No wins at home

Toronto teams prove troubling for suddenly stagnant Gaels

Toronto striker Aisha Lewis (#23) opened the scoring in her team’s 2-1 win over Queen’s.
Toronto striker Aisha Lewis (#23) opened the scoring in her team’s 2-1 win over Queen’s.

A lack of scoring ability doomed women’s soccer in their first weekend homestand.

On Sunday, the Gaels lost 2-1 to the Toronto Varsity Blues (5-2-1), dropping from second to fourth place in the OUA East Division as a result.

Queen’s (4-1-3) struggled throughout the game on offence, with the Blues making many attempts to score in the first half. Toronto striker Aisha Lewis scored her team’s first goal in the 24th minute, while midfielder Nicki Parkes added the Blues’ second in the 37th.

Rising to the challenge, rookie midfielder Rachel Radu tallied for the Gaels in the 38th minute.

The Gaels noticeably improved throughout the second half, but were unable to follow through on the opportunities they created.

In WSOCCER it is @Varsity_Blues winning 2-1

— Queen's Gaels (@queensgaels) September 22, 2013

Queen’s head coach Dave McDowell cited injury as a factor holding the team back against Toronto. Second-year striker Brittany Almeida and fifth-year midfielder Riley Filion didn’t dress for the game.

“I don’t think we ever let them build anything up, but we’re so far down the depth chart right now in terms of injuries,” McDowell said. “We’ve just had some match-up issues, and by the time we sorted them out, we were down 2-0.”

He looks forward to playing Toronto again on Oct. 12, when the injured players will have likely recovered.

“I think for us getting healthy is most important right now,” he said.

On Saturday, Queen’s played the Ryerson Rams (3-4-1) to a 1-1 draw in a steady rain.

The first half of the Ryerson game was tense, with the players slipping multiple times on the wet field and battling through the rain.

Ryerson midfielder Nicole Paiva opened the scoring in the 65th minute, despite significant pressure from the Gaels. Queen’s striker Tara Bartram responded with a goal in the 77th minute.

Despite numerous scoring attempts throughout the half, the game ended in a tie.

Soccer (W): Gaels draw 1-1 at West Campus with Ryerson. Rookie Tara Bartram snags Queen's lone goal.

— QJ Sports (@QJsports) September 21, 2013

McDowell said the Gaels were unable to finish for the second straight game. On Sept. 15, Queen’s tied the Nipissing Lakers 1-1 on the road.

While both Queen’s and Ryerson had three shots on goal, McDowell believed his team had greater opportunities.

“In this game, it’s all about how you finish, and we just didn’t finish enough and we’re just not finishing right now,” he said. “That’s two games in a row where we’ve created many, many opportunities and for a variety of reasons haven’t managed to score.

“In the end, if you don’t score, you’re not going to win the game,” he added.

Next up for the Gaels is a home game against the Trent Excalibur (0-7-1) on Sept. 28. The game starts at 1 p.m. on West Campus Field.

Instant Replay

Oddly, Toronto has been the Gaels’ kryptonite in recent years. Queen’s hasn’t overcome the Blues in five regular-season matchups, going back to 2010.

Last October, Toronto snapped Queen’s four-game win streak, triumphing 3-1 at West Campus.

Three weeks later, the clubs met up again in the OUA quarterfinals. This time, the Gaels won in extra time, spurred by two clutch tallies from midfielder Alexis McKinty.

OUA East Standings

1. Ottawa [6-0-2] 20 pts
2. Toronto [5-2-1] 16 pts
3. Carleton [5-2-1] 16 pts
4. Queen’s [4-1-3] 15 pts
5. Laurentian [4-2-2] 14 pts
6. Ryerson [3-4-1] 10 pts
7. Nipissing [1-4-3] 6 pts
8. RMC [1-6-1] 4 pts
9. Trent [0-7-1] 1 pts

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