Season comes to an end for women’s soccer

Photo by Shelby Blackley

Photo by Shelby Blackley

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The trend is all too familiar.

The Wilfrid Laurier women’s soccer team goes to the Ontario University Athletics Final Four tournament. They qualify for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championship. They lose in the quarter-final to be relegated. They drop the consolation semifinal to be eliminated from the tournament.

This trend has maintained over the last four visits to the national tournament, dating back to 2011 when Laurier lost to the Montréal Carabins in the quarter-final 2-1 (4-3 in penalty kicks).

The last time Laurier found victory on the national platform was 2010, when they defeated the Carabins 2-0 to advance to the final.

And this year the trend continued, as they dropped the consolation semifinal 2-0 Friday to the Cape Breton Capers. This ends Laurier’s season.

“They’re one-game initiatives, this game for me is a non-game,” said head coach Barry MacLean. “The quarter-final game, if you don’t get past that, the rest of it is nothing. You’re not really playing for anything so that first game is critical in who you draw and we’ve had some tough draws.”

Coming into the game, Laurier was already without all-time leading scorer and fifth-year striker Emily Brown, second-year Nicole Lyon and third-year Maxine Murchie due to injury.

The Hawks did a good job of controlling the tempo in the beginning of the game and added more pressure in the way of shots than they did against the Laval Rouge et Or in the quarter-final Thursday. The Capers got a handful of good opportunities from Chelsea Currie, but nothing would get past first-year goalkeeper Ashley Almeida.

In the 24th minute, Laurier had the best opportunity thus far when Tierney Dunham had a break on goalkeeper Lysianne Trottier, but Trottier slid out to deflect the ball. Abbey Zamec recovered the rebound and tried to get a shot off but it was deflected before Natalie Berry tried one more time, but couldn’t find the back of the net. The game remained scoreless.

But in the 45th minute, the Capers would go ahead. Off a corner Kara MacKinnon headed the ball past Almeida to put the Atlantic University Sport champions up 1-0 before half.

Stacey Simmons, who replaced Almeida to play in her final game as a Hawk, was tested early and often in the second half. In the 61st minute, Keona Simmonds redirected a cross over Simmons’ head to push Cape Breton ahead 2-0.

The spark was gone. Laurier began to dwindle as Cape Breton continued to push. The best opportunity from the Hawks came in the 64th minute when Zamec grabbed the ball and ran through the entirety of the Capers’ defence, sending a shot toward the net. But Trottier sent it over the bar and kept the Capers ahead.

And despite a few more chances by a very battered, dwindled Laurier team, they could not muster much more as they would see their season come to an end.

Brown, Shannon Fraser, Meena Sharif, Sarah Farano, Zamec, Simmons and Suzanne Boroumand all played their last game in the purple and gold.

“For me, it’s disappointing for the girls that are graduating that they don’t get another chance at it,” MacLean said. “But we’ll regroup and we’ll find a way back next year.”

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