Mixed results on soccer road trip

Fourth straight shutout for McKenna

Nick Milonas (19) challenges a Laurentian defender for the ball Sunday.
Nick Milonas (19) challenges a Laurentian defender for the ball Sunday.
Supplied Photo by John Sabourin/Action Event Photos
Katie Dalziel (8) goes for the ball Sunday against the Laurentian Voyageurs.
Katie Dalziel (8) goes for the ball Sunday against the Laurentian Voyageurs.
Supplied Photo by John Sabourin/Action Event Photos

The Queen’s soccer teams took a long road trip to North Bay and Sudbury this past weekend, taking on the Nipissing Lakers and the Laurentian Voyageurs.

On Saturday, the women’s team tied the Lakers 1-1 with a goal from Renee MacLellan, while the men lost 1-0.

On Sunday, Katie McKenna recorded her fourth straight shutout for the Gaels in a 0-0 draw. The men were able to convert some scoring chances in their game, and won 3-0 on goals from Brent Lukowski, Stephane Detchou and Nick Milonas.

Men’s head coach Chris Gencarelli said the team had a hard time in the early part of Saturday’s match.

“We came out slow against Nipissing, and they scored their goal in the 19th minute. We realized that was a problem that we needed to fix,” he said.

Gencarelli said the team’s play improved as the game continued, but they weren’t able to convert their scoring opportunities.

“In the second half, we had so many chances to score,” he said. “We had honestly about 20 solid scoring chances, but it was just one of those days where we couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net.” Gencarelli said the team got off to a better start on Sunday.

“We sort of set different goals that we wanted to achieve in the first 15 minutes. That was the one thing that we did different, and it seemed to work,” he said.

“We came out a lot stronger, we dominated the play honestly pretty much the entire game. We scored an early goal that really helped us set the tone.”

Women’s head coach Dave McDowell said there were positive signs from his side’s play on the weekend.

“We get better each game. We continue to create chances, and we’re just going to have to finish the chances we’ve made. The other teams both games, we limited them offensively to very little, but [we] just can’t seem to take our own chances. In the Nipissing game, we counted 14 clear chances that were good scoring chances, and seven were our players in alone with no one between them and the goalie,” he said.

McDowell said the team’s play in their own end was a big improvement from earlier in the year.

“Defensively, we got better, and we didn’t have some of the breakdowns that we’ve had in previous games, so that’s really good to see.”

He said the ties were disappointing, though.

“The ties are creating a little bit of a hole in terms of the standings that we’re going to have to worry about later on. We’re not getting beaten by anybody, but we’re obviously not taking full points.”

The team will practice converting their scoring chances this week, McDowell said.

“We’re really just going to continue to work on finishing our training, and our composure and communication in front of net. I think eventually it will come, but you just worry that at some point, people start to feel snake-bit and feel it’s not going to work no matter what they do.”

The games were the fourth and fifth matches in the last week for the women’s squad. McDowell said fatigue wasn’t a factor, and the frequent games actually helped his team.

“If anything, it was sort of good for us. Fitness was an issue with us earlier in the year, and this sort of forced fitness for some of our players,” he said.

Both teams will host Nipissing and Laurentian in rematches next weekend. Both sides play the Voyageurs on Saturday. The women’s game is at noon at Richardson Stadium, with the men’s game following at 2:15 p.m.

On Sunday, both teams will play Nipissing, again with the women kicking off at noon and the men’s game immediately afterwards.

McDowell said he’s looking forward to the team’s return to home turf.

“It was a tough stretch to play five games all away, so we look forward to getting home and getting a full week of training, as opposed to a broken-up week where you don’t feel like you get too much accomplished.”

Gencarelli said his team is anticipating the rematch.

“We’re excited. Right now, the guys are pretty psyched about the win today, and they’re going to be ready to go for next weekend. Hopefully, we’re going to be well prepared and have a good week of practice, and hopefully we’ll get six points next weekend.”

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