It took the fifth penalty kicker in a post-overtime shootout before the McMaster Marauders claimed a 1-0 win over the Western Mustangs in Ontario University Athletics women’s soccer semifinal action at TD Waterhouse on Sunday (Oct. 28).
Marauder keeper Brittany Duffey played an outstanding game and accurately read the final kicks for McMaster’s 3-2 edge in the shootout. Mustangs’ Jessica Trejo, Jenn Spinozzi, Hannah Kennedy, Tara Condos, and Jayne Vandewalle all took free shots for Western following 110 minutes of play, with Kennedy and Vandewalle beating Duffey in the top corners.
Her Western counterpart, Tori Edgar, responded with composure; she made a game saving grab against Marauder Adrienne Harrison on the third shot, but misread Emma Mangialardi boot for the clincher.
Mac advances against Laurier at the OUA Final Four tournament at the University of Ottawa next weekend.
Mac’s other goal scorers in the shoot out included veteran Mel Van Der Hoop and rookie Maureen Mai.
Both teams fought through hostile winds and on-and-off rain during the contest. Mustangs’ Jessica Trejo was unaffected by the conditions and led the game with aggressive throw ins that blazed over 20 yards long – the strongest on the field. At 10 minutes, Trejo threw towards the Marauder net and just missed off a player deflection, but the play had McMaster keeper Duffey diving for the ball to make her first save of the game.
Twenty minutes in, the Mustangs had another good opportunity from a long goal kick by keeper Edgar, but Duffey came way out from her own box to snatch the play. Jenna Schroeder looked composed and played a competitive game for the ‘Stangs. At 34 minutes, she stole the ball of the Marauder offense but top OUA score and second year Lauren Winquist could not convert the scoring chance.
Winquist responded with an impressive run up the left side and a good centering pass at 26 minutes, but her cross didn’t align with teammate Tara Condos to complete the play. Trejo then had back-to-back throw ins in the Marauder zone for the final first half minutes, and narrowly missed a bounce off Duffey’s right side on the first play.
Both Hannah Kennedy and Madison Seymour substituted in for the Mustangs to make an impact in the second half. Seymour made an impressive touch 17 minutes in but strong Marauder defense kept the ball in the neutral zone. Sabrina DeNard followed up with a free kick for Western and a scrum started in front of the Marauder net, but Duffey was aggressive and took no chances, catching the ball in mid-play.
The Marauders came back with pressure in the second half and had the Mustangs deep in their own end. The team had a free kick with eight minutes remaining but sailed it high over Edgar and the Mustang goal.
Final minutes were action-packed on both sides and Western made a final push. Trejo had another accurate throw in to teammate Kennedy who just missed a header that deflected off the top of the Marauder crossbar. The Stangs followed up with a key turnover and three on one break in the final minute but the Marauder defense chased back in time to regroup and prevent a last minute goal.
Thirty-minute overtime also encompassed several close breaks for both teams. Mustang Jenn Spinozzi won several balls in the air to keep the momentum in the Mustangs’ favour, while Marauder Sophia Ykema had a close scoring chance in the first moments of the second overtime period. Edgar was vigorous and got a piece of Ykema’s shot as it missed off the crossbar.
Both teams showed passion and grit during the final playoff shootout, but it was McMaster with the mental toughness that took the win 1-0 in an intense, rivaled game.
With a 1-0 loss and a 1-0 win against a strong Laurier squad, it’s sure to be a good game in hopes of making it to the OUA Finals.