Mixed results for soccer

Women shut out opposition while men struggle

Gaels’ defender Michael Zanetti (5) goes up for a header against the Ryerson Rams on Sunday.
Gaels’ defender Michael Zanetti (5) goes up for a header against the Ryerson Rams on Sunday.
Defender Ali Skinner (18) battles for the ball as teammate Erin Smith looks on.
Defender Ali Skinner (18) battles for the ball as teammate Erin Smith looks on.

Last weekend saw the Queen’s men and women’s soccer teams go into action on the road against the Trent Excalibur and the Ryerson Rams.

The women were undefeated, winning against Trent 3-0 and tying Ryerson 0-0.

The Gaels’ success is due in large part to the performances of goalkeepers Kate McKenna and Hannah Shoichet. Since the season started, the women’s team has allowed three goals, with McKenna recording six shutouts and Shoichet recording three.

McKenna said the Gaels’ defence deserves a lot of credit for her success.

“Full credit goes to the defensive line,” she said. “Any of my success is a direct result of our defence. The girls work so hard. … I try not to think too much about past results and try to keep the ball out of the net for 90 minutes at a time.”

Head coach Dave McDowell noted the effect of the goalkeepers’ success on the rest of the team.

“They are instrumental; they offer tremendous leadership.” McDowell agreed the team’s defence plays a part in their shutouts.

“Against Ryerson, we only offered one or two chances, but they were good chances, and it was comforting to know we had [Shoichet] back there to act as our last line of defence.”

Rookie goalkeeper Elena Corry dressed for the first time Saturday and played the second half of Queen’s match against Trent, maintaining the shutout for the Gaels.

“She was so excited to play and I was really excited for her,” McKenna said. “She was always going to play the game. … At the end of the first half we had a lead and I hurt my hand; it made sense to bring her on.”

McDowell said team complacency and finishing were areas that need improvement.

“We coasted through the Trent game, and played bits and pieces of the first half against Ryerson,” McDowell said. “We only started to play well in the second half.” McDowell said the team needs to make the most of their scoring chances.

“We create lots of chances but can’t seem to finish. Last year we had the CIS player of the year [Eilish McConville], and she could finish chances, and it’s something we’ve had to adjust to this year.” Laura Vanderlaan, Aleisha Marchant and Sara Buckham all slotted goals against Trent.

The men had a harder road trip, dropping the game against Trent 2-1 and tying Ryerson 1-1.

Head coach Chris Gencarelli said the team needs to improve quickly.

“We’re approaching the playoffs and still making critical mistakes. We held onto the ball for too long, allowed counterattacks. … [Trent and Ryerson] capitalized on our mistakes.”

In the match against the Excalibur, Trent’s Steven Davis and Matthew Gardner both scored before Queen’s Brent Lukowski shortened the gap to one with a free kick in the 51st minute.

At Ryerson, Queen’s took the lead in the 68th minute, courtesy of Lukowski on another free kick. Rams’ striker Nicholas Suppa countered 30 seconds later to tie the game. Gencarelli said the Ryerson goal was a result of a defensive miscue on the Gaels’ part.

“We made a bad clearance,” Gencarelli said. “Our defender gave their man too much time on the ball, he split [our defence] with a pass, and our goalkeeper was caught out of position and they chipped it over him.”

Lukowski scored his second and third goals of the season over the weekend.

“I’ve been working on my free kicks in practise, and now it’s just applying that practise to games,” he said.

Lukowski said the team needs to focus on the goals they set at the beginning of the year.

“We’ve gotten away from our original game plan,” he said. “We need to get back to basics and concentrate on our strengths.” The Gaels have home games against Kingston’s Royal Military College on Friday and Trent on Sunday.

Gencarelli said the team’s season rests on this weekend’s results.

“It’s how we respond to this weekend that will determine the rest of the season. At the start of the season we set a long-term goal for ourselves, which was to get to nationals. … The coaching staff still have full confidence in the team’s ability to achieve that goal.”

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