Women’s soccer comes up short

McKenna earns CIS-leading sixth shutout in Sunday’s draw

The women’s soccer team headed into Toronto last week as heavy favourites to beat the Ryerson Rams, but they came away with a draw. Queen’s was in third place in the OUA East heading into the game, Ryerson was in seventh. The loss means the Gaels are unlikely to finish higher than third, as they trail the Ottawa Gee-Gees by eight points and the University of Toronto Varsity Blues by six.

Head coach Dave McDowell said he was disappointed the Gaels couldn’t come away with a win, especially considering the standings.

“We still had some thoughts of finishing in first or second, and we’d had some results go our way up to that point,” he said. “We kind of controlled our own destiny coming into the final weekend here.”

McDowell said third is still a strong finish, though, especially given the team’s large rookie class.

“I don’t know what we expected going into the year,” he said. “I knew we’d be talented, but I didn’t know how young players would deal with the rigours of playing and even now with midterms, deal with the rigours of the academic side of things while you’re trying to make a push towards the playoffs.”

Goalkeeper Kate McKenna recorded her second straight shutout and her CIS-leading sixth clean sheet of the year against Ryerson. McKenna said she didn’t think the Gaels were overconfident heading into the game, despite the Rams’ weaker record.

“I don’t think we underestimated them,” she said. “They had just come off a tie against [OUA leaders] Ottawa, so we knew they would be a formidable opponent.”

McKenna said the team just didn’t play with enough energy.

“We were just flat overall,” she said. “We didn’t play the way we were capable of playing. We didn’t take it to them like we should have.”

McKenna said she thinks her teammates are doing a good job of creating offence, despite their failure to score against Ryerson.

“It’s definitely not for lack of effort,” she said.

This weekend, the Gaels will face Ryerson again on Saturday and the University of Toronto on Sunday. Both games are at 3:15 p.m. at Richardson Stadium.

McKenna said the number-four-ranked Varsity Blues will pose a difficult task, but she’s excited for the chance to face them.

“They’re fantastic,” she said. “It’s a huge challenge. … I look forward to playing them, I love games like that and they’re definitely the team to beat.”

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