Women’s soccer in tough against Ottawa opponents

Gaels only manage one of possible six points

Jenny Wolever battling against a Carleton Ravens defender earlier this season at Richardson Stadium.
Jenny Wolever battling against a Carleton Ravens defender earlier this season at Richardson Stadium.

On what was, hopefully, the women’s soccer team’s toughest weekend of the season, the Gaels picked up just one point from a possible six against their two Ottawa-based rivals. 

Queen’s was held to a 1-1 draw against the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Friday night at Richardson Stadium, before being handed a 4-2 defeat on Sunday on the road against Carleton. 

The results leave the Gaels in fourth place in the OUA East and one point behind Carleton, who overtook their Kingston competition following Sunday’s match.

Despite the draw on Friday night, coach Dave McDowell said he was impressed with his team’s performance against the undefeated, and second nationally-ranked, Gee-Gees. However, he would still say that the team was “not satisfied with the result”, hoping to have picked up all three points.

The Gaels were looking primed to do just that as Tara Bartram opened the scoring in the seventh minute on a ball from Brittany Almeida. The team maintained the pressure throughout the rest of the half, not wavering in what coach McDowell described as a “playoff atmosphere”. 

Queen’s was unable to find the back of the net for the rest of the half, which would come back to haunt them in the second.

In the 64th minute, Ottawa leveled the game, finding the back of the net off a corner. As he has mentioned other times this year, McDowell was somewhat disappointed that the goal came from a set piece, especially after having defended with such resolve for the previous hour following Bartram’s goal.

The tie was the first time the team dropped points in Kingston this season, including games at both Richardson Stadium and Miklas-McCarney Field.

A day after a hardworking display from the Gaels – one they could take pride in despite the tie — the team put in a performance they’d likely wish to forget.

There was a clear contrast between the team’s performance against Carleton on Sunday and the rest of their games this season.

“Sometimes, you just shake your head,” coach McDowell said. “It was just one of those games. They scored more in two halves than anyone against us has all year.”

Having given up just three goals over three games going into the weekend, the Gaels let up a quartet of scores, with three coming within ten minutes of either side of half time.

“We didn’t play well, and they took advantage of it”, McDowell said.

McDowell mentioned how the intensity of the game on Friday may have taken its toll, with Ottawa also struggling to a draw with RMC on Sunday. However, McDowell didn’t accept this as an excuse for his team’s play, noting how many individuals simply had some of their worst games.

Similar to the Ottawa game, McDowell noted that the Sunday game had a playoff-like atmosphere against a close competitor. 

With only six games remaining, McDowell has, on the whole, been very impressed with the team thus far. He noted the strength of most of the team’s performances, and how in most aspects of the game they’ve improved. 

He added how he’d still like to see improvements in the Gaels efficiency in front of the net, but having some areas to improve, the team has something to work for in preparation for the playoffs.

Until then McDowell said, “it sounds corny, but our focus is game to game”.

The Gaels will be expecting results they can be a little more thankful for in their next two games, travelling to Toronto this holiday weekend to face U of T and Ryerson, teams they collectively defeated 6-0 already this season at home.

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