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Gee-Gees soccer team moving forward in playoffs

Spencer Van Dyk | Fulcrum Staff

Photo by Justin Labelle

Despite playing in the cold rain and wind, the University of Ottawa women’s soccer team have maintained their undefeated record, beating the Carleton University Ravens 1-0 on Oct. 28 in the semifinal game of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoffs.

The Gee-Gees played a consistent first half, with striker Pilar Khoury scoring with eight minutes remaining before halftime.

“It feels great,” she said. “All season I’ve been wanting to contribute and help out the team, so it feels good to get the winner here.”

Carleton, despite playing a strong game, were unsuccessful in scoring a goal in the second half of the game. Khoury said that despite Sunday’s weather, the Gee-Gees played a solid game.

“I think we came out really hard and strong,” she said. “We have to give credit to Carleton: they fought hard, but in the end we were able to pull through and win 1-0. I think we kept it together.”

Gee-Gees head coach Steve Johnson agreed, saying the team played a much better game than at their previous match against Trent University on Oct. 14, where despite a 9-0 win, he was dissatisfied with their actual play.

“We had a better performance than we did against Trent, despite that our score may not have reflected that,” said Johnson.  “Both had difficult field conditions, because the other one was cold and it was also raining, but this one was a game that meant something. It was sudden death to determine who would go through to the championships. The other one, we had already clenched first place, so I think that that game did not have the same desire that this one did. Here we were able to be more emotionally involved in the game without panicking or losing ourselves.”

Johnson said that despite not having generated as many shots as he had hoped for, he feels confident going forward.

“I think this was the game that I was worried about because you don’t get another chance,” he said. “When you go to the OUA finals, only three of the four teams will go to nationals, so there your percentages and your odds are much better. We’re a good enough team that we should be able to win one of those matches.”

Khoury said she believes the team could do well at the upcoming finals.

“We’ve been preparing for this since last year, so it is an amazing feeling knowing that we have a chance to go back to nationals,” she said. “We are not taking it lightly. Our opponents are only going to get tougher from here.”

The Gee-Gees will host the OUA Final Four this weekend, starting on Nov. 3. The final teams are the Queen’s University Gaels, currently ranked second from the east division; the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, and the McMaster Marauders, both from the west. These are the same teams that participated in last season’s Final Four tournament. The Gee-Gees will kick off against McMaster on Saturday at 11 a.m.