‘Stressful’ win hands program its eighth OUA championship
Photo credit: Jen Elliott
Pilar Khoury once again demonstrated why she was voted the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East player of the year when she helped the Gee-Gees punch their ticket to nationals.
The semifinal match on Nov. 1 against the Laurier Golden Hawks, went scoreless through regulation—though not without drama, as both teams had penalty kick opportunities—so it went into overtime. Just four minutes in, Khoury was able to speed through the defence and chip the ball past Laurier goalkeeper Maggie Carmichael in an explosive individual effort that advanced them to the final.
“I could hear Steve (Johnson, head coach) in the back of my mind telling me to chip it,” said Khoury, who was named player of the match. “We’ve been working on it all season, and it was the belief of my coaches that got me to do it.”
The following day, the Gee-Gees took on the Western Mustangs in the OUA finals. Along with team play and consistent aggressiveness, another goal by Khoury at the 57-minute mark was the game-winner for the U of O.
Khoury was again named player of the game for her winning goal into the right side of the net past Western goalkeeper Tori Edgar. The game finished with the Gee-Gees holding the score at 1-0.
“It’s pretty stressful to hold a 1-0 lead, but I thought we held it together and kept our shape, and our defensive responsibilities held,” said midfielder Katherine Bearne. “To get a chance to play with a great group of girls is such an awesome opportunity.”
Winning more than 200 games as the Gees’ head coach, Steve Johnson has built a powerhouse of developing, but still successful players. With the confidence of his team, Johnson is often credited for bringing the best out of his players through positive motivation and dedication.
“It truly was a team effort,” he said. “We are more of a team this year than perhaps other years. Other years we may have had more individual talent, but collectively this team has really performed well all season.”
The 2014 gold is the eighth to be added to the program’s all-time championship banner, setting a record as the team with the most success in the OUA.
The Gee-Gees will now look forward to nationals at the University of Laval on Nov. 6–9. You can catch all the games at CIS-SIC.tv.