Men’s soccer’s 2014 season came to an end on Sunday with a loss in the OUA quarterfinal.
After falling behind the Toronto Varsity Blues early in the match, Queen’s couldn’t muster an equalizer and fell 1-0, eliminating them from the playoffs.
The Gaels were well-matched against the opposing side throughout the game, but were put in a position of pursuit by Toronto’s 17th-minute goal.
“Obviously, the game didn’t go as we would have liked it,” Gaels captain Chris Michael told the Journal via email.
Michael noted that the Gaels didn’t perform as well as they could have and seemed to lack focus on the pitch at times throughout the match.
“We weren’t as sharp as we usually are, and it cost us,” he said.
Although the Gaels immediately injected passion from the starting whistle, their energy began to wane after the first 15 minutes. Toronto ended up capitalizing on this loss of concentration, and was able to obtain a lead early on, thanks to Nirun Sivananthan’s tally in the 17th minute.
Despite the Gaels pushing the ball into the attacking third and generating some promising chances, Michael said they struggled to finish these opportunities.
“We were just half a step behind and didn’t make decisions quick enough,” he said. “That’s not to say the passion to win wasn’t there because it was, but it just wasn’t our day.”
Down by one at half, Michael said the team looked to regain their composure over the break, heading into the second half with an assertive mindset.
The Gaels managed to work in a couple of quality chances in the second half, as striker Eric Koskins was fouled near the Toronto penalty box, resulting in a dangerous free kick for the Gaels.
The Toronto wall defended fourth-year midfielder Henry Bloemen’s strike, and Queen’s was forced to push forward still trailing the Varsity Blues for the final 20 minutes of play.
While the outcome of the playoff match wasn’t what Queen’s had hoped for, Michael said he was proud of how his team reacted to the early goal against them.
“I honestly think we responded fairly well given the circumstances,” he said. “We stayed calm and were not too worried.”
The Gaels had two shots on net throughout the game, and graduating goalkeeper Max Materne made a total of three saves.
“We were confident that we would find a way to win the game, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen,” Michael said.
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