Gee-Gees conquer Capers, advance to CIS Women’s Soccer semifinal

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Photographs by Glenn Ivens – ISN

November 8, 2012, VICTORIA (CIS) – The Ottawa Gee-Gees earned the first win of the tournament in the quarter-final round of the CIS women’s soccer championship, defeating the Cape Breton Capers 3-1 at Victoria’s Centennial Stadium, on Thursday.

The Gee-Gees opened the scoring in the fourth minute of play off a header from Kayla Jones, while Krista Draycott picked up the game-winner in the 26th minute and Vanessa MacMillan the insurance marker at the 80-minute mark. Cape Breton’s Jessica Furtado notched the lone goal for the Capers, who are now out of medal contention.

“I thought we played really well today and credit to Cape Breton, who were very good on the counter attack,” said Steve Johnson, head coach of the Ottawa Gee-Gees. “We got an early goal, which gave us a good chance to settle down throughout the rest of the game.”

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Cape Breton’s Chelsea Currie battles Ottawa’s Chiara Quadri during opening game of the CIS Women’s Soccer Championship at UVic’s Centennial Stadium on Thursday. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

The top-ranked and OUA champion Gee-Gees got on the board when rookie striker Jones got a head on the end of Draycott’s left-footed cross in the opening minutes of play. The ball floated in to the box to an unmarked Jones, whose header was slightly off-pace, enough to sneak past Capers keeper Tiffany O’Donnell.

The Gee-Gees’ early lead held for only eight minutes however. At the 12-minute mark, fifth-year Capers midfielder Tara Rogers powered past two Ottawa defenders to get a shot on goal. Rogers’ shot hit the left post and a slow-to-react Gee-Gees defence line allowed an unmarked Furtado to put home the rebound and tie the game 1-1.

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Cape Breton’s Allison Bell-Davies controls ball during Thursday’s semi-final game of the CIS Women’s Soccer Championship at UVic’s Centennial Stadium. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

For the second time in the game, the Gee-Gees took the lead when fourth-year midfielder Draycott put one in directly off a corner kick. Draycott’s right-footed kick curled in to the net, surprising keeper O’Donnell to give Ottawa the 2-1 advantage.

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Alexandria Jotham of Ottawa fights for loose ball with Allison Bell-Davies of Cape Breton during Thursday opening game of the CIS Women’s Soccer Championship at UVic’s Centennial Stadium. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

Ottawa put four of 19 opportunities on target in the first half of play but the 2-1 score line remained entering the break.

Second-half substitute and rookie MacMillan scored the insurance marker for Ottawa in the 80th minute when she chested down a cross from Chiara Quadri. MacMillan shot the ball low and hard past O’Donnell to advance the Gee-Gees 3-1 over the Capers.

Minutes later, MacMillan had a chance to push the Gee-Gees up by three when she was fed a break-away pass from the half line but her shot from outside the 18-yard box went wide.

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Lauren Ferguson of Cape Breton University attempts to avoid the pressure from Ottawa’s Sheniz Eryuzlu during opening game of the CIS Women’s Soccer Championship at UVic’s Centennial Stadium. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

Ottawa advances to Friday’s first semifinal at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time. In last year’s CIS semifinal round, the Gee-Gees dropped a heartbreaking penalty kick decision to Queen’s before rebounding to claim the bronze medal.

The AUS finalist Capers will compete in the consolation semifinal at 11 a.m.

“We knew going down a goal early to Ottawa was going to make it tough,” said Ness Timmons, head coach of the Capers and recipient of the 2012 CIS coach of the year award. “Ottawa is a good team and I thought we did do a good job opening it up in the first half.”

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