Bytown Battle Ends In Gee-Gee’s Shutout of Ravens
In the wake of Ontario’s most historic university football rivalry – the Panda Game between the University of Ottawa and Carleton University – Saturday saw those same schools return to the field as their women’s soccer sides faced off in their only regular season match up in 2023. Unfortunately for the Ravens, both the Panda game and this WoSo match up would end in heartbreak.
Currently sitting undefeated on the season, Head Coach Steve Johnson’s Gee-Gee’s entered this one in third place in the OUA East division but with three games in hand over both Nipissing and Queen’s. Despite this though and a strong start by the Raven’s off the first whistle, complacency was not in the Gee-Gee’s vocabulary under the Autumn wind and rain.
It would take no less than nine minutes for the Gee-Gee’s to strike first. A through ball from the left foot of Cassandra Provost would allow for a shot by Allana Oriente, leading to a rebound off of Carleton’s Chloe Lachance-Soula. With the keeper off balance and out of position, Nibo Dlamini would need nothing more than a toe kick to put it into the Raven’s net to make it 1-nil.
From there, despite relatively consistent pressure by Dom Oliveri’s girls, the Raven’s were unable to make anything happen over their 11 shots while their opponents seized the day.
Speaking after the game, uO gaffer Johnson said that going into half time the team was focused on Carleton’s set-pieces.
“The free-kicks were a concern. I think they were always looking dangerous whenever they got a free kick so we discussed what kind of shape we wanted to deal with that,” he stated.
These conversations would prove fruitful for the Gee-Gee’s as their fears would be quickly stripped away thanks to the 2022 OUA MVP Cassandra Provost laying the final two nails into the Carleton coffin.
Not long after Dlamini’s opener, she would once again play a vital role as a free kick from along the touch-line at the 24-yard mark would arch up and into the Raven’s goal area for an easy yet beautiful header by Provost to make it two-nil.
For the final time in the game and to place a two-goal lead for the OUA Golden Boot, the Dlamini-Provost show would strike again as the former’s set-piece – from a corner this time – would find the latter’s head and then the back of the net. As noted by the commentary team, this goal would also mark Provost’s dominance over the Carleton program having 13 on the season while CU remains with a ‘Goals For’ line of 12 .
Looking forward to their next three games, the Gee-Gee’s will be rounding out their home season against the RMC Paladins, the TMU Bold, and the OnTechU Ridgebacks. Despite their previous match-ups against RMC (6-0W) and TMU (5-1W), Coach Johnson remains humble going into these games.
“Although we already played RMY and TMU, I think both teams could look a little bit different cause of changes in personnel so we’ll have to scout them”, said Johnson, adding that he is intrigued by what OnTech will bring in their first meeting of 2023.