Soccer teams unable to score

Women tie Varsity Blues 0-0; men lose 4-0 in Saturday games

Gael defender Aleisha Marchant (19) chases down the ball in Saturday’s game in Toronto.
Gael defender Aleisha Marchant (19) chases down the ball in Saturday’s game in Toronto.
Photo supplied by Jing-ling Kao / University of Toronto Athletics

The University of Toronto Varsity Blues kept both Queen’s men’s and women’s teams goalless on Saturday.

After a nine-goal performance in two games the previous weekend, the women’s team returned to their goalless ways with a 0-0 draw against the Blues.

Queen’s goalkeeper Katie McKenna said she thought the team’s play changed dramatically as the game went on.

“It was a tale of two halves,” she said. “I thought we came out the more confident team, and sort of took it to them in the first half. In the second half, we kind of slowed down a little. We didn’t play a full, focused 90 minutes.”

McKenna said the opposing team’s strength was the main difference between last weekend’s wins and Saturday’s tie.

“I don’t think we did anything differently,” she said. “Toronto was a formidable opponent; they’re a great team, [and] well organized.” The game featured a showdown between two of the best goalkeepers in Ontario. McKenna recorded her fifth consecutive shutout for Queen’s, while Toronto’s Mary Anne Barnes—named as the female athlete of the week for both the OUA and the CIS in the preceding week—picked up her sixth shutout of the year.

McKenna has yet to concede a goal this year, while Barnes has only allowed two, both against the University of Ottawa.

McKenna said she tries to keep the streak out of her mind.

“I try not to think about it,” she said. “Especially [Saturday], I wouldn’t say I played my strongest game, so there’s a lot that I can work on.”

Head coach Dave McDowell said McKenna and her fellow netminder, Hannah Shoichet, have been crucial to the Gaels’ success so far.

“Our goalkeeping’s been fantastic,” he said. The match was played on the field turf surface at the new Varsity Centre in Toronto. McDowell said the field dictated the game play, but the Gaels responded well.

“It was really a field turf game [with] not much in terms of scoring opportunities for either team. I thought we adjusted to the field turf very well, considering it was only our second time on it all year.”

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, the Gaels will host the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees at Richardson Stadium. The Gee-Gees are 8-0-0 thus far, and are ranked first in the country. The Gaels are 4-1-5 and are fourth in the OUA East Division, one point behind Toronto and five points behind the Carleton Ravens.

McDowell said the Ottawa game is a good opportunity to see how the Gaels match up against premier opposition.

“I think we’re really looking forward to it,” he said. “It gives us another chance to see where we are.”

McDowell said the team still has aspirations to move up in their division and clinch a playoff berth.

“We need some points to pull ourselves up in the standings. We’re still fighting for that second spot.” The men’s soccer team also played the Blues on Saturday, and lost for just the second time this season. The final score was 4-0 Toronto. The Blues outshot the Gaels 12-5, but goalkeeper Sean Martin-Courtright made eight saves for Queen’s.

Head coach Chris Gencarelli said the Gaels began the game poorly.

“We didn’t really have a strong start,” he said. “Overall, I’m really not pleased with the effort from the guys.”

Gencarelli said the team made costly defensive mistakes.

“We gave them, I would say, three of their four goals from our own errors that should not have happened. A team like U of T, they’ll capitalize on our mistakes.”

Gencarelli said the team needs its players to assume leadership roles.

“We’re still looking for a few, whether it’s first-year players or fifth-year players, to really step up and be leaders on this team,” he said. “I really think that’s what we’re missing right now. Once we find that, I think we’ll be a much better team.”

Next week, the team will travel to Peterborough and Toronto to take on the Trent Excalibur and the Ryerson Rams.

The team still has work to do to prepare for their upcoming road trip, Gencarelli said.

“There’s definitely some areas that we still need to work on in order to be where we want to be,” he said.

“You can’t win every game, and you can’t perform well every game, so hopefully we’ll learn from this, have a solid week of practice, and perform better next weekend.”

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