Leaving points on the road

After blanking Laurentian, the Gaels draw with Nipissing

Queen’s is still unbeaten this season ― but their latest road trip didn’t produce fully desired results.

On Saturday, the Gaels defeated the Laurentian Voyageurs 3-0 in Sudbury. This win not only gave the Voyageurs (2-2-1) their first defeat of the season, but kept the Gaels in steady contention at the top of the OUA East Division.

Rookie midfielder Rachel Radu scored the Gaels’ first goal against Laurentian in the 27th minute, followed by a tally from fellow first-year Tara Bartram in the 49th minute.

Striker Kayla Crnic clinched the victory with a goal in the 85th minute. Goalkeeper Madison Tyrell kept Laurentian from fighting back with six saves.

On Sunday, Queen’s and the Nipissing Lakers (1-2-2) reached a 1-1 tie in North Bay.

Gaels striker Brittany Almeida scored in the sixth minute, but Queen’s failed to take numerous opportunities to score again afterward. The Lakers equalized in the 87th minute.

“[It’s] disappointing, to say the least,” Queen’s head coach Dave McDowell said after the Nipissing game. “We responded really well after they scored ― there seemed to be a little more urgency in our play.”

Though the Gaels kept getting into what McDowell described as “fantastic positions,” their passes didn’t lead to quality scoring chances.

“Soccer’s a funny game,” McDowell said, “and 1-0 is a difficult score. When you don’t increase that score, you increase the pressure on you to defend.”

McDowell added that the team’s focus heading forward would be finishing in the attacking third of the field.

He said for some of the senior players, it was frustrating that they dropped points against a lesser Nipissing team.

“We just have to learn from that. Hopefully it’s one of those moments where the light bulb goes on for our younger players who maybe don’t understand how short the season is,” McDowell said.

Next up for the nationally second-ranked Gaels are two home games, against Ryerson (1-0-3) on Saturday and Toronto (2-1-2) on Sunday. Both games start at 1 p.m. at West Campus Field.

Instant Replay

Queen’s earned four points for the second straight weekend. They beat Trent and drew with Ottawa on their first road swing of the year.

Last year’s squad took both games during their October trip up north, including a shutout of Laurentian.

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