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Women’s soccer team crush Excalibur 10-0

THE WEATHER MAY not have been perfect, but that didn’t stop the Garnet and Grey from crushing the Trent Excalibur 10-0 in their third last game of the regular season. Although Trent (1-2-12) played a solid game, they were no match for the University of Ottawa women’s soccer team at Matt Anthony Field on Oct. 16.


“I think we played very well the first half,” said U of O head coach Steve Johnson. “The team moved well and finished well. They were placing shots rather than going for power and we made the most of our opportunities in the first 45 minutes.”


The first half saw the Gees disciplined and controlled, moving across the field swiftly with first-year midfielder Julia Francki kicking the ball into the net within the first minute of play. A few minutes later, second-year striker Elisabeth Wong broke away from the team to score on a running play from midfield. Wong and Francki each brought in another goal in the first 20 minutes of the game, bringing the score to 4-0.


“I felt the first half we came out really strong,” said Wong after the game. “We knew we wanted to win this, but we didn’t want to underestimate the [other] team. So it was good that we scored three goals fast and kept it going.”


Whether the ball was in Excalibur territory or their own, the Garnet and Grey dominated most of the play. They scored four more goals to end the first half, bringing the tally to 8-0.


The Gees goalkeeper, first-year Cynthia Leblanc, finally got some action in the second half of the game as the Excaliburs returned to the field refreshed and ready to play. Regardless of Trent’s newfound effort, the Gees refused to back down. Two more goals were scored on Trent, one by fourth-year midfielder Tara Condos and the other by second-year defender Maris Bernabe.


Despite the victory, Johnson explained the team still has to work on keeping consistent momentum throughout the game.


“We have been balanced in our approach this year,” he said. “We worked on our defence first at the beginning of the season and then started to concentrate on our offensive output. Right now we are in a situation where we are pleased with both elements of our play, but we need to be good for 90 minutes.”


He also spoke of Wong’s contribution to the team, who is currently tied as top scorer in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) league.


“[Wong] has been terrific for us all season. We have blown out a few teams where she’s really only played the first half … so she’s done very well with the time she has been given this year.”


The women’s soccer team is now sitting in second place in the OUA, ranked 10th nationally. Their last two regular season games will be played at the U of O and will determine whether or not they have home-field advantage during the playoffs.


“We need to win both in order to ensure a home playoff spot,” added Johnson. “The game against Toronto is going to be extremely important … but we also can’t look past Ryerson because we drew with them away our first weekend of the season.”


The Gees (10-1-3) will host the Toronto Varsity Blues (9-3-1) on Oct. 22 and the Ryerson Rams (6-1-7) on Oct. 23 at Matt Anthony Field.

—Katherine DeClerq