Gee-Gees capture ninth CIS medal in program’s history
Photo Credit: Gee-Gees Sports Services
The number one-ranked Gee-Gees came away with third at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) women’s soccer championship Nov. 6–9 in Quebec City.
The Gees met the ninth-ranked Montreal Carabins in the tournament’s quarterfinals. The match proved to be combative and hard-fought between the two teams, but the Gees persevered.
Just minutes into the match, Ottawa rookie Delaney Rickert-Hall was brought down on the end line resulting in a penalty kick. Despite Meaghan Ramsden’s first kick being disallowed, the veteran defender was not fazed, re-kicking to put Ottawa up 1-0.
Head coach Steve Johnson had full confidence in Ramsden, despite the fact that she hadn’t kicked a penalty all season.
“We expected her to be successful and she was—she may be asked to do that again in the future,” said Johnson.
The second goal from Ottawa came from a corner kick, where teamwork certainly came into play. Chiara Quadri’s kick bounced out to Julia Francki, she headed the ball towards the net, and Pilar Khoury kicked it in to put the score at 2-0.
The Carabins tested the Gee-Gees’ defence with several chances, but had difficulty organizing in the offensive zone and were ultimately unable to break through Ottawa’s control.
“Moving into the medal round we are continuing to defend well, so we hope we can keep our winning streak alive,” said Johnson.
For the semi-finals, the Gee-Gees met the defending national champions, the Trinity Western Spartans.
The opening goal of the match came from the Spartans, sparking a goal-scoring spree for a total of three within five minutes. The garnet and grey appeared stunned, and Trinity Western cruised to a 3-0 final score.
The loss marked the end of the Gee-Gees’ 19-game winning streak, and ended the chance for Ottawa’s first national championship since 1996.
Putting their disappointment behind them, the Gee-Gees returned to play the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades in the bronze medal match on Nov. 9.
Fraser Valley began the game early, controlling the ball on both sides. Leblanc made several key saves, but Cascades defender Jade Palm beat her for the first goal. Khoury finally got the best of Fraser Valley keeper Kayla Klim on a penalty kick in the second half.
During stoppage time, forward Sophie Curtis took advantage of a defensive mistake by Fraser Valley and shot the ball past the Cascades goalie, bringing victory to the Gee-Gees with a final score of 2-1.
Johnson was pleased with how his team came back into the game after halftime, but more than anything, proud them this season.
“We changed around a lot of things in the second half,” he said. “I think it started to switch the momentum in our favour, and it was an exciting finish.”