Gees give up first loss to Ravens in 20 years; historical season ended by Queen’s in OUA quarterfinals
In 1994, the University of Ottawa started the women’s soccer program, and the Gee-Gees and Carleton Ravens constantly battled it out on the field. From the beginning, the Gees defeated the Ravens every year and the ladies took care of business to continue the winning streak. Sadly, the garnet and grey finally lost with a score of 4–1 to Carleton on Oct. 12.
The Gee-Gees believed the loss was a humbling moment and they can only move forward and keep their heads high.
“The streak was always something on our mind going into any game against Carleton. As a current member of the Gee-Gees, you don’t only want to win the game for the team, but also for the alumni,” said midfielder and third-year communications student Julia Francki. “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed about the loss and ending the streak; however, at the end of the day that is not our biggest concern. The loss humbled us as a team and we had to come together in realizing that we were not the better team that day mentally or physically.”
The history of the Gee-Gees and the Ravens has always been tightly intertwined, but the Gees always seemed to gain the upper hand. In 2009, Carleton lost in the quarterfinals whereas Ottawa won the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) bronze medal. In 2010, U of O won the OUA bronze medal again while Carleton didn’t make it to playoffs. In 2011, Carleton lost once more in the quarterfinals while the Gee-Gees won OUA bronze as well as another bronze at nationals against McGill University. Last year, Gees trumped Carleton in the OUA semi-finals, won the OUA gold medal, and placed fourth at nationals.
Almost 20 years without a losing game to the Ravens is something to be proud of. Third-year health sciences student Pilar Khoury said it shouldn’t be something to worry about anymore.
“I mean, now that it’s done we don’t have to worry about the record, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” said Khoury.
Oct. 27 marked the beginning of playoffs for the Gee-Gees against the 7–2 Queen’s Gaels. Playoff games consist of the strongest teams and it came down to who wanted it more. The focus for the team was to play with their strengths and play hard the entire game. The Gee-Gees and Gaels both came out of the gates with strong defence and quick play.
The Gees and Gaels had slim pickings when it came to shot opportunities. The score remained 0–0 the entire game and with an extra 30 minutes of play, neither team scored a goal. Head coach Steve Johnson admitted there were hardly any chances for the team to score.
“Queen’s is a very good team defensively; they didn’t give us a lot of opportunities. The times we did come in close we didn’t get good shots. They had good numbers and we were rushed with our shots,” said Johnson.
The game came down to penalty kicks. The first two attempts were kicked off the goal post and the second two were blocked. Defenceman and fourth-year human kinetics student Chiara Quadri marked the first goal for the Gees. Queen’s responded with a goal of their own.
Forward and fifth-year engineering student Sarah De Carufel missed the fourth shot and Queen’s took the lead with a second goal. Third-year social work student and goalie Cynthia LeBlanc came out of net and took the final shot for the Gees. She scored, tying the game 2–2. Queen’s fifth and final shooter Brittany Almeida finished the game with a left side shot that won the Gaels their ticket to the semi-finals.
Fifth-year nursing student Krista Draycott said there are many lessons to take away from the season and to be proud of.
“We had a successful season with very few setbacks and we responded well to any setback we did have,” said Draycott. “There are a lot of positives to pull from this season, and it’s very unfortunate that it came down to this game. We have to keep our heads high. Being a leader on the team was important to me. I did want to lead the team to more success and playoffs but I think it was a good season to be proud of.”
Johnson is proud of the effort the ladies put in and all the games they played this season.
“I thought the girls worked hard week in and week out. It’s too bad we lost to a terrific team. One team today wasn’t going to nationals,” she said.
Congratulations to graduating players Sarah De Carufel, Krista Draycott, Corina Jarrett, and Chantal McFetridge.