Two hard-fought matches earned a well-deserved point for the women’s soccer team this weekend.
The nationally-ranked seventh Gaels took on two quality teams visiting from the nation’s capital, the UOttawa Gee-Gees (8-1-1) and Carleton Ravens (4-3-3), in a double-header at Richardson Stadium. Both games were tight, defensive and low-scoring.
Queen’s fell to the nationally-ranked eighth Gee-Gee’s on Saturday by a final score of 2-0. Both of UOttawa’s goals were scored from free kicks and penalty shots. They converted on a free kick five minutes before the half and closed the game with a penalty shot in the 73rd minute.
Despite a loss to open their weekend series, the Gaels showed resilience and character in Sunday’s matchup, rallying for a 0-0 draw against Carleton the following day.
Head coach Dave McDowell acknowledged the weekend would be a tough outing for the Gaels and said there were numerous positive outcomes from both games.
“It’s just the midpoint of the season, and playing two tough teams in two days, we knew would be a tough task,” McDowell said. “We learned a lot [Saturday] in terms of where we need to be to compete with teams like [U]Ottawa.”
Ultimately, these games gave the Gaels some perspective about how they stack up against other OUA teams, McDowell added.
“The commitment that each of [UOttawa’s and Carleton’s] players made for winning individual battles was very impressive, so for our younger players, that was a good lesson.”
Queen’s was shut out in both games—unusual for a talented offensive team that has already found the back of the net 28 times this season. However, McDowell seemed confident his team can rediscover their scoring potential.
“There’s probably lots of scoring in there somewhere … I think we built up very well, created some good chances,” McDowell said, noting he has little reason to be worried about the Gaels’ firepower. “You just [have to] knock them in … so we’ll spend some time focusing on it this week in training and see what we can do.”
The Gaels will get one more shot at the Gee-Gees and Ravens this season when they travel to Ottawa for their final two games of their campaign.
With the weekend’s results, the Gaels are now tied for third in the OUA East with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, trailing only Nipissing and Ottawa. Queen’s has eight games remaining on their schedule.
The Gaels will be back in action next weekend, heading to Toronto to take on the Ryerson Rams on Saturday before returning home to face the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Sunday. The Rams are currently second-last in the OUA East with one win while the Blues sit sixth in the standings.
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