Champions Decided and Bags Packed For Kinston
So now that it’s all been decided whom is going to Kingston, ON for the 2023 USports Women’s National Championships hosted by Queens University joining Queens, St. FX and Cape Breton, let’s see how they got there.
The Rouge et Or won their 10th provincial championship in its program’s history on Friday evening at PEPS – and a first at home since 2017 – thanks to a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Carabins. Laval finishes the 2023 RSEQ season undefeated during the season and in the playoffs.
After a quiet first half which ended 0-0, the Rouge et Or took advantage of a handball in the penalty area in the 55th minute of play to take the lead. Laval’s Karyna Fiset converted a penalty shot to give the Rouge et Or a 1-0 lead.
After seeing the crowd favorites open the scoring, the Blues turned up the heat and created several excellent scoring chances. However, we had to wait until the 86th minute of play for Justine Lalande to take a perfect shot which brought the two teams back to evan.
Emma-Ève Lecompte broke the deadlock in stoppage time in the 94th minute with a superb strike which went over the Montreal goalkeeper. The goal sent the Rouge et Or into a frenzy and a Quebec title
It was a seventh consecutive appearance for the Carabins in the RSEQ final..
Coaches David Desloges ‘ and Nadège Akamse’s teams will be at the USports Women’s championship November 9 in Kingston, Ontario. This is where the Rouge et Or will try to avenge their defeat in last year’s Canadian final against these same Carabins.
As the Gee-Gees and Gaels prepared to push toward the OUA finish line with a conference title in their sights, they both set their sights on the heels of a championship-pedigree in tow. While some fresh faces figure to play an integral part in Saturday’s finale, many of the teams’ familiar faces know what it takes to conquer the banner season stage. As the two most recent OUA winners – Ottawa in 2022 and Queen’s in 2021 – many of Saturday’s competitors have been able to hoist the coveted conference trophy before, and with even more titles from their programs through much of the past decade, these star-studded rosters will certainly be looking to carry on the winning traditions of their teams and take home some hardware in 2023.In what has been a back and forth between two superbly run programs in USports Women’s Soccer for almost the past two decades was just the latest instalment of the rivalry.
The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees secured their 11th OUA women’s soccer championship title on Saturday at Matt Anthony Field, defeating their East division rivals from Queen’s by a final tally of 5-1.
With the win, the Gee-Gees earn their second consecutive OUA title and extend their lead atop the all-time championship tally in the conference.
In what is usually a defensive battle, Ottawa showcased their offensive prowess earning a dominant result on home turf.
The game was tight through the first half, with the Gaels down just one goal at half time after Ottawa found the back of the net on an indirect free kick.
2023 First Team All-Star midfielder Nibo Dlamini opened the scoring in the 34th minute with a trick free kick that was passed short by Cassandra Provost and hammered past the Gaels keeper to give the Gee-Gees the lead.
Up 1-0 at the half, Ottawa wasted no time getting back on the attack in the second frame, with Jenna Matsukubo blasting home a strike against her former team in the 51st minute. ”
The hosts would add to their margin 10 minutes later, when Élianne Gervais scored following a scramble in the Gaels’ box. Queen’s would get on the board quickly after, when Ottawa native Seema Sakran buried a blast from distance in the 63rd minute.
Dlamini and Matsukubo would both complete their respective braces to round out the scoring and officially clinch the championship for the Garnet and Grey.
“I’m really pleased with today’s performance,” said Ottawa head coach Steve Johnson. “This team has progressed so far since we started in August, and I’m pleased to get a hometown win in front of a fantastic crowd.”
With a capacity crowd on-hand to see the two rivals do battle, the Gee-Gees fed off the energy to take care of business against a worthy foe.
“This was a huge win, especially for our confidence going into Nationals next week,” said Matsukubo. “The fans were amazing today, it felt like they didn’t stop cheering the whole game. They really lifted us up, it was awesome.”
The Western Mustangs and the McMaster Marauders had one final shot to earn a berth to the 2023 U SPORTS Championship when they faced each other in the OUA bronze medal match on Saturday at 7pm in London. The winner of the game will advance to Nationals while the loser would see their season come to a close.
Western gained possession of the ball early in the first couple of minutes making solid passes between players, providing a preview into what the rest of the game would look like.
A corner for Western in the 5th minute of the game was sent out of the box by McMaster, resulting in another corner which ended up hitting the post.
A free kick for McMaster came at the end of the 6th minute which was sent towards the goal by the Marauders but caught by Samantha St. Croix in goal for Western.
Western maintained possession, making progress up the far side of the field over the next couple of minutes.
In the 26th minute of the game, Maya Lankin sent the ball down the field, allowing Alessia Breda to chase after it and after going into a one-on-one with McMaster’s goalkeeper, was able to maneuverer the ball past them and send it into the back of their net.
A free kick in the 36th minute of the game was taken by Reese Fowler. The ball was sent into to the box but was sent high by Hannah Vickers.
The teams went into half-time with 1-0 on the scoreboard to the Mustangs.
The Mustangs maintained the pressure that they had been putting on the Marauders all game from the start of the second half. Three minutes into the second half, Medina Birani sent the ball into the box but the ball was not able to find the back of the net.
A few minutes later Maya Lankin took a shot on goal which was saved by Ali Mudie in goal for McMaster. Less than a minute later, Ravina Braich took a shot at the Mustang’s goal only for that to go wide.
In the 54th minute of the game, a diving save from St. Croix was required to prevent the Mustangs from conceding any goals after a corner shot was sent into the box and promptly headered by the Marauders towards the Mustangs’ goal.
McMaster came into the second half maintaining more possession than they had had previously had in the first half, but Western’s defense was solid – not letting any goals in. Avarie Thomas was instrumental at halting the Marauder’s progress up the field.
Another shot on goal in the 66th minute by McMaster’s Georgia Merriman was saved by Samantha St. Croix.
Western were able to extend their lead in the game with another goal by Natalie Abbate in the 73rd minute of the game assisted by Reese Fowler.
McMaster would go on to have four more shot attempts in the rest of the half, but all unsuccessful at getting past St. Croix. The final statistic on shot attempts by the two teams was 11 shots by McMaster to 5 from Western, a testament to St. Croix’s solid defending of the goal.
Despite making progress towards Western’s goal in the end of the second half, their progress was halted by the Mustangs’ defense making the game end in a 2-0 victory for the Mustangs.
Queen’s is hosting the U SPORTS Women’s Soccer Championship at Richardson Stadium from Thursday, Nov. 9 to Sunday, Nov. 12. Tournament Passes are on sale now and can be purchased for $55 on the Queen’s Gaels tickets website.
Trinity Western sits a atop Canada West for the 10th time in program history, capturing the conference title with a 0-0 (6-5 PKs) win over UBC Friday at Thunderbird Stadium.
After falling out of the USports Number 1 spot the last week of the rankings after a loss in the final weekend of the Canada West season to rest players for the playoffs, The UBC Thunderbirds fell just short of their ambitions of defending their Canada West Championship, ending on the wrong side of a 6-5 shootout loss to the Trinity Western Spartans Friday night at Thunderbird Stadium.
Penalties are never easy, but one thing is for sure, someone will end up the hero from it and that was Trinity Western’s Fifth-year goalkeeper Hannah Miller (Langley, B.C.) who made the winning save, diving to her left to stop the sixth UBC shooter and life the Spartans to the Canada West championship for the fourth time in six years.
With neither side able to find the breakthrough over the 90 minutes nor the 30 minutes of extra time, the match headed to a penalty shootout. Both teams had their shooting boots on, converting their first five attempts. Danielle Cooper (Surrey, B.C.) hit home the Spartans’ sixth, but Janika Sangha saw her effort tipped onto the right post by Miller, sparking joyous celebrations from the travelling Trinity Western supporters as they secured a 6-5 shootout win.
It was a fast-paced end-to-end encounter from the start, with both sides giving their all and some robust tackles flying in.
Nisa Reehal came within inches of giving UBC an early lead five minutes in, but her shot whizzed by the back post. UBC were having the better of the play but Trinity Western were looking dangerous in their attacks and their transition.
The Spartans almost took the lead in the most dramatic of fashions in the 23rd minute when Sierra Halldorson (Winnipeg) nearly bagged herself an Olimpico but her corner hit off the left post and out.
Reehal had another look on goal moments later before Dakota Beckett had to react to a Laren Spiller (Surre, B.C.) effort that came off her knee from a Sophie Crowther (New Westminster, B.C.) cross, and Crowther herself came close from a 42nd minute free kick that caused confusion in the UBC box before being deflected just wide for a corner.
TWU came out fast after the restart and Maddie Malnychuk (Langley , B.C.)fired into the side netting just nine seconds in. Mansha Sidhu (Surrey, B.C.) brought a sprawling save out of Beckett in the 68th minute before Katalin Tolnai crashed a curler off the bar for UBC two minutes later.
The Thunderbirds kept the pressure on from the subsequent corner forcing a scramble in the Spartans six-yard box before the danger was cleared.
Neither side could find the breakthrough in the closing stages and the game headed for 30 minutes of extra time. Ella Sunde fired into the side netting in the 96th minute after another scramble in the Spartans box following a corner, before Nisa Reehal had a couple of chances in the second period of extra time, first seeing a low effort tipped around the near post by Miller, then the UBC winger rounded the Trinity Western keeper but saw her shot cleared by Tilly James (Vancouver).
That was as close as either side got to grabbing a dramatic late winner and the match headed to a penalty shootout.
With both sides going perfect with their first five penalties, the shootout headed to sudden death. Cooper tucked away Trinity Western’s sixth kick, but Sangha could only look on in anguish as her effort cannoned off the right post after a fingertip save by Miller and the Spartans claimed the Canada West crown.
Both teams now head off to nationals in Kingston, Ontario next week looking to land another U SPORTS title to their trophy cabinet. Trinity Western will head into those finals as the higher of the two Canada West seeds, which may actually give them the harder path in what is sure to be a tough tournament ahead for both teams.
Tomorrow: The draw chart and the team break downs.