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Women’s soccer ranked first in Canada

Danny Brasco | Fulcrum Contributor

Photo courtesy of Richard Whittaker 

FOR THE FIRST time since 2007, the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees women’s soccer team has been named the number one team in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport soccer rankings.

Shortly after reaching the number one spot, the Gee-Gees played host to the Royal Military College Paladins on Sept. 26. The game got off to a slow start but the Gees came through with a 4-0 win.  Backed by great goalkeeper Olivia Clarke and a strong defensive line, the Paladins maintained a close game.

“[We] probably could have scored more had we not shot within [Clarke’s] range,” said Gees coach Steve Johnson. Even with the strength in the Paladins’ net, it didn’t take the Gees long to catch on and break the stalemate. After ten minutes, Gees striker Pilar Khoury took a pass from teammate Lily Wong and put the ball top corner for the 1-0 lead. In the 12th minute, the Gee-Gees had a great shot and rebound opportunity, but a goal was denied by Clarke’s quick goaltending.

The strong offence from the Gee-Gees meant that the majority of the first half was played in the Paladins’ defensive zone. Even when the Paladins challenged and the ball crossed into the Gee-Gees’ end, there was always a goalie or a player to stop them. With just under a minute left in the first half, the Paladins had two corner kicks and their best chance at scoring a goal, but the Gee-Gees held on to their 1-0 lead until the whistle blew.

The second half of the game put the Gee-Gees’ defensive players to work. Gees defender Gillian Baggott scored the second goal of the game in the 75th minute, and in the 78th minute Gees defender Chiara Quadri took a perfect corner that went to the far post and in.

“They don’t come that often,” said Johnson, referring to the defensive goals. “[Quadri] certainly got a nice spin from the ball.”

The Gee-Gees weren’t done scoring, though, and at the last minute defender Lia May Blake put a beautiful shot in the top corner, bringing the final score to 4-0 for the Gees.

While playing on the road, the Gee-Gees maintained their winning streak and top-dog ranking, but unfortunately goalies Alexandra Girouard and Cynthia Leblanc’s combined shutout streak ended with a single goal from the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on September 29. The Gees also trumped the University of Ryerson Rams 1-0 on their Sept. 30 match.  The Gees season now stands at 10-0-1 as they head into another weekend on the road, first playing the Laurentian University Voyageurs on Oct. 6 and then the Nipissing University Lakers on Oct. 7.