A Possible Preview of Things To Come?
So here we are, what may to many have been a forgone conclusion with the Number #1 Nationally ranked team in Ottawa U Gee-Gees and the Number #3 Nationally ranked Queens Golden Gaels that they would end up in the OUA Championship final and being the representatives for OUA gold Saturday in Ottawa at Matt Anthony Field at noon on Saturday November 4, 2023.
Since Queens is hosting, they already had their ticket booked, so the other three teams had to get the work done to get there. There are two teams in Western and McMaster that would have something to say about getting to that final, and a ticket to Kingston, ON and Richardson Stadium at Queens November 9th – 12th for the USports Women’s National Soccer Championship, but that is why we play the games.
So let’s take a look at what took place to get us to our final:
NR McMaster (9-2-2) @ #1 Ottawa U (11-0-1)
The McMaster Marauders fell 2-1 to the Ottawa Gee-Gees Wednesday night in an OUA semifinal in the nation’s capital at Matt Anthony field.
The two squads met for the first time since the 2018 U SPORTS Championship with a lot on the line. The winner would earn its spot in the OUA Championship game and an automatic berth to the U SPORTS Championship while the loser would have to await the result from the other semifinal between the Number #3 Ranked Queens Golden Gaels and the Number #8 Western Mustangs to determine its fate.
Earning a huge 2-1 come-from-behind victory against the Guelph Gryphons in Saturday’s OUA quarterfinal, the McMaster Marauders were unable to maintain that momentum that they had generated.
McMaster had the first real scoring opportunity of the game in the third minute of play when OUA West Rookie of the Year, Ravina Braich, laid off a pass to Emily Calabrese inside the 18-yard box but the shot went just wide. From there the two teams exchanged chances with the Marauders controlling much of the opening 20 minutes while the host Gee-Gees picked up some momentum in the closing minutes of the opening half. Ottawa broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute of play when a cross in by the Gee-Gees was redirected into the Marauder goal off of a McMaster defender to give the hosts a 1-0 lead at the halftime break.
The Marauders came out of the gates strong in the second half, but it was the Gee-Gees who doubled their lead in the 62nd minute when Allana Oriente connected with a cross from Jenna Matsuobo and headed it past Jana Febbraro. McMaster made some changes and got one back in the 84th minute on a set piece from Jade Abreo. A number of Marauders were in on the action but it was Tiam Pourbakhtiari who was credited with the goal. Despite some chances in the closing six minutes, it was the Gee-Gees who secured the 2-1 victory.
Ottawa recorded 11 shots throughout the contest, three of which were on target, while holding the visitors to seven total shots. Jana Febbraro tallied one saves in the contest for the Marauders.
McMaster will now have to face the Western Mustangs on Saturday in the Bronze medal game with a trip to Kingston on the line for Nationals at Queens.
#3 Queens (11-1-1) @ #8 Western (11-1-1)
Queen’s Women’s Soccer will play for the OUA Championship after defeating the Western Mustangs 1-0 in penalty kicks Wednesday night in London, Ont.
The Gaels and Mustangs couldn’t settle things in regulation or extra time, going scoreless through 120 minutes, and heading to penalty kicks.
Queen’s topped Western in penalty kicks 4-3, with Lily Goss (Kingston, Ont.), Sophie Miranda (Cobble Hill, B.C.), Madinah Assaf (Mississauga, Ont.) and Kendra Couto (Aylmer, Ont.) all scoring for the Gaels and Kirstin Tynan (North Vancouver, B.C.) making two huge saves for Queen’s to secure the semifinals win.
With the win, Queen’s advanced to the OUA Championship Game where they will face the Ottawa Gee-Gees, Saturday in Ottawa, ON at Matt Anthony Field. Because of Queens hosting this year, the OUA Women’s Bronze medalists will advance to the USports national tournament after their win Saturday.