Heartbreak followed by blowout for women's soccer

Gaels pick up three points during homestand

Sarah Nixon scored two goals against the Trent Excalibur this weekend.
Sarah Nixon scored two goals against the Trent Excalibur this weekend.
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This weekend marked the beginning of the second half of the women’s soccer team’s season.

After a tough 1-0 loss to UOIT Ridgebacks on Saturday afternoon, the team rebounded with a dominant 4-1 victory over the Trent Excalibur on Sunday, leaving the pair of matches at Miklas-McCarney Field with three points.

Coach Dave McDowell said the initial loss against UOIT was particularly unfortunate after the Gaels played such a solid defensive game.

“We have to do a better job of focusing on 90 minutes,” McDowell said. “We weren’t quite as urgent as we had to be in the final 10 [minutes].”

The next day against Trent, it didn’t take long for the Gaels to get back on track and onto the scoresheet. In the 10th minute, first-year forward Sarah Nixon got by the Excalibur defence down the right flank and centred the ball for third-year Tara Bartram, who coolly side-footed the ball in the near post to open the scoring. By 15 minutes, the Gaels had already doubled their lead after a hard shot from Nixon flew into the bottom left corner.

The Gaels continued to dominate possession for the next 45 minutes, but couldn’t put the game away with another goal for the rest of the half. On the other hand, the Excalibur, against the run of play, netted one of their own late in the period to halve the Gaels’ lead.

Any worries of a comeback by Trent, however, were quickly subdued, as the Gaels scored within two minutes of the restart.

Midfielder Alicia Levy, had a shot of her own stopped by the Excalibur keeper before Sarah Nixon buried the rebound for her second goal of the game.

Queen’s continued relentlessly with their fast-paced offence, dominating possession and firing off four shots on target within the first five minutes of the half. By the time the referee had blown his whistle to end the match, it was 4-1, and substitute Rachel Radu had scored her second goal of the season.

“I just tried to free myself, [and] get a lane to then shoot,” Radu said of the goal. The third-year forward forced a powerful strike from the top of the box between the legs of the Excalibur goalkeeper.

After the previous day’s disappointment, Radu noted that the team played much better after revaluating following the loss.

“It’s a good strong start [to the season],” Radu said. “We’ve got to ride this out the rest of the season.”

But while the team was successful, according to Coach McDowell, “there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

The Gaels are home to Ottawa and Carleton next weekend.

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