Previously undefeated Gee-Gees need to rally after five-game slide
Losing doesn’t come easy for the Gee-Gees women’s soccer team. In fact, the last time the Gee-Gees had two losses in a regular season was in 2011.
In the first month of the 2016 season, the team seemed to be rolling to another one of their classic stellar seasons, anticipating a comfortable playoff run on their home field.
But after ripping off nine consecutive wins to start the season, the Gee-Gees have not picked up a victory in their last five games.
A string of three consecutive ties, followed by two 2–1 losses on the road on Oct. 15 and 16, against Nipissing and Laurentian respectively, raises some doubt about the team’s ability to score and execute in close games.
Last season, the team finished the regular season with a 13–0–3 record, averaging 2.81 goals per game, along with a 0.53 goals against average.
This year, the numbers have only seen slight variations, with the team averaging 2.14 goals per game and allowing 0.57, all while posting a worse record so far.
All of these losses and ties have come courtesy of teams that the Gee-Gees had previously beaten this season, all in shutouts.
This midseason slide is obviously frustrating to all team members, but weighs particularly heavy on veteran leadership.
Fifth-year striker Victoria Marchand is one of the team’s leaders vying for a national title in her final chance to bring home the first Gee-Gees gold medal since 1996.
“Against Laurentian, we’ve worked our hardest in the second half than we have all season,” said Marchand. “We hate losing, but we still have two regular season games left and things can only go up from here.”
Earlier in the season, head coach Steve Johnson said that some adversity can be a good thing for the team. However, in the wake of these less than stellar results, the lack of wins before the post-season can be concerning.
But Marchand remains optimistic, pointing to playoff struggles of previous years where the team could fall apart when they needed to be the strongest. In this case, there’s time to fix the issues and get back on track to close the year.
“I truly believe that these losses were a blessing in disguise,” said Marchand. “I’m looking forward to our last two games and to be the resilient group of girls I know we are.”
The Gees might get back to their winning ways on the road against Ryerson and Toronto, two teams that have had their share of struggles this season.
The Gees defeated both teams in September and, with extra motivation to close the regular season on a high note, the team can make a statement before the playoffs.
Ryerson will be the team’s first game of the weekend at 1 p.m. on Oct. 22, followed by Toronto at 1 p.m. on Oct. 23. The Toronto game will be live streamed on OUA.tv. Playoff schedule announcement will follow the weekend.