Women's soccer earns Final Four berth

Road victory secures place in OUA semi-final

Women's soccer earned a final four berth following 2-1 against Laurentian.
Women's soccer earned a final four berth following 2-1 against Laurentian.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo
The Queen’s women’s soccer team is returning to the OUA Final Four.
 
The Gaels beat the Laurentian Voyageurs 2-1 on Sunday afternoon in Sudbury, eliminating the home side and returning Queen’s to the semi-finals tournament after a one-year hiatus. The win also extends the team’s point streak to 10 straight matches.
 
The Gaels got off to a flying start, maintaining the momentum from their dramatic extra-time victory over the University of Toronto just four days prior.
 
In their match against Laurentian, the Gaels  put the Voyageurs immediately on their back foot, gaining a two-goal lead before 10 minutes had elapsed.
 
Tara Bartram opened the scoring in the fourth minute of the match, netting her second goal of the playoffs. The Gaels then doubled their lead just four minutes later, following Micah Vermeer’s headed goal from a corner. The Voyageurs added a goal of their own in the second half, yet it wasn’t enough to overcome the Gaels’ opening blitz.
 
While describing the eventual game-winning goal, Vermeer praised teammate Brittany Almeida, whose corner freed up the third-year defender to head the ball into the top left corner, putting the Gaels ahead 2-0.
 
Vermeer said the early two-goal lead was a terrific start for the team, but that it wasn’t enough for the players to get complacent.
 
“Scoring two early goals obviously puts you in a good position and is tough for the other team to overcome,” she said. “Despite that, there was still plenty of time in the game to score and we couldn’t let our early lead let us get comfortable.”
 
But after an exhausting week where the Gaels played four games in eight days — including a match on Wednesday night against Toronto’s Varsity Blues — the early cushion was especially valuable. The team knew it’d be tough to play on short rest following such a dramatic match, but Vermeer said they were prepared.
 
“The overtime in that game [against Toronto] was tiring and definitely a challenge going into today [against the Voyageurs],” Vermeer said. “In the end, we knew what we had to do and that we could win — it was just a matter of accomplishing it.”
 
With the victory, the Gaels earned a place in the OUA Final Four, which will bring together the top two finishers from both the East and West conferences. The tournament brings a new set of opponents for the Gaels, a challenge that Vermeer is confident the team is ready to take on.
 
“Going into the Final Four, we know there will be some great teams we haven’t seen before,” she said, “but I think we’ve shown that we can beat teams and carry on this streak right through the weekend.”
 
The Gaels look to extend their point streak and continue their run at the OUA title this weekend in Ottawa, where they first face the undefeated York Lions in the two teams’ first match-up this year.

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