the Brock Badgers on Sunday in penalty kicks.

Coming into the game against York, the Gaels had mustered a 7-0-5 record in regular season play in addition to playoff victories against Windsor and Western. York also entered the game undefeated at 7-0-2 in regular season play, setting the stage for a battle between two teams not used to losing.

The Gaels were looking to capitalize throughout the game on the fact that York was starting its second-string goalie, Aurelea Gumiela. However, as both teams were well-organized and aware of the magnitude of the game, offensive opportunities were at a minimum for both teams in the first half.

The second half was more of the same, with neither team generating many quality scoring chances.

York caught an enormous break in the 58th minute, as a free kick popped loose from Queen’s goalie Kate Chambers and was driven into the goal by Natasha Jacinto. Despite the complaints of the Queen’s defenders that Jacinto had punched the ball into the net with her fist, the goal was allowed to stand.

The Gaels managed a few chances in the final 30 minutes of play, but York continued to play outstanding defence and kept Queen’s off the scoresheet. Especially strong for the Lions was second-team OUA all-star Jodie Williams, sister of former Gael Paula Williams.

Sunday brought cold, wet weather to St. Catharines for the bronze medal game. The referee assigned to the game was late arriving to the field, delaying the start of the game by nearly an hour. In the slippery conditions, neither Brock nor Queen’s was able to score in regulation or overtime, sending the Gaels to penalty kicks for the second time in a week.

Eilish McConville, Ali Skinner, Janine Clarke and Laura Barker all converted their penalties, sending the Gaels to a 4-3 win and the OUA bronze medal.

Head coach Dave McDowell was complimentary of his team’s effort this season.

“Obviously expectations are always to reach the national level,” McDowell said. “But even though we didn’t make it, our girls were a class act, and really did the school proud with the way they handled themselves.”

Although the men’s and women’s teams have now concluded their seasons, they were the recipients of some individual hardware over the past week. On the men’s side, Eddie Macedo was named an OUA first-team all-star for his midfield work, while Wade Ennis and Mike Jemczyk were named to the OUA second team.

The women’s team also had great individual seasons recognized, with McConville named OUA East/West Player of the Year and an OUA all-star, and Barker recognized as OUA East/West Rookie of the Year. Barker was also named to the OUA second team along with Chambers, Andrea Pigozzo and Julia Wilkes.

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