Champions ousted

CIS dreams ended after surprise OUA title win

The Gaels lost their first game since September in the CIS quarterfinal.
The Gaels lost their first game since September in the CIS quarterfinal.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

Though their national title dreams ran out in a CIS quarterfinal shootout, no one can say women’s soccer had an unexciting season.  

The Gaels won the OUA Final Four Championship on Sunday, defeating York and Laurier on back-to-back days to capture the title and earn their way to the CIS championship. 

On Thursday night in Vancouver, the Gaels fell under heavy rain to the Sherbrooke Vert et Or in a shootout after Bella Jacot’s shot was saved in the shootout’s sixth round. The Vert et Or came out 4-3 in the shootout with a final score of 2-1.

Brittany Almeida opened the scoring for Queen’s in the 59th minute, but just two minutes later Sherbrooke’s Gaëlle Duplessis-Lebel scored an equalizer.

The OUA tournament victory capped off a tense Ontario playoff for the Gaels, with four straight one-goal wins over the course of a week and a half. 

Following their victories over Toronto and Laurentian in the qualifying stages, the Gaels were in Ottawa for the Final Four tournament. On Saturday, Queen’s matched up against the York Lions, who were undefeated throughout the season. Facing the OUA’s top team and CIS Player of the Year, Lions striker Nour Ghoneim, the Gaels defended resolutely throughout the game, taking advantage of scoring opportunities against the stingiest defence in the league.

Fifth-year midfielder Jessie de Boer opened the scoring with a goal in the 62nd minute. The Lions did score an equalizer though, with less than 10 minutes left in regulation. 

Neither team could find the back of the net with the remainder of the 90 minutes, nor during the full 30 minutes of a back-and-forth overtime packed with chances. 

The Gaels had an opportunity in the closing seconds of overtime, with a deflected shot from a loose ball parried just behind the post by the York keeper. The game proceeded to a shootout, with no decision coming from more than 120 minutes of open play.

Fourth-year keeper Madison Tyrell opened the shootout with a save, giving the Gaels a 1-0 lead after the first of five required rounds. However, after five rounds, the score was tied once again, 4-4 on penalties, after a Lions save in the second round. Both teams continued to find the back of the net, with Tyrell even scoring a shot of her own. 

Returning to the Gaels’ net, Tyrell made her second save of the shootout in the eighth round, guessing right and poking away the Lions shot. With the opportunity to clinch the match for Queen’s, first-year midfielder Lidia Bradau had her first goal disallowed, due to a premature shot. Awarded another chance, she made no mistake, again finding the corner of the net to clinch a shootout victory for the Gaels by a score of 7-6.

The Gaels earned their 10th clean sheet of the year, closing out their OUA season with a 1-0 win. Tara Bartram scored her third goal of the playoffs, curling a shot from the top of the box off the inside of the right-hand post for the title-winning goal in the 69th minute. 

Tyrell, de Boer and third-year Laura Callender accepted the banner and trophy for the Gaels, while Bartram earned Player of the Game honours.

The Gaels play Friday in a CIS consolation semifinal match-up.

Players and coaches were unavailable for comment, as they were travelling to the 

CIS championship.

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