Gaels keep streak rolling

Wednesday’s win over Royal Military College extends women’s soccer’s undefeated streak to 13 games

Queen’s striker Kelli Chamberlain darts past a Paladins defender during Wednesday’s match at Richardson Stadium. Chamberlain would go on to score a goal in the 5-0 rout.
Queen’s striker Kelli Chamberlain darts past a Paladins defender during Wednesday’s match at Richardson Stadium. Chamberlain would go on to score a goal in the 5-0 rout.

Richardson Stadium was blustery and cold, but the women’s soccer team’s hot streak was unaffected, as they slotted five goals past a dismal Royal Military College Paladins side to extend their winning streak to 13 games and their shutout streak to nine.

After a back-and-forth first 15 minutes in which both teams created chances, midfielder Angela Sullivan found the back of RMC’s net and opened the floodgates. Striker Renée MacLellan scored two goals in a minute and the game was effectively over.

Midfielder Jennifer Hutchison scored the fourth goal midway through the second half and striker Lisa Bache added an 88th-minute goal to complete the rout.

Head coach Dave McDowell said the early lead allowed some substitutes to get valuable game experience.

“It started out a little ragged but I thought we settled down and played quite well,” he said. “We were able to move a lot of people in and rest a few people and I thought they did a good job of keeping the level of play up.”

Queen’s last surrendered a goal on Sept. 26 against the Paladins, meaning the Gaels have gone just over 810 minutes without allowing a goal.

McDowell said the defensive success is a team effort.

“Our goalkeepers aren’t getting too many shots but when they do they’re stopping them,” he said. “Defending starts from the front and goes backward so it’s not just about the back-four and the goalie, it’s about everyone on the field.”

The game against the Paladins was Queen’s last regular-season home game, as they have a last match at Carleton University before the playoffs begin. Although they’re currently atop the OUA East with 38 points, the University of Toronto Varsity Blues are hot on their heels with 33 points and have a game in hand. Queen’s will be guaranteed first place if they beat Carleton, but McDowell said the first-place ranking isn’t important.

“We’d obviously love to end up in first place, that’s one of the goals the girls set for themselves early and they want to finish the job,” he said. “They’re pretty confident that if they play and do the things that they know make them so successful, then they will be successful. There’s no apprehension about any teams in the league, they know if they play well then they’ll be in there with a chance to beat them.”

Wednesday’s final whistle also ended MacLellan’s last regular-season game at Richardson Stadium after five years of service. McDowell said the game was important given that she notched two goals against her twin sister, Heather MacLellan, who plays for RMC.

“It’s her last game here and she’s played five pretty memorable years here,” he said. “For her last regular-season game here, it’s nice for her to finish with two.”

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