Queen’s Gaels revenge a year in the making

There was nothing bitter about this victory.

The Queen’s Gaels came into University Stadium for the Ontario University Athletics’ (OUA) women’s soccer final four tournament Saturday with one thing on their minds — a provincial title.

After a solid 3-0 win against the McMaster Marauders Saturday afternoon, the Gaels stepped onto the field Sunday to play the host and defending OUA champions, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks.

“Anytime we play Laurier, it’s a bit of a war of attrition,” Queen’s head coach Dave McDowell said.

The war began early and was scoreless for 120 minutes before being forced into penalty kicks, where Gaels defender Melissa Jung beat Laurier goalkeeper Mal Woeller for the deciding goal.

“You feel really bad winning that way, I don’t think anybody wants to win that way,” commented McDowell.

With early pressure, the Gaels’ first shot came from powerhouse and OUA leading scorer Jackie Tessier who came in on Woeller, but was denied.

Woeller made three quality saves before the ten minute mark.

Pressure continued on Woeller as Tessier broke away from the defenders, but put the ball wide of the right post.

Laurier found their first big opportunity just minutes later when midfielder Alyssa Lagonia was delivered a breakaway, but the shot didn’t produce enough power and was smothered by Queen’s keeper Chantal Marson.

In the 42nd minute, Tessier was handed a yellow card after grappling with Laurier defender Jessica Carter.

Chances went back and forth for both teams as the goaltenders were tested early, but the score remained 0-0 at the end of the first half.

“[Marson] made a couple great saves in the first half,” McDowell said. “I thought she was terrific and made some great save in the penalties.”

Laurier’s best chance came early in the second when Tessier was called on another foul. The ball was crossed in off the free kick as Tania Pedron put it passed Marson, but was said to be behind the defence.

The game continued with steady chances, and headed into extra time where each team had multiple opportunities. Both goalkeepers came up strong and the game remained scoreless.

In the shootout, each team traded goals until Marson stopped Lagonia’s effort.

On Queen’s final shot, Jung got Woeller moving the wrong way and slid it into the right side of the net for the victory.

“It was a really tough win; Laurier’s a really great team,” Jung said after the celebration.

“It’s not going to get any easier from here. All the teams we’re going to face down the road are going to be really difficult so we have to put everything we have out there and we’ll do great.”

The final was a repeat of last year’s OUA championship game where Laurier came out on top, winning 1-0 in Kingston. Queen’s and Laurier then met again in the national championship where Queen’s won 1-0 in extra time.

“We can’t control [who we play],” Jung said. “It’s not in our control. We’ll take it one game at a time and take it from there.”

Queen’s will accompany Laurier and the Ottawa Gee-Gees in Montreal this week for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championships.

Laurier will play the Montreal Carabins Thursday at 4:30.

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