No win for soccer Gaels in Ottawa

Men and women tie Carleton, women lose 1-0 to Ottawa

Laura Johnstone (11) of Queen’s challenges a Carleton player for the ball in Saturday’s match.
Laura Johnstone (11) of Queen’s challenges a Carleton player for the ball in Saturday’s match.
Credit: 
Photo supplied by Kurt Tang / Carleton Charlatan

It was a tough weekend road trip for Gaels soccer. The men’s and women’s teams both earned draws against the Carleton Ravens on Saturday, but the women’s team lost to the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees on Sunday.

In their game against Carleton, the men’s team jumped into the lead with only 15 minutes to go on a goal scored by David Kerr-Vayne. However, Carleton tied the score off a free kick with only two minutes remaining in regulation time. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Men’s head coach Chris Gencarelli said he was impressed with the team’s play.

“Every game, we’re improving,” he said. “At the beginning of the game, we didn’t play as good as I thought we could have. We had a stronger second half and a few more chances than they did.”

Gencarelli said the tie was a deserved result.

“I don’t think we were unlucky,” he said. “I think both teams deserved a point. They had their scoring chances, and we had ours.”

Gencarelli said late goals have both helped and hindered the Gaels lately.

“We pulled away a point from Toronto the previous weekend [with a late goal], so sometimes it goes against you and sometimes you’re the one to do that. Overall, I’m still quite satisfied.” The women’s match against the Ravens was a defensive struggle. Both teams had scoring chances but couldn’t push through and the game finished 0-0.

On Sunday the women took on Ottawa, who narrowly defeated them in last year’s OUA championship match. The game finished identically to last year’s clash, with the Gee-Gees winning 1-0.

After Sunday’s game, women’s head coach Dave McDowell said the weekend’s games were in line with his expectations.

“At this stage of the season, we’re still very much in the learning and developing phase,” he said.

McDowell said he didn’t think the team played well in Saturday’s draw.

“We didn’t play very well—simple as that. We learned some things about mental preparation in games and rhythm and flow in games,” he said.

“I think the fact that we were put under pressure for a while put a young group mentally in the wrong place.”

McDowell said he thinks the team played better on Sunday.

“We were much better today. Unfortunately for us, playing on field turf and then playing a team that didn’t play yesterday was tough and Ottawa’s probably one of the better teams in the country,” he said.

McDowell said the Ottawa goal was a key turning point in the game.

“Again, we didn’t react well when they scored with about 20 minutes left. We sagged a bit mentally and we also sagged a little bit physically, having played yesterday.”

McDowell said he was pleased with both goalkeepers’ play.

“We got very good goalkeeping all weekend again, kind of keeping us in there as we worked through some inexperience in our defensive shape,” he said. “Hannah [Shoichet] played today and she was terrific, [Katie McKenna] played yesterday and got the shutout and was terrific as well, especially in the first 20 minutes.”

Shoichet stopped 10 of the 11 shots she faced in Sunday’s game. She said the volume of shots made things difficult.

“It’s always tough to face a lot of shots, but I had some good support from my defence in rebounds and everything, so I had fun with it in the end.”

Shoichet said Ottawa’s goal came off a particularly tough free kick.

“I had my wall set up, and I don’t believe I set up the right number of people. The girl just hit a screamer shot right into the side netting. That was an extremely well-placed shot.”

Shoichet said she’s optimistic that the team will continue to get better.

“I think that we’re growing at a really fast pace right now and that we’re going to improve all over the field.”

Both teams will travel to RMC on Wednesday to play the Paladins, and then will take a weekend road trip to play Laurentian University and Nipissing University.

Kerr-Vayne said the team shouldn’t take RMC lightly. “Historically, we’ve beaten RMC, but that shouldn’t give us a sense of false confidence.”

Gencarelli said he’s hopeful the men’s squad will win all three games.

“We want to come out of this week with a 4-0-2 record...A good start against RMC will pave the way for a good week.”

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