Some of The Same Characters, And Some of The Same Stories
There is a lot to be said about traditions, culture and practices. This past weekend, some of the usual suspects got through to the OUA Women’s final four because they continue to live up to the established standards that they have set for themselves as programs. So let’s take a look at what happened ahead of tonight’s semi final games.
Quarter-Final #1 Nipissing Lakers 0 – Queens Gales 4
The USPORTS Number 2 Nationally ranked Queen’s Golden Gales opened their playoff run with a 4-0 win over the Nippissing Lakers in their OUA quarterfinals match Sunday afternoon at Richardson Stadium.
The Lakers were coming off a thrilling extra time victory over the Carleton Ravens in Round 1 in Ottawa and were looking for another upset. Unfortunately the top-ranked Gaels had different plans.
The Gaels scored twice in the first have and twice in the second to pick up the win, despite Nipissing firing eight shots at the Queen’s net, with three hitting the target. Mattie Strickler opened the scoring in the 11th minute by finding the back of the net with an assist from Cecilia Way, Jenna Matsukubo doubled Queen’s lead with six minutes left in the first half.
The two seniors, Way and Matsukubo connected for a Way goal in the 80th minute. Then, within two minutes of being subbed on, Marissa Gravel concluded the Gaels scoring from a cross from Lily Goss.
Queen’s finished the game with 15 shots (10 on goal), forcing Lakers goalkeeper Taylor Mitchener to come up big on numerous occasions.
With the win, the Gaels advanced to the OUA semifinals against the York Lions, which will take place at Richardson Stadium on Wednesday, November 2nd at 5 p.m.
Quarter-Final #2 Guelph Gryphons 2 – York Lions 2 (3-5 PK’s)
It wasn’t easy on the hearts, but the York University Lions women’s soccer team is through to the OUA semi-finals. It was a heartbreaker for the Gryphons, as after 120 minutes of game action the Gryphons would fall in penalty kicks 5-3.
Joselyn Gagliardi scored the decisive penalty to give the Lions a 3-2 win (5-3 in penalties) over the Guelph Gryphons on Saturday afternoon in the OUA quarter-finals.
That came on the heels of a furious comeback by the Gryphons in the final 10 minutes of regulation to rally from two goals down, including the equalizer just seconds prior to the end of stoppage time.
It was the York Lions who would come out of the gate on a hot start, scoring their two goals less than 5 minutes apart at the 25:58 and 29:52 mark in the first half. A couple aggressive attacks from York in the Gryphons half that resulted in some great looks for Nia Fleming-Thompson, the Lions got on the board. One of those shots from Fleming-Thompson was stopped by Gryphons keeper Joanna Redlich, and the rebound eventually fell to Draci Fachine who scored the game’s first goal in the 26th minute. The second came moments later, in the 30th with Fleming-Thompson rolling the ball past the Guelph defense eventually ending up one on one with Redlich. She smashed the ball past her into the net to make it 2-0 Lions.
It was late in the second half with time on the Gryphons 2022 season running down that they launched their comeback attempt. With just over 7 minutes remaining in regulation, Anna Lisa Bernardi, pick the corner on a beautiful free kick from just outside the 18-yard box to pull the Gryphons to within one. Seven minutes later, Olivia Brown would once again play hero for the Gryphons, beating the Lions goalkeeper with a header off an Bernardi corner kick to tie the game at 2-2.
After 90 minutes of regulation the Lions and Gryphons would head to two 15 minutes halves in the hopes of advancing to the semi-finals. The Gryphons would stop a couple of strong York scoring chances in the second half of extra time to send the game into penalty kicks. After 5 rounds of penalties the Lions would score on all 5 attempts with the Gryphons only netting 3.
The OUA semi-finals will take place today, Wednesday November 2nd. The Lions will face Queen’s at Richardson Stadium in Kingston. Kickoff is at 5 pm.
Quarter-Final #3 McMaster Marauders 0 – Western Mustangs 5
After getting a bye last week, Western faced the McMaster Marauders in their first playoff game. For their efforts in picking up a big win against the Brock Badgers last Wednesday in Round 1 of the playoffs, the Marauders women’s soccer team came in with high hopes, but was unable to maintain momentum and were soundly beaten by the Mustangs 5-0.
After meeting twice during the opening weekend of the 2022 season, Western and McMaster returned to the field for a post-season contest with a berth to the OUA semi-final on the line. The host Mustangs though were not kind to the visiting Marauders, as Western saw strong efforts from all areas of the field, recording 5 goals and 0 shots against.
Western had a strong offensive first half, kickstarted by centre back Avarie Thomas who was brought in to take a penalty kick and scored her first playoff goal, putting the Mustangs up 1-0 in the 20th minute of the game.
Just 5 minutes later, forward Hannah Vickers gave a perfectly aimed pass to second year Mackenzie Bilotta in the box to head the ball in, making it 2-0 Mustangs. The Mustangs were able to continue the momentum and carry the 2-0 lead through to half time.
The second half brought more excitement for the Mustangs side.
57 minutes into the game, Western was awarded a corner kick. Reese Fowler took the kick, and Avarie Thomas headed the ball in the perfect spot for Medina Birani to get a touch on it, and one time it into the net. Midfielder Birani’s goal made it 3-0 Mustangs, giving her team both energy and insurance.
Western recorded 15 shots throughout the contest, eight of which were on target, while holding the visitors to zero shots. Ali Mudie (Burlington, Ont.) tallied three saves throughout the contest for the Marauders.
With the win, the last week’s Number 9 Nationally ranked Mustangs will now host the Number 4 Nationally ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees, today, Wednesday November 2nd in London in the other OUA semi-final.
Quarter-Final #4 Toronto Varsity Blues 0 – Ottawa Gee Gees 4
The reigning FISU Champions and Number 4 Nationally ranked Ottawa Gee Gees welcomed the U of T Varsity Blues to Ottawa on Saturday, only to send them packing back home and booking their date with the Western mustangs today, Wednesday November 2nd in London. A trio of assists from Soumaya Bouak were enough for the Gee-Gees women’s soccer team to get within a win of the U SPORTS National Championship.
Ottawa enjoyed the majority of the possession early on, but had to wait until a half hour in to break the deadlock. The score could have very easily swung the other way, but goalkeeper Juliann Lacasse pulled a Karly Hellstrom corner off the line and launched a counterattack. The Gee-Gees then were able to open the scoring with a goal from Cassandra Provost. Kayla Kyle added Ottawa’s second goal of the game in the 60th minute. A minute later, the Gee-Gees would add their third of the game from Angelina Gendreau. Cassandra Provost finished the scoring for Ottawa with her second goal of the game with five minutes to go.
Blues goalie Maddy Nardin finished the game with six saves through the 90 minutes.
Ottawa will now hit the road for London, Ontario, to take on the Western Mustangs. Western finished in first place in the OUA West during the regular season with a 9-2-1 record and defeated the McMaster Marauders 5-0 in their quarterfinal matchup.
The Gee-Gees have good memories versus the Mustangs in recent years. The last time the teams played was in the 2019 OUA Bronze medal game at Gee-Gees Field – a 3-1 Ottawa win.
Their matchup before that was the 2018 OUA Final. Ottawa won 1-0 at Mustangs Field. Should be a great match this evening at 7 pm.