by Brett Hedges
The Lance – Sports Editor
The Windsor Lancers women’s soccer team made a thrilling comeback late in extra time to win their opening-round OUA playoff match with the McMaster Marauders 4-2 on penalty kicks.
After a scoreless 90 minutes on a rainy Wednesday evening at Alumni Field Oct. 26, Windsor trailed 1-0 late in extra time before Jazmin Martin knocked in the equalizer in the 119th minute. In the end, the game came down to penalty kicks and goalkeeper Krystin Lawrence shut the door on McMaster’s first two shots to pave on Windsor’s path to victory. Cassie Chretien, Giulia Barile and Chelsea Zavitz all scored from the spot for Windsor which set the stage for Jaclyn Faraci’s game-winning blast.
In what could have been the final moment of her Lancers career, Faraci said she wanted to go out with a bang and stepped up to deliver the final blow to the Marauders playoff hopes for the second straight second when a teammate got cold feet.
“I wasn’t supposed to take that kick, someone got nervous and I said I wasn’t so I stepped up and took it because you have to do what you have to do,” said Faraci. “I’m happy I could do it and be a part of if, but Krystin’s saves set the tone – it changed everything. We worked on it all week that we just had to pick our corner and be confident. It’s a huge deal because now we advance, it wasn’t pretty but we finished and we won. Now it’s onto the next step.”
Lancers head coach Steve Hart said matches like these are the reason why people love sports.
“One minute you’re down, another minute you’re back in it and euphoria of all of this is just amazing, you can’t describe it,” said Hart. “We didn’t feel we deserved to be, we threw everything but the kitchen sink at them but in the end we got it, we just had to get it. We knew that goal was going to come.”
Lawrence estimated her team fired 180 penalty kicks on her over Windsor’s final week of preparation headed into the playoffs and their practice certainly paid off When all four Lancers converted from the spot when they truly counted.
“We practiced penalties every night this week,” said Hart. “Krystin worked hard and it showed. That first penalty save set the tone and I can’t believe how good she was on her penalty saves. [And Jaclyn] – that was a lot of pressure but she’s a fifth year player and she kept her cool, you can’t phase that girl.”
Windsor will travel to Toronto to battle the York Lions in the OUA West division semi-final scheduled for Sunday Oct. 30 at 1 p.m.. In their two matches, the teams fought to a 1-1 draw and the Lancers topped the first-place Lions in the final weekend of the regular season 1-0 Oct. 22.
“It was crazy to be down 1-0 with two minutes left in the second half of overtime but in the end we got it done,” said Lawrence. “We’re a special team and we can go far. We just need to keep moving and give it our all because it’s one and it could be our last game.”
Should Windsor knock off the Lions in the provincial quarter-finals, they would advance to the OUA Final Four Nov. 4 – 5.