OTTAWA (November 8, 2015) – The No. 6 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women's soccer team's quest for an OUA Championship came up short on Sunday afternoon as they lost 1-0 to the Queen’s Gaels in the Gold Medal Match at Matt Anthony Field in Ottawa.
A goal by Queen’s Tara Bartram of Vancouver, B.C., in in the 69th minute proved to be the difference in the match as Laurier settled for the silver medal.
“I thought it was a very even game,” said head coach BARRY MACLEAN after the match. “I think maybe they outcompeted us in the key moments, and I think yesterday’s game took a lot out of us emotionally. It probably wasn’t our best performance.”
In the sixth meeting between the two rival schools since 2009, the Hawks and Gaels showed early on that very little space or time would be surrendered without a battle.
Queen’s, after upsetting the No. 2 York Lions on Saturday, started out the more positive of the two teams as they pressured Laurier’s defence. However, the Gaels were unable to convert their control in possession into any quality scoring opportunities.
Laurier would slowly find their legs in the opening half and were rewarded were a pair of quality scoring chances.
First, in the 30th minute, some great footwork by Katie Bishop of Surrey, B.C. allowed her to split the Gaels defence but her shot attempt from 25 yards out sailed just over the bar. Then, six minutes later, Suzanne Boroumand of Kitchener, Ont., found the ball at her feet near the top of the box but her shot rattled off the bar and stayed out. That opportunity would be the last one for either team in the opening 45 minutes as the two teams went into the dressing rooms tied 0-0.
The Hawks carried their momentum generated from those two scoring chances into the second half and just seven minutes in, had another great chance to break the deadlock. Forward Emily Brown of Waterloo, Ont., showed her speed as she beat a Queen’s defender to a long ball before cutting back into the box. Laurier’s all-time leading scorer would settle the ball before firing a shot but it was gobbled up by Gaels keeper Madison Tyrell of White Rock, B.C.
Fifteen minutes later, with the Hawks once again pressing forward, Queen’s forced a turnover and launch a quick counter attack. The ball was fed behind the Laurier defence where Bartram ran on to it and fired a low shot past Laurier keeper Ashley Almeida of Burlington, Ont., that struck the far post and went in, giving Queen’s a 1-0 lead.
“It was a good play by Queen’s, no question about that,” said MacLean of the goal. “It all started on our attack. There was a miscommunication in the corner on the other end of the field, and then they broke and made a good run in behind, and it was a great finish.”
Playing from behind for the second consecutive game, Laurier pushed for the equalizer but were met each time by a stout Queen’s defence. The Hawks best chance to tie the game came with 10 minutes to play when Brown and Jacky Normandeau of Uxbridge, Ont., worked a smart one-two play down low, eventually finding Bishop in the box. However, Bishop’s shot chipped just over the upper right corner of the goal, preserving the Gaels lead.
From there, Queen’s wouldn’t allow another quality scoring opportunity for the Hawks as they captured the gold.
Almeida, playing for her first OUA title, would finish the afternoon with five saves for the purple and gold while Tyrell stopped all six attempts on goal by Laurier.
The Hawks season now continues at the CIS Championship, hosted by the UBC Thunderbirds, starting on Thursday, November 12, in Vancouver, B.C.
“There are going to be eight teams and every one of them is going to be quality, six of them have a chance to win the thing,” commented MacLean on Laurier’s chances in Vancouver. “We hope we’re one of them and we hope we have a little bit of luck and some good performances and see what happens. We’re going there trying to win it.”
Stay tuned to laurieratheltics.com for complete tournament details.
NOTES: During their run of nine consecutive appearances at the OUA Final Four tournament, Laurier has captured three golds, three silvers and one bronze medal...the CIS Championship will be a homecoming for five Hawks who grew up in the Vancouver area including Bishop, Gagan Parhar of Surrey, B.C., Pauline McCordic of North Vancouver, B.C., Kassia Hayek of Burnaby, B.C., and Shannon Fraser of Surrey, B.C.