Photo: Tristain Pollard.
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Team looks to improve shooting ahead of match with Queen’s

The Gee-Gees women’s soccer team has advanced to the second round of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoffs, after hanging on to a 1-0 lead against the University of Toronto in round one. For many, it was a flashback to last year’s first round, where the Gees also beat the U of T 1-0.

“We played really well today,” said U of O head coach Steve Johnson. “Our ball movement was really good,  we tackled all through the middle, we attacked well through the wings.”

The Gees came out with some strong scoring chances in the first half, but didn’t get on the board until Sophie Curtis put the ball in in the 43rd minute.

“I think it was really important for us to have that goal, because we didn’t have as many chances in the second half,” said Johnson. “That goal gave us a chance to relax a little bit, and I think gave us some confidence.”

In a sustained offence that would last throughout the game, the Ottawa players took over 30 shots. But the Varsity Blues defence didn’t roll over, blocking several shots alongside a strong performance from U of T goaltender Vanna Staggolis, who made 17 saves.

But it was the Gees who ultimately came out on top, blanking their opponents to emerge with a 1-0 victory. U of O goalie Margot Shore didn’t get as much work as her counterpart, but did her job perfectly, stopping all eight shots that came her way.

Despite the low score and tight defensive play, it was clear both teams were gunning to score throughout this first-round playoff game, and Johnson said the strong Gees offence could easily have put more points on the board.

“We had some really good looks at goal, great opportunities that we created,” said Johnson. “Unfortunately a combination of our poor shooting and their keeper’s good hands kept them in the game.”

After taking a hardfought win, the Gees earned their spot to play Queens on Oct. 29, and Johnson and the team are looking to prepare as well as they can.

“Our shooting needs to be a bit better, as well as our decisions on the final pass when we get into an attacking zone,” said Johnson

In their regular season game on Oct. 8, the Gees took down the Queen’s Gaels with a convincing 4-0 win.