Queen’s Golden Gaels have been relegated to the consolation round of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport women’s soccer championship tournament, after they bowed 2-1 to the Sherbrooke vert et or in a quarter-final game played in a downpour Thursday night in Vancouver.
The teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time and 30 minutes of overtime settled nothing. Sherbrooke prevailed 4-3 in a shootout that lasted six rounds.
It was just the third loss of the season for Queen's, the third-seeded team at the tournament, and the Gaels' first since Sept. 26. It snapped a 12-game undefeated streak.
The loss leaves Queen’s with a game Friday at 7:30 p.m. EST against the seventh-seeded Calgary Dinos, 1-0 losers to the host British Columbia Thunderbirds in Thursday’s late quarter-final.
In other quarter-finals, defending champion and No. 1 seed Laval extended its two-year-old undefeated streak to 34 games with a 1-0 win over the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, and the Trinity Western Spartans blanked the Cape Breton Capers 2-0.
After a scoreless first half in the Queen’s game, Brittany Almeida, the midfielder from Regiopolis Notre Dame, opened scoring for the Gaels in the game’s 60th minute, taking a feed from Jessie de Boer, and dashing down the left side of the field for a shot that just squeezed through Sherbrooke goalkeeper Alexandra Girouard.
It took less than two minutes after that for the vert et or to reply, as Gaelle Duplessis-Lebel bulled her way down the right side and found herself in alone against Madison Tyrell, from where she put a quick chip shot past the Queen’s keeper.
In the shootout, each team scored on two of its first three attempts. Both teams missed in the fourth round, both teams scored in the fifth, and then Audrey Marcoux beat Tyrell in Round 6. Girouard then denied Bella Jacot to give Sherbrooke the win.
Laura Callender, Tara Bartram and Micah Vermeer scored for Queen’s in the shootout, while Almeida and de Boer were the other unsuccessful shooters.
“A pretty miserable day,” Queen’s coach Dave McDowell said in a CIS release. “You give full marks to Sherbrooke, who I thought did really well in dealing with the conditions, so tip your hats to them and say, ‘Well done,’ (but it was) a difficult day for us.
“It is hard to find any words of wisdom right now. We’ll try and get them ready for (Friday). Obviously when we reflect back on the conditions, hopefully, they’ll be able to pull it together and play.”
Most of the first half was played in the middle part of the field, without a lot of scoring opportunities. The best chance came in the 39th minute, when Vermeer turned the ball over deep in her own end of the field. Sherbrooke’s Marie-Eve Jacques took a shot from 15 yards out that Tyrell managed to reach out and deflect over the bar.
After Sherbrooke’s Audrey Lagarde had a high shot go off the crossbar on a set piece off a corner kick early in the second half, she later got a free kick in the game’s 74th minute when Vermeer was called for bringing down a Sherbrooke player in the box. With the score tied Tyrell made a terrific, fully extended save, tipping away a ball that was headed for just under the crossbar to preserve the 1-1 tie.
Rookie Queen’s forward Sarah Nixon had an opportunity from in close late in the first overtime period, but her attempt hit the side of Girouard’s net. The Gaels dominated possession in the early part of the final 15-minute period of extra time, but though they outshot Sherbrooke 2-0, they weren’t able to score the golden goal.
Tyrell denied what was perhaps the best scoring chance in the period, when a Sherbrooke free kick flew into the 18-yard box. The Queen’s keeper stormed out and beat the onrushing attackers to the ball to nullify the threat.