Gaels go down to Gee-Gees

Queen’s post-season run ends with Ottawa loss

Another season of women’s soccer is in the books after a close loss to the Ottawa Gee-Gees.

The Gaels lost 1-0 to Ottawa in the OUA quarterfinal on Sunday, marking the first time in six years that Queen’s failed to advance to the OUA Final Four.

Gee-Gees midfielder Julia Francki put Ottawa up a goal midway through the first half. Despite outplaying the Gee-Gees for most of the second half, the Gaels couldn’t muster up the equalizer.

“Unfortunately, it’s one of those playoff games. The team that finishes more chances goes through,” said Gaels head coach Dave McDowell. “They finished one and we couldn’t put any of our chances away.”

The Gee-Gees came out strong in the opening half, controlling the ball well and levelling 12 shots at Gaels keeper Madison Tyrell before the break.

Queen’s registered seven shots on goal during the contest, including four from striker Brittany Almeida. The Gee-Gees fired off 16 total shots in the match.

Though the Gaels lost, McDowell noted standout performances from veterans and newcomers alike.

“I thought [fifth-year defender] Melissa Jung was really good,” he said. “[Fourth-year midfielder] Jessie de Boer had a terrific game.

“I thought [first-year defender] Claudia Glasspoole was very good at the back as well.”

McDowell was impressed with his team’s play in the match.

“We certainly threw everything we had at them, including the kitchen sink, in the second half,” he said. “I’m really proud of the way we played.”

The Gaels turned on the jets in the second half, but never managed to score.

“[We] certainly created chances in the last twenty-five minutes,” McDowell said. “Just couldn’t finish one.”

Ottawa was the OUA’s top-ranked team during the regular season, and McDowell noted that the Gaels’ record during the regular season put them in the position to play the Gee-Gees early.

“It was an up-and-down year with some inconsistent results, that’s what probably got us playing Ottawa this early in the playoffs,” he said. “But that’s life and with a younger team that’s sometimes what you get.”

The women had faced the Gee-Gees once during the regular season, losing 3-0 in the second-last game of the season on Oct. 15. Including this weekend’s game, these two teams have met in each of the last four post-seasons.

Seven of the starting 11 Gaels for Sunday’s game were first or-second-year players.

“That’s a big chuck of them,” McDowell said. “Especially [considering] we played against a team that featured mostly fourth and fifth-year players.”

These younger players will benefit from the field time and likely return stronger next season, he said.

“I kind of expect all of them to step up and look to get better and accept bigger roles,” McDowell said. “Certainly, there’s some terrific young players here and hopefully the future is bright.”

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