Queen’s Golden Gaels will be looking for their first win of the Ontario University Athletics women’s socer season Saturday afternoon, when they host the Toronto Blues at Miklas-McCarney Field.
The Gaels failed to gain a victory in Ottawa as the regular schedule began on the weekend, as they followed a 1-1 draw with defending East division champion Ottawa Gee-Gees Saturday with a 3-2 defat at the hands of the Carleton Ravens Sunday.
Against Carleton, the Gaels spotted the home team a 1-0 lead before goals by Brittany Almeida, in the 23rd minute, and Jessie de Boer, 12 minutes later, sent Queen’s into halftime with a 2-1 lead.
Two goals in the middle of the second half gave the Ravens the lead, and Queen’s was unable to gain the equalizer in the final 17 minutes.
“We did a pretty good job, considering we were most concerned about energy levels,” said Dave McDowell, beginning his 28th season as Queen’s coach. “Carleton didn’t play yesterday and we had a fairly physical game against Ottawa.”
In that match, the Gaels surrendered the only goal of the first half and got a reply in the 50th minute to tie the game, when Tara Bartram steered a cross from Almeida past Gee-Gees goalkeeper Cynthia Leblanc.
Ottawa had the best opportunity to go ahead after that, but a shot hit the post behind Queen’s keeper Madison Tyrell, who ended the game with nine saves.
McDowell, whose team was 9-4-3 a year ago—good for fourth place in the OUA East—characterized the contest as a tough, physical battle against one of the best teams in the country.
“It was a good test early for our younger players,” said McDowell, who started three rookies. “They all played very well and dealt with the physical nature of the game well.
“I think we learned a lot about ourselves and what we need to do to be successful.”