The McMaster Marauders women’s soccer team have advanced to the Ontario University Athletics quarter-finals after a 2-1 first-round playoff victory over the visiting University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks on Wednesday (Oct. 24) at Ron Joyce Stadium.
It took just three minutes for the home team to get on the board. Getting in UOIT’s end early, a corner kick resulted in a wide open chance for defender Kathleen Perri (Maple, Ont.). With a Marauder faking the pass and taking the Ridgeback defender with her, Perri’s shot from 20 yards out hit the back of the net.
Minutes later, UOIT’s first opportunity to score came from a big scramble near the net from a corner kick. The first shot would rebound to a Ridgeback, but the second would hit the cross bar and was cleared away by the Marauders.
Near the 41st minute mark, Emma Mangiarlardi (Oakville) had a solid chance in the box but UOIT goalkeeper Melissa Linton (Cobourg, Ont.) responded with a great save to keep the score at 1-0.
Despite some early pressure from the Ridgebacks early in the second half, McMaster scored again. Mangialardi was taken down in the box, awarding the Marauders with a penalty kick. Captain Mel Van Der Hoop (Oakville) would make no mistake, finding the top right corner for the 2-0 lead and her fourth goal this season in the 60th minute.
Just five minutes later, Ridgebacks’ Sarah D’Addetta (Etobicoke, Ont.) received the ball on the left side of the box. Her shot would unfortunately go off sweeper Cristina Leonardelli (Woodbridge, Ont.) and in on the miscommunication between her and McMaster goalkeeper Brittany Duffey (Unionville, Ont.).
The play would turn sloppy as both teams were working hard to the end of the match. UOIT’s only other chance would come from Jessica Mithrush (Thunder Bay, Ont.) from 30 yards out but the ball would soar over the cross bar.
McMaster advances to the OUA quarter-finals against London’s the Western Mustangs, who finished with the same record as the Marauders in the regular season.
Over the two games this season that the Marauders faced the Mustangs, they were defeated 2-0, but would then get revenge in the last game of the season, winning 1-0.