Sports

The Gee-Gees hoisted the championship trophy for the ninth time in team history, and the first time since the 2014-15 season. Photo: Courtesy of Micheal P. Hall

Gees face hardest test of the season against McMaster in semis, beat Western handily in the final

The women’s soccer team defeated the Western Mustangs 1-0 on the afternoon of Sunday, Nov. 4  to win their ninth OUA championship in team history.

Led by longtime head coach Steve Johnson, the U of O is now the most successful varsity soccer team in Ontario. But getting there wasn’t easy. To qualify for the upcoming national tournament, the Gees had to clear some major hurdles..

In the regular season, the Gee-Gees had to face many strong teams such as the Queen’s Gaels, Nipissing Lakers, and UOIT Ridgebacks, but prevailed in most of these contests, finishing with a record of 14-1-1. The only loss came against Nipissing in September.

Finishing first in the eastern division of the OUA, the Gees earned a bye to the OUA quarter-finals, where they dusted off the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 2-0 at Gee-Gees Field.

Next up was the McMaster Marauders on Nov. 2 for the OUA semifinals. The Gee-Gees and Marauders played a scoreless first half which saw both teams record exactly 0 shots on goal.

In the second half, the Gee-Gees finally recorded a shot on net in the 62nd minute when forward Mikayla Morton beat Marauders goalkeeper Juliana Hifawi, giving the Gees a 1-0 lead.

Seven minutes later, McMaster would get their first shot on net, beating Margot Shore on a strike from forward Jade Smith to tie the game at 1-1, forcing overtime.

Both teams would trade chances, with the Gee-Gees shooting on net twice and the Marauders shooting three times, but both failing to break the tie.

Therefore, the game would head to double overtime, where both teams would again fail to score, sending the game to penalties.

In the shoot-out, Thea Abdul-Nour would shoot first and score for the Gees, while Shore made the save on McMaster’s first shooter, Dana Bally. In the second round, U of O forward Delaney Rickert-Hall and Stephanie Roberts were called upon. Shooting third for the Gees was midfielder Miranda Smith, who missed the net while her Marauders counterpart Telia Merino-Sierra scored, forcing another round of penalties.

In the fourth round, both shooters Mikayla Morton and Hannah Chau-Stacey would score, forcing a fifth round. In the fifth and final round, Lauren Da Luz would score for the Gees while Marauders shooter Grace Grafham would send a gift right at Margot Shore, sending the girls in garnet and grey to the OUA finals.

In the finals, the Gees faced the hosting Western Mustangs, who were scoreless through the first half.

In the second half, Katherine Bearne would get the game-winner, scoring in the 64th minute on passes from Miranda Smith and Rickeft-Hall. That would be all the scoring the Gees needed, shutting out the Mustangs on their way to an OUA championship.

With that in mind, the Gees were already assured a spot at the national tournament from Nov. 8-11, as the University of Ottawa will be hosting this year. They will play in the quarter-finals on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Gee-Gees Field, where they will face the Calgary Dinos. Grab tickets now!