McConville strikes for six goals

Women’s soccer beats Laurentian and Nipissing in weekend play

Eilish McConville scored six times in her team’s weekend victories over Laurentian and Nipissing.

The women’s soccer team beat Laurentian 4-1 on Saturday and beat Nipissing 6-2 on Sunday.

Head coach Dave McDowell, a two-time National Coach of the Year, said it was nice for his team to score so many goals against a strong defensive team.

“I thought we played very well: we needed something like that. In the last couple games, we dropped some points, so it’s good to get some momentum back.”

Both teams created scoring chances right from the start. The Gaels broke the deadlock 15 minutes in when striker Eilish McConville raced down the right side, beating two defenders.

McConville delivered a cross over the head of Laurentian goalkeeper Meghan Hoffberg to Queen’s striker Kaley Robinson, who was waiting by the open net.

Robinson converted another chance later on, volleying a cross from winger Laura Johnstone into the Laurentian net from 12 yards out to give the Gaels a 2-0 halftime lead. Robinson gave her fellow Gaels full credit for the play.

“Both goals were [off of] great crosses by my teammates,” she said.

The Gaels continued to dominate throughout the second half. Soon after the break McConville was able to defeat a close-marking defender, manoevre around Hoffberg and deposit the ball into the open net.

In the 75th minute, McConville added more insurance for Queen’s with one of the prettiest goals scored so far this season. She picked up a long through ball from Gaels’ defender Caitlin Lambert 20 yards in front of goal, beat a defender and chipped the ball into the net.

However, Laurentian narrowed the Gaels’ lead near the end of the game.

Voyageurs’ midfielder Erica Duczeminiski headed a free kick past Gaels’ goalkeeper Megan Martins, who had come on only minutes before to replace Katie McKenna.

“We played really well for the full 90 minutes,” Robinson said after the game. “We worked well as a team to finish what we needed to do.”

The Gaels followed their strong game against Laurentian with a dominating 6-2 victory over Nipissing on Sunday, featuring four goals by McConville. The pair of wins leaves them in second places in the OUA, one point back of the Ottawa Gee-Gees.

Meanwhile, the men’s team didn’t fair as well. Earlier on Sunday they lost a tough match 3-2 to Laurentian.

Head coach Al McVicar said after the game that the team started strong, controlling the tempo of the match for the first 25 minutes, but just couldn’t maintain the momentum.

The Gaels produced offensive opportunities as early as the 2nd minute when a shot by midfielder Steve Irish hit the Laurentian crossbar. In the 22nd minute, Queen’s opened the scoring.

A cross from midfielder Nick Milonas deflected off a Voyageur into the path of Irish, who made a sliding lunge to drill the ball into the net.

In the 42nd minute, defender Alex Makin was able to extend the Gaels’ lead off a corner kick.

“I lost my man on the 18 [yard-line], ran in and headed it past the goalie. It felt great, it was exhilarating. At that point we were up 2-0 and we felt we had the game,” he said afterward.

But the Gaels’ luck soon changed.

Just before halftime, Laurentian converted off a long free kick to reduce the score to 2-1. The goal seemed to shift the game’s momentum

“The team had a hard time recovering after that point,” McVicar said.

The Voyageurs added two more goals in the second half to seal a 3-2 victory.

In their second game of the weekend, the Gaels were able to pull off a 3-2 win over Nipissing.

MacVicar said his team “demonstrated a lot of mental toughness on the day and put in a solid overall effort.”

The weekend leaves the men’s squad in third place in the OUA East.

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