Draws with Queen’s, RMC blemishes an otherwise perfect record
After starting the season with a perfect 9–0–0 record, the Gee-Gees women’s soccer team underwent a minor setback with a pair of ties on Sept. 30 and Oct. 2.
After battling on the road with a tough Queen’s team to a 1–1 decision, the Gees did everything but score in a 0–0 draw with Royal Military College two days later.
The Gees started the weekend travelling to Kingston on Friday, to do battle with rival Gaels. After going down 1–0 early in the first half, the Ottawa drew even with a goal from third-year striker Sophie Curtis in the second half. Unable to get the go-ahead goal, the game ended 1–1.
Sunday, the team hosted RMC in their last regular season game at Matt Anthony Field.
The Gee-Gees dominated RMC, outshooting them 30–6. It seemed inevitable that they would eventually get the go-ahead goal, but they were unable to convert on their numerous chances, sending ball after ball directly at RMC keeper Alex Hogg.
Hogg would later be named Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Player of the Week for her performance in two shutouts against Carleton and Ottawa.
“Finishing obviously is a problem for us today,” said head coach Steve Johnson.
“We had opportunities. I think we wasted the better part of the first half actually without the urgency that probably the game required, too happy just to make up passes rather than trying to get (into) dangerous situations.”
The Gee-Gees certainly displayed a greater sense of urgency in the second half, which was spent almost exclusively on RMC’s side of the field.
To the Paladins’ credit, they gave up very little in terms of scoring opportunities, mostly keeping the Ottawa strikers to the outside and forcing them to cross the ball into the middle.
“It’s really frustrating playing against such a compact attacking third, where we need to drive to our wings, and only use our wings and cross in,” said fifth-year striker Victoria Marchand.
“We’re not a header team, but we’re trying to be, and we’re really trying to work on finishing, so this is just a bit of a frustrating game for us.”
This is the first serious adversity the Gees have faced this season, but Johnson thinks that may actually be good for his team.
“Things have been pretty easy for us for the first month. We were at home. We were playing good soccer. We were getting good results. Now we’re heading on the road and our margin of error is gone, so we need to get better in practice. We need to get better in games. But, heading into playoffs maybe having a bit of pressure might help us in the long run.”
With a number of upcoming games on the road, and the playoffs drawing near, the next number of weeks will be a true test of the Gee-Gees’ ability to perform under pressure.
The Gee-Gees will take on rival Carleton Ravens at MNP Park on Oct. 8, before making trips to North Bay, Sudbury, and Toronto for the remaining four games of the regular season. OUA playoffs begin on Oct. 26.