Women’s soccer wins OUA Championship in London

Gaels defeat Western Mustangs in penalty shootout to clinch provincial title

Supplied by Athletics and Recreation

After 120 minutes of scoreless play and eight rounds of penalty shootouts, the Gaels defeated the Western Mustangs in a nail-biting OUA Final on Friday, Nov. 12.

During regulation, the match was on a razor’s edge, with the Gaels and the Mustangs coming away with several chances to score. Western did an exceptional job shutting down the Queen’s steep offense, however —a triumvirate headed by third-year Cecilia Way and flanked by fifth-year Christie Gray and third-year Jenna Matsukubo.

The scoreless outcome at the end of regulation and overtime was attributed to stellar shut-down performances by the center-backs on both sides of the field. Gaels’ own Maddy Moran and Jenna Leslie were solid, consistently neutralizing the Mustang’s attacks to eventually bring the game to a penalty shootout.

In that penalty shootout, the goaltenders proved to be the stars. Mustang’s goaltender Samantha St. Croix made two enormous saves in the first round to narrowly keep her team in the game, while Gaels keeper Kirstin Tynan racked up four saves against the Mustangs in the course of the eight-round saga.

Jamie Foot, Tori Chia, Cecilia Way, and Jenna Leslie all scored for Queen’s leading up to the shootout’s final round, in which Christie Gray found the back of the net with the first shot. When Western’s Kiera Grein stepped up to the line next, she needed to score to keep her team alive. 

But Tynan didn’t let her. Grein’s shot found her gloves, and with that, Queen’s was victorious. 

In an interview with The Journal, head coach Dave McDowell praised their opponent, saying Western had a big hand in dictating the style of play throughout the game.

“I thought Western was terrific, really well-prepared for us as they always are […] they played a style that was really effective defensively,” he said.

“They took away a lot of things that we normally thrive on doing in games.”

When the game went to penalties, McDowell was confident his team would grind it out, despite not being able to finish on their chances during the game.

“When it came to penalties, I thought we were terrific […] Even though it seemed like things were going the wrong way, I never really had any doubt that we were going to be successful,” he said.

“I'm super proud of them, our playoff run was a really good one. We won three games over three really good teams.”

To reach the final, the Gaels defeated both the Guelph Gryphons and the Ottawa Gee-Gees —the latter of which the Gaels fell to in the regular season.

Both Queen’s and Western compete at the National Championship hosted by Cape Breton University from Nov. 18 to 21.

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