uOttawa Clinches National’s Berth With Semi’s Victory
In a match which ultimately took the University of Ottawa by surprise, a ’62 header by Alana Oriente would be the deciding factor to send the Gee-Gee’s to the OUA finals and the U SPORTS Championship in Kingston later this month.
Despite the frosty temperatures and the first snowfall of the year, 148 of uOttawa’s faithful braved the elements as the top-seeded Gee-Gee’s hosted the McMaster Marauder’s in semi-final action Wednesday night.
Despite a strong start out the gate from uOttawa, a dump-and-chase style of play by the Marauders would place the Gee’s on their back foot as the side adapted on the fly.
Speaking after the game, uOttawa Gaffer Steve Johnson admitted that the team was taken aback by McMaster.
“We saw this against Toronto last week so we just reverted to the defending we did then. I don’t think we were at all prepared for McMaster’s long balls… but it got better for us when we had the chance to regroup.”
Despite this, it would be the hosts to strike first, albeit in awkward fashion.
A powerful rush down the right side by uOttawa’s Jenna Matsukubo followed by a relatively harmless shot would find a stumbling Sara Vogel whose trip up would lead to the first goal of the game.
McMaster were determined to show the crowd their prowess and served as worthy opponents for uOttawa with several shots proving tricky for Gee-Gee’s starting keeper Cassidy Joslin, including one in the ’58 by Jade Abreo which was kept out by the tips of Joslin’s fingers.
Another two balls would find the back of the net in this tight battle with another Matsukubo cross proving to be fruitful off of the head of teammate Alana Oriente while the Marauders’ Tiam Pourbakhtiari found glory during a mass scramble in the Gee-Gee’s goal area, ending Joslin’s clean sheets.
Come the ’90+4 minute of play and the final blow of referee Jared Jenicek’s whistle, the Gee-Gee’s two goals would prove to be enough to send them to this weekend’s OUA final versus the Queen’s Gaels while ensuring their place in this year’s National Championship in Kingston.
Fans can also purchase tournament passes for the 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Soccer Championship hosted at Kingston’s Richardson Stadium, here. The tournament will run from November 9th-12th.