by Brett Hedges
The Lance – Sports Editor
It took two playoff wins in one week via penalty kicks and some stellar defensive play but the Windsor Lancers women’s soccer team advanced to the OUA final four and will compete for the program’s first provincial medal.
The Lancers scored an equalizer in the 119th minute before eventually knocking off the McMaster Marauders 2-1 in penalties at Alumni Field Oct. 26. In Sunday’s OUA quarterfinal, the Lancers went the distance to upset the top-ranked York Lions 1-0 in a shoot-out at York Stadium in Toronto.
After a scoreless 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes overtime, a spot in the OUA final four came down to penalty kicks. Lancers goalkeeper Krystin Lawrence came up with two big saves and Cassie Chretien, Giulia Barile, Chelsea Zavitz and Jaclyn Faraci all converted from spot just as they did in their first round victory over McMaster.
“We fought so hard for 120 minutes and definitely deserve the result,” said team captain Barile. “We have been practicing penalties all week and it shows since we haven’t missed in either game. Krystin made huge saves that set the tone and was the player of the game no question. The women’s soccer program has never had he opportunity to play for a medal and that’s something we’re very excited about.”
Following a standout weekend on the ice with the women’s hockey team that saw her score three goals, Lawrence made 10 saves in net to earn the shutout and help the Lancers advance. The third year keeoer was later named OUA female athlete of the week for her success on the pitch and in the rink but attributed the team’s success to their character.
“We are a team that never gives up and never stops working. We are constantly surprising people and that’s the best part – you don’t know what you can expect from this team,” said Lawrence. “It’s such an unbelievable feeling to win against nationally ranked York in penalty kicks. We had our ups and downs all game but what team doesn’t? I believed they whole game that we would win, we deserve to win, and we did, we did it and now we just made history for the women’s soccer program making it to final four for the first time.”
Windsor will travel to play at the University of Western in London Nov. 4 against the UOIT Ridgebacks, the top-ranked team from OUA East division who scored 60 goals during the regular season and knocked off the Laurentian Voyageurs 2-0 in their OUA quarterfinal contest.
The winner of their contest will advance to the OUA gold medal match and earn an automatic berth to the CIS women’s soccer championship at Acadia University in Sackville, NS., Nov. 10 – 13.
“I still cant believe that we’re going to final four and the chances we have of winning and going to nationals are so high for us,” said Lawrence. “I’m very excited to see what we can accomplish this upcoming weekend in Western.”
Game time against UOIT at Mustang Field in London Nov. 4th is 3 p.m.