Photo credit: Richard Whittaker
The pressure was on between the Gee-Gees and the Queen’s Gaels during the Ontario University Athletic (OUA) East quarterfinals, Oct. 26.
Both teams have been in the quarterfinals for four consecutive seasons. Unlike last year, the Gee-Gees came out with the win and will move forward to the final four.
The two teams exchanged shot opportunities throughout most of the first half, but finally Ottawa midfielder Julia Francki scored on Gaels keeper Madison Tyrell to take the lead.
The Gee-Gees gained momentum from there, and finished the half with strong controlled play from the whole team. The Gaels didn’t back down in the second. There were multiple occasions that Queen’s had the chance to score, but failed to get past Gee-Gees keep Cynthia LeBlanc.
The Gaels’ speed, endurance, and patience kept the Gees on their toes, but during the last minutes of the game it was complete chaos in front of Ottawa’s net.
Leblanc stopped every shot and topped off the game with eight saves.
“I never thought we were going to lose that game,” said Leblanc. “I was very confident that my team was going to show up and deliver.”
Head coach Steve Johnson was satisfied with the team’s efforts. Queen’s has a strong squad, and the Gee-Gees were prepared from the beginning, he said.
“We were well organized in the box and have players who will challenge in difficult situations,” said Johnson. “I was pleased with what we were able to do against a team that is very good on set pieces.”
The Gee-Gees will head into the OUA final four next weekend alongside the U of T Varsity Blues, the Western Mustangs, and the Laurier Golden Hawks.