Goals galore for Gaels

The women’s soccer team dominates in opening weekend

Women’s soccer home-opener against the Trent Excalibur resulted in 9 goals for the home side. The women’s team is travelling to Toronto to take on the University of Toronto and Ryerson University this weekend.
Women’s soccer home-opener against the Trent Excalibur resulted in 9 goals for the home side. The women’s team is travelling to Toronto to take on the University of Toronto and Ryerson University this weekend.

The women’s soccer team wasted no time making their presence known to the other OUA teams. The Gaels opened their season against the Carleton Ravens in Ottawa winning 4-0. The team travelled back to Kingston for their home-opener and dominated the Trent Excalibur with a 9-1 win.

With the stress of training camp over and excitement building for the upcoming season, even veteran players have to remind themselves to focus on the task at hand. Rookie Melissa Jung committed herself to the task and scored in her CIS debut against the Carleton Ravens. Jung would add to this with one goal against Trent.

“When an opportunity arose, I was just able to put the ball in the back of the net,” she said. “I was definitely nervous for my first two games. I just focused and was able to settle down.”

With no shots on net, the Gaels controlled the play and kept it in the Carleton zone. Goalkeeper Elena Corry was able to maintain focus and grab the shutout.

“Carleton pressed hard throughout the game,” Jung said. “We found ways to penetrate their defence and found the back of the net. Our keeper played solid and deserved the shutout.”

With their home-opener against Trent, Jung said the excitement to play for Queen’s acted as a big motivation. The Gaels put on a show as they thrashed Trent 9-1. Forward Jacqueline Tessier dominated play on the field, scoring five goals.

“Despite the team we’re playing, we always give 110 per cent,” Jung said. “Trent put up a really good effort but they couldn’t contain Jackie Tessier ... who had a fabulous game with five goals. We sustained a lot of pressure and we were able to find the back of the net often.”

Last season’s games against Trent yielded similar results. Queen’s defeated Trent by a combined score of 12-0 over two games. No matter which team they’re facing, second-year Jacqueline Tessier said Head Coach Dave McDowell preaches respect for all opponents in their pre-game talks.

“Before every game, he says to respect every team and their talents no matter what,” she said. “You go out to the game and [play] the best way you can [and to] respect a team is to play your best the entire game.”

The Carleton game provided a confidence boost to the Gaels who had challenges against the talented team last year.

“We played with them in the quarterfinals,” she said. “[We] had a little trouble with them last year so it was really great to have that good of a start against a tough team like that. And the Trent game afterwards ... It was pretty incredible for a first weekend.”

The Gaels are coming back with a strong foundation of players. The graduation of talented striker Renéee MacLellan will be difficult to replace although with Tessier’s spectacular first weekend, she’s willing to try.

“We’re going to miss [MacLellan] a lot this year,” she said. “I’m doing my best to try and fill her shoes. We have basically the same starting line-up from last year and a good group of recruits ... The team’s just been playing really well together.”

MacLellan was not just any player and the impact of her graduation could have an effect on such a young squad. She was not only the captain of the team, but last year’s CIS Player of the Year. Second in the OUA in goals scored, head coach Dave McDowell and his staff wondered this summer if there was anyone on the young squad that could step-up.

“We’ve been asking ourselves since the graduation of [MacLellan] from last year’s team ‘where are our goals coming?’” he said. “The girls from the first two games have certainly answered that question.”

The Gaels shouldn’t get ahead of themselves with two dominating wins. Last season the Gaels had a 13-1-2 record and had not lost in 14 games coming into the playoffs. However, the Gaels would fall to the York Lions in a shootout to come away with the silver medal in the OUA championship.

“It was a good starting point for us to be in,” McDowell said. “You don’t want to read too much into the early part of the season ... we’re interested in what we’re doing in late October and early November.”

With their first two games over, the Gaels look ahead to their week on the road where the harsh realities of the regular season will set in.

“We have a tough week coming up in Toronto. .. and then [the University of] Ottawa on only two days rest,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough five days with three very tough teams.”

The Gaels will be in Toronto on the weekend to play against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and Ryerson Rams.

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