Volume 93, Issue 36
Wednesday, November 3, 1999
Mustangs finish with OUA bronze
LOOKIN' TO KICK S-S-SOCCER BALLS. Western was looking to repeat as OUA champs last weekend, but had to settle for third instead.
By Wes Brown
Western's hopes of repeating as Ontario University Athletic champions fell short as the women's soccer team settled for the bronze medal at last weekend's finals.
After beating Carleton University handily in Saturday's quarter-final match-up 4-0, the Mustangs were narrowly beaten by the University of Guelph 1-0 in the semifinals. Sunday, Western clinched a third place finish by beating York University 1-0. The University of Ottawa captured first place with a victory over Guelph.
Western's assistant coach Peter Russell said he felt great about the season as a whole and added there might have been a different result if they were luckier and received some breaks in their semifinal game.
"Any time you finish with double digits in wins, you know you've had a strong year. We improved every game of the year to the point where we became a team that could play with anyone in the country," Russell said.
He added even though he was disappointed with the score in the Guelph game, he was proud of his team who gave 100 per cent in all three games, plus two periods of overtime. "We dominated all of our games, even the Guelph one. It was just a matter of not getting any bounces in our direction," Russell said.
Julie Valvasori, a fourth-year midfielder who captured Most Valuable Player honours in both the Carleton and York games, said although she was disappointed in not coming away with the gold, she was happy the team left with a medal in the end.
"In the first game, everything was clicking and we were all going hard. Guelph did not outplay us in the loss. They got a quick goal early and played 'kick and chase' for the rest of the game. We had our chances, we just couldn't put the ball in the net," Valvasori said.
She added while the whole team was disappointed, they did not let it get to them in the medal game. "There are a number of graduating athletes on the team who wanted to prove something and come away with a medal, regardless."
Fourth-year striker Amy Harding said they played some of their best soccer all year, even though they were unable to repeat as OUA champs.
"Both the gold medal and bronze medal games as well as the two semifinal games were 1-0. Any of the top four teams featured in the semifinals could have come away with the championship on any given day," Harding said.
Carleton head coach Karen O'Connell said her team played well in the first half, but Western picked up their game in the second half and really stuck it to the Ravens.
"Western was playing good 'two touch' ball and were passing well. They were a very good side but looking at the competition as a whole, I think that Ottawa had the best team coming into the OUA finals," O'Connell said.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999