Gaels finally overcome Ottawa

The women's soccer team beat rivals Ottawa University to kickstart a perfect weekend

Riley Filion runs past an Ottawa Gee-Gees defender during the Gaels' 1-0 win on Saturday.
Riley Filion runs past an Ottawa Gee-Gees defender during the Gaels' 1-0 win on Saturday.
Jackie Tessier scored on a penalty shot in the second half for the Gaels.
Jackie Tessier scored on a penalty shot in the second half for the Gaels.

The women’s soccer team opened their first weekend at home in Richardson Staidum with a set of victories, beating the Ottawa Gee-Gees 1-0 on Saturday and the Trent Excalibur 2-1 on Sunday.

It was the Gaels’ first win against the Gee-Gees since 2009 and it came despite being outplayed in the first half. The visitors outshot the Gaels 6-2 in the opening 45 minutes, but goalkeeper Chantel Marson registered a shutout. Striker Jackie Tessier scored on a penalty in the second half to give the Gaels the win.

Tessier said Marson’s play in net helped ease the team’s nerves.

“You can concentrate on fixing things on the field without having to be nervous about anything going on back there,” said Tessier.

Saturday’s match-up against the Gee-Gees was an early chance to see two OUA East teams renew last season’s rivalry. Ottawa finished three points behind Queen’s last season despite winning both games against the Gaels.

Tessier said last season’s losses to the Gee-Gees was motivation for Satruday’s game.

“It was a tough win, Ottawa’s always a really tough team,” Tessier said. “We obviously had trouble with them last year [...] but when we had an opportunity with that penalty shot, we put it away.”

The women’s team entered weekend play without a couple important players. Defender Brie Shaw damaged her quadricep the FISU games in August and Angela Sullivan is sitting out with a concussion. These injuries have forced head coach Dave McDowell to rely on depth players. Rookie defender Jessie De Boer filled in seamlessly for Shaw on Saturday, helping defense post a shutout against the Gee-Gees.

“It’s been a bit nerve-wracking,” De Boer said of her debut this weekend. “The exhibition games definitely helped me get familiar with the position.” De Boer carried her play into Sunday’s game against Trent. She scored the game-winning goal in the 2-1 win. Rookie striker Brianna Burton scored in a 2-1 win.

After falling behind early, Burton evened the score at the end of the first half. This was Burton’s first action of the season. She said she was thrilled with her contribution.

“The girls on this team are great and they always include us,” Burton said. “But to get an important goal makes us feel even more like a part of the team.”

McDowell said he wasn’t impressed with his team’s play this weekend. He said there were problems in both games that need to be addressed.

“We need to be more solid in terms of our focus for 90 minutes” he said. “It became very apparent this weekend that [our focus] is not quite good enough.”

The Gaels have a five-day break before playing the Royal Military College Paladins on Friday at Richardson Stadium. McDowell said practices this week will focus on basic skills.

“Defensively our ball winning has not been good,” he said. “Until we get it straight it’s difficult to win games.”

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