Women’s Soccer blanks TMU in last regular season weekend

Gaels enter playoffs ranked 2nd in the country 

The Gaels concluded their season with two big wins.
Supplied by Robin Kasem
Queen’s beat Toronto Metropolitan University 5-0 on Friday. On Sunday, the Gaels celebrated their seniors and beat the Laurentian Voyageurs 7-0. 
The Gaels head into the OUA Playoffs this weekend riding that momentum. Queen’s challenged TMU for the first time this season on a beautiful and sunny day at Richardson Stadium.
The Gaels dominated most of the first half; their defensive players rarely saw the ball on their half of the field and Jenna Matsukubo scored the first goal at the 15-minute mark.
Matsukubo has played an essential role in Gael’s success this season. She’s a high scoring forward, but her true talent lies in her ability to pass the ball. She’s often seen setting up teammates and facilitating seamless attacks. Against TMU, Matsukubo made three successful assists to Mattie Strickler, Cecilia Way, and Marissa Gravel. 
During the last 10 minutes of the first half, the Bold started to take control as Queen’s struggled to get a touch on the ball. 
Matsukubo eventually had a breakaway but was called offside. The Gaels finished the first half leading 2-0. 
TMU played hesitantly during the second half, whereas the Gaels fought hard and were persistent. Queen’s kept a firm hold on their lead, extending the final score to 5-0. 
Way ended with five shots on goal and one that found the back of the net—she has absolutely dominated this season. Way’s rookie season was in 2019, where she first arrived as a force to be reckoned with by finishing third in the province in scoring.
She’s long been driven by her unwavering commitment to soccer. 
“I play because I love the sport,” Way said in a 2019 interview with The Journal. “It’s a stress reliever, and when I’m playing I have no anxious feelings.”
Now in her final year at Queen’s, Way was celebrated alongside other teammates on Sunday for Seniors Day. She and fellow seniors Matsukubo, Tori Chia, Maddy Moran, Jenna Leslie, Sophie Kienast, and Rebecca Kim were presented with flowers at Richardson Stadium. 
The game against Laurentian marked the last regular season game these Gaels would play on home turf, so many of the players ‘families and friends came out to celebrate the occasion.
When the pomp and circumstance was over, the Gaels made it clear they were there to win. 
Strickler scored almost instantly off a beautiful cross field assist from Matsukubo. After that first goal, the Gaels put on a show for their audience in their 7-0 win.
This year marked Dave McDowell’s 35th season as the head coach of the Women’s Soccer team. Last year, he led the Gaels to an OUA Championship title and the Consolation Final at the U SPORTS Women’s Soccer Championship. 
He’s looking to repeat this success in the playoffs by following a simple philosophy.
“At some point it’s got to be fun,” he said in an interview with The Journal. “You’ve got to love what you and you’ve got to love the people you do it with; and I think this group does.” 
After this weekend, the Gaels are ranked second in the U SPORTS Top 10 ranking. They enter the OUA Playoffs as the No. 1 seed in OUA East and have earned a first-round bye. Queen’s will open the second round on Oct. 30 at Richardson Stadium.

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