A goal by Tara Bartram with less than five minutes left in the second overtime period gave the Queen’s Golden Gaels a 1-0 victory over the Toronto Blues in an Ontario University Athletics women’s soccer playoff game Wednesday in Toronto.
The victory puts the Gaels, who have had five of their last six playoff games go into extra time, into an East division semifinal Sunday afternoon in Sudbury against the Laurentian Voyageurs.
Though the teams were scoreless through the first 115 minutes of play, that didn’t mean they both didn’t have their opportunities. Though only five of those strikes were on goal—Queen’s outshot Toronto 3-2—in overtime, each team had a shot hit the crossbar of the opponent’s goal.
First, Rachel Radu of Queen’s put a shot behind Blues goalkeeper Sara Petrucci, only to have it hit the bar. Minutes later, a free kick by Toronto’s Christine Mulligan bounced off the bar behind Gaels keeper Michaila Frawley.
With penalty kicks looming to decide the outcome, Bartram turned a routine throw-in about 20 yards deep in Toronto territory into the decisive tally.
She created some space for herself and then tipped the ball over a Blues defender before putting a shot into the top right corner of the Toronto goal. It was her sixth goal of the season.
For Frawley, making just her fifth start of the season, it was the fourth shutout, and her second in four days. In six games this year, she’s allowed just one goal.
Against Laurentian, the Gaels will be seeking a berth in the league’s Final Four tournament, where the top two teams from each division will contest the OUA championship. It’s an event the Gaels missed last year for the first time in six years.
Now unbeaten in their last nine games, in their only game with Laurentian this year the Gaels gained a scoreless draw at home Sunday, in their final regular-season game.