Wolever sinks the Varsity Blues

Talking points from the match

Defensive back Alicia Levy (left) waits for a pass from Claudia Glasspoole (right).
Photo: 

After a rocky first 20 minutes to the game, the women’s soccer team turned in a high-quality performance against the University of Toronto’s Varsity Blues, beating them 4-0 to secure their third straight victory. 

Here are three talking points from the Gaels’ latest win, including the strong play of second-year forward Jenny Wolever.

Composed defense leads to third straight shutout

After conceding four shots on target in the first 30 minutes of the game, Queen’s began to close out on the opportunities for the Varsity Blues. After the slow start, the four Queen’s defensive backs — Erin Cliffe, Claudia Glasspoole, Alicia Levy and Rachel Radu – began to control the tempo of the game, pressing the ball up-field with pin-point passing accuracy. 

Whenever Queen’s got into trouble during the first half, the defense was able to keep the ball away from Toronto, closing down on their attackers.

In goal, Madison Tyrell was able to keep the opposing team’s stat lines clean for a third straight game. With facing seven shots on target during the game, Tyrell acted as a composed presence at the back for Queen’s. 

During the Gaels rocky opening twenty-minutes, Tyrell exuded poise, making her saves look easy as she passed the ball with ease to her backline, keeping the home side in the game and en route to victory.  

Up until now, Queen’s had only allowed three goals through eight games, tying them for the second best defensive record in the OUA.

With his defense missing a familiar face in Kyra Steer, head coach Dave McDowell said the back four did a fantastic job in the win. 

Keeper Madison Tyrell. Photo by Adam Loudfoot. 

Laura Callender shines as midfield group controls tempo

While the defense was able to set the tone early, it was up to the midfield to continue the strong play. The trio of Lidia Bradau, Laura Callender and Matija Skoko  were able to force the opposition to make mistakes in the center of the field, allowing the Gaels to push the tempo up-field — something they did well after the 20-minute mark. 

One of the strong sides across all levels of the Gaels play was their passing and ability to put Toronto into pressure situations. 

When Toronto brought pressure to the centre of the field, the Queen’s midfield moved the ball with ease, leading to their first goal of the game in the 40th minute. Receiving a pass from Radu just outside the 18-yard box, with enough time to set her feet, Callender placed her left-footed shot into the top-left corner of the U of T goal to ignite a new energy for her team’s to continue to press. 

For coach McDowell, the midfields strong play opened up as the game progressed. 

“I thought in the first twenty minutes they struggled a wee bit like the rest of us, but in the second half they found wide players in pockets of space to sit down in and get balls in to some really good places”

Forwards Brittany Almeida and Jenny Wolever put on offensive show

Going into half-time up 1-0, the game was still very much up for grabs, with both sides vying for three-points. 

In the second-half Almeida looked to have found her comfort in the unfamiliar Richardson Stadium, acting as a constant threat to the Toronto team with her clever runs. Just two minutes into the half Almeida found herself inside the box all alone after a Claudia Glasspoole cross, hitting it on her first touch into the back of the net.

Joining in on the offensive efforts throughout the game was Jenny Wolever, often pushed the tempo in a slower moving game. 

Starting on the right wing and eventually moving into the centre of the field, Wolever’s touch on the ball and pace allowed her to weave throughout the opposing defense, with the Varsity Blues lucky she only finished with one goal. 

After missing an empty net at the 70 minute mark, Wolever was able to find the net moments later, pushing the lead to 3-0. She was constantly looking for her teammates, assisting Almeida on her second tally of the game, and putting the effective final nail in the coffin at 4-0.

With the win, Queen’s is currently third in the OUA East, riding a three game winning streak where they’ve outscored their opponents 7-0. Up next they find themselves at home on Friday 30 under the lights against the undefeated Ottawa Gee Gees.

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