Gaels clip Ravens’ wings

Women’s soccer moves into second place with win against Carleton

Queen’s midfielder Erin Smith heads the ball Wednesday while battling Carleton’s Diane Jodoin as Amanda Ngwafusi looks on.
Queen’s midfielder Erin Smith heads the ball Wednesday while battling Carleton’s Diane Jodoin as Amanda Ngwafusi looks on.

The women’s soccer team clung to a one-goal lead for 50 minutes to clinch victory against the Carleton Ravens Wednesday night.

Head coach Dave McDowell said he felt his team played well, but they need to learn to concentrate for the whole match to avoid the kind of pressure they faced at the tail end of the game.

“We had a pretty decent first half,” he said. “Both teams played with five midfielders, so it was pretty crowded out there but we kept possession. The second half was not as strong.

“We have a young team and they need to learn to play with a one-goal lead. That said, we’ve played three games in five days, which is tough. The girls have the right to be tired.”

Though both teams applied pressure throughout the first half, the Gaels managed to strike 40 minutes into the match when Felicidade Pereira beat two defenders and squeezed a shot underneath Carleton’s keeper, giving Queen’s a 1-0 lead just before the halftime break.

The second half was a stalemate where neither side could get the better of the other. The first real chance of the second half came at the 60-minute mark, when Gaels’ Angela Sullivan broke free of her marker but saw her shot skitter wide of the left post.

The Ravens were relentless in their push for the equalizer, but it never came. Poor decisions on the part of the Gaels led to numerous free kicks and lots of possession for the scrappy Carleton side, but the referee’s final three whistle blasts gave the Gaels the win, their fifth this season.

McDowell said his team needed to make small improvements in all facets of their game if they want to succeed this season.

“We lost a little in the air, so we need to focus on aerial battles, winning the ball high,” he said. “We also need to focus on playing 90 minutes, winning high balls and creating and finishing scoring chances. All areas need to be a wee bit better.”

Gaels’ defender Sara Buckham said she was impressed with how her team performed against a strong, experienced Ravens’ side.

“We went out hard,” she said. “We dictated the style of play. We came out with a want for the ball and a desire to win, which was better than Sunday against Laurentian. With Carleton you’re always under pressure. For the most part, we kept the ball in their end and managed them. It’s always a close game with Carleton; you’re always in for a tough, physical match.”

Buckham said she thinks with time, the young Queen’s side will develop the chemistry to overcome most of the problems they’d been encountering.

“The strikers are still learning to play together, but there’s more improvement with every game,” she said. “You can’t pinpoint specific improvements, we need to improve a little in everything with such a young team. We’ve had improvement after improvement and it’s really nice to see.”

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