Queen’s fall in finals by way of shooutout

Both women’s soccer OUA Final Four games go to overtime at York, Gaels begin preparing for nationals

Striker Kelli Chamberlain (left) goes up for a header during the Gaels’ 3-1 win over Nipissing on Sept. 20. Chamberlain scored two goals against Laurier during Friday’s 3-2 semifinal win.
Striker Kelli Chamberlain (left) goes up for a header during the Gaels’ 3-1 win over Nipissing on Sept. 20. Chamberlain scored two goals against Laurier during Friday’s 3-2 semifinal win.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

Going into the OUA’s Final Four weekend, the women’s soccer team held first place in the league, carrying a third-place national ranking and a quarter-final win over Carleton on their shoulders.

On Saturday, the Gaels beat the Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks 3-2 in extra time to advance to the final against the host York Lions, with two goals coming from striker Kelli Chamberlain and the other from midfielder Angela Sullivan.

In Sunday’s final against York, the Gaels fell short in a shootout after full time and extra time saw no goals from either team. The Gaels’ silver medal still earns them a trip to the nationals next weekend in Toronto.

Head coach Dave McDowell said playing two OUA West teams meant the Gaels hadn’t seen either team they played this weekend, making it difficult to prepare.

“You can’t prepare for two overtimes unfortunately we hadn’t really seen the opponents this week,” he said. “We did our best to prepare with advanced scouting.”

McDowell said the intense scheduling of the finals weekend made play extremely tiring.

“Four hours of soccer in two days—professionally they would never do that,” he said. “Everyone was very tired, fatigued both mentally and physically. … It was ugly soccer. You do your best to connect a few passes and get some rhyme”

The Gaels start the nationals with a game against Atlantic Division champions the St. Francis Xavier X-Women from Antigonish, N.S.

“They were disappointed but realized it was very much a tie breaker,” McDowell said. “Now we are very focused on nationals this week. We quickly checked who we were playing next week so as to turn the unfortunate ending into preparation for the next week.”

Midfielder Riley Filion said the larger field size at York and different formations from their opponents made the weekend games more difficult for the Gaels.

Filion said the shootout was difficult for the team’s morale, but they’re looking forward to nationals.

“[Shootouts are] such a 50-50 thing, we get a lucky save, other team gets a post,” he said. “We were feeling bummed, we were the better team. Could’ve beat them in regular [time].”

Defender Victoria Gonzalez-Milroy said she’s looking forward to a potential rematch with York at nationals.

“It was hard to watch the other team celebrating,” she said. “We all knew we were the better team out there, we should’ve won. But we were all really confident. If we meet them again at nationals we’ll just have to prove it.”

The Gaels travel to Toronto to begin their campaign for CIS glory starting on Thursday against the St. Francis Xavier X-Women. The tournament runs all weekend.

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