One step forward, one step back

Women’s soccer beats No. 5 Gee-Gees, but falls to Voyageurs Sunday

Gaels’ striker Kelli Chamberlain tries to keep the ball in play against Laurentian’s Krista Pantin in Sunday’s game at Richardson Stadium. Queen’s lost 1-0, but beat Ottawa 2-0 on Saturday.
Gaels’ striker Kelli Chamberlain tries to keep the ball in play against Laurentian’s Krista Pantin in Sunday’s game at Richardson Stadium. Queen’s lost 1-0, but beat Ottawa 2-0 on Saturday.
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Queen’s defender Brie Shaw clears a loose ball Sunday as goalkeeper Katie McKenna looks on.
Queen’s defender Brie Shaw clears a loose ball Sunday as goalkeeper Katie McKenna looks on.
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The women’s soccer team had a roller-coaster weekend. On Saturday, they recorded a stunning 2-0 victory over the fifth-ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees, but they fell 1-0 to the unranked Laurentian Voyageurs on Sunday.

Laurentian dominated early on and scored the only goal of the contest when striker Lisa Watson fired a 16-yard blast past Gaels’ goalkeeper Katie McKenna, ending McKenna’s 196-minute shutout streak. Queen’s had a tough time manufacturing offence of their own, though, recording only five shots on target over the course of the match and failing to take advantage of numerous free kicks and corner kicks.

McKenna said the Gaels lost their composure Sunday and wound up playing a long-ball style that favoured Laurentian’s tall defenders.

“We never really settled down and we had a hard time playing our style of play,” she said. “They’re a great team in the air and the ball was in the air a lot of the time, so we sort of played into their hands.”

Striker Kelli Chamberlain said the Gaels didn’t play with enough passion Sunday.

“I think they were just more hungry for the ball than we were,” she said. “We played a great game yesterday, but today our touch was off and we were just kicking it up the field. … Nobody wanted the ball on our team.”

Chamberlain said the team will need to work on consistency, as they did well against the strong opposition of Ottawa but couldn’t maintain that effort against Laurentian.

“We have the ability to be a really great team, but you can’t be good until you play your best against those kinds of teams,” she said.

Head coach Dave McDowell said the team took a step

back Sunday.

“Our energy levels were down; we just looked slack,” he said. “We won a big game yesterday and just came out flat today. We certainly allowed them to have their way for the most part.”

McDowell said his players might not have taken Laurentian seriously enough after beating Ottawa, but they should have been more concerned, given the difficult 2-0 win they eked out over the Voyageurs last weekend.

“[There’s] probably a little bit of a chance, but we reminded them in the changeroom before that we had a tough game against them last weekend.” he said. “That was a game where we dictated the game a bit more and created far more chances and just were a little hungrier getting to balls.”

The Gaels’ poor execution of corner kicks and free kicks was also a source of concern for the coaching staff, McDowell said.

“We’ve rehearsed them for so long that to make a hash of them or not get balls into danger areas is a bit disappointing,” he said.

McDowell said the failure to create chances on set pieces could be a learning experience for the team, though, as they’ll focus on improvements there in practice.

“As long as we learn from it, maybe there will be more urgency in terms of how we train set pieces,” he said. The Gaels play the Carleton Ravens Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. at Richardson Stadium.

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