Of all the signs of student life returning to Kingston after the summer holidays, none may be more recognizable than the beginning of varsity play at Richardson Stadium.
The Queen’s soccer squads began both of their competitive seasons on Labour Day Weekend, following many weeks of training and preseason competition at the revitalized stadium.
On the women’s side, the 2017 season has started with the same success as in recent years. The team won their first two games, showing no signs that the offseason could in any way impact their position atop the OUA table.
Straight from the opening kickoff of Saturday’s matchup against the Laurentian Voyageurs, the Gaels picked up from where they left off last year with the help of some new freshman players. First-year Alexandra Doane opened the scoring, both of the match and her own Gaels career, with a strike in the 19th minute. Before a full hour had been played the lead extended to 3-0, with goals from familiar faces in upper-years Rachel Radu and Jenny Wolever.
The Gaels’ potent offense continued to show their stride in their next game. Against Nipissing, Queen’s picked up all three points in a high-scoring 4-2 victory. Even though the away side took an early 1-0 lead, veteran Laura Callender quickly levelled the score.
Going into half-time, the Lakers headed to the locker room with a 2-1 lead and looked to have swayed momentum. The second 45 minutes, however, belonged entirely to the Gaels. Doane netted her second in is as many games, before fellow rookie Taylor Green and third-year Matija Skoko cemented the victory.
With the wins the Gaels maintained their fifth placed U-Sports national ranking. They will look to hold or improve upon their seeding with matchups against rivals Carleton and Ottawa this coming weekend.
The men’s team also had a strong weekend, rebounding from an opening match defeat against the UOIT Ridgebacks in their opening game.
Looking to shake the rust from their early OUA playoff exit last season, the Gaels picked up all available six points at Richardson. An opening minute goal from Jacob Schroeter was all the team needed on Saturday against Laurentian. In the 1-0 victory, made four saves en-route to the first shutout of his university career.
The men wrapped up their weekend sweep Sunday with a win over Nipissing. A brace from Jacob Schroeter and a goal from rookie Inaki Hew – his first as a Gael – proved more than enough to cancel out an early score by the visitors and secure a commanding 3-1 victory.
The men’s team face a similar schedule to their Gael counterparts in the upcoming weeks, hosting the Carleton Ravens next weekend where they’ll try to keep their good play consistent.
To cap off undoubtedly successful returns, both Schroeter and Wolever were named U-Sports athletes of the week in recognition for their impressive outputs over the weekend.
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