QUEBEC CITY — It was a spooky soiree for the McGill women’s soccer team in the provinical capital city on Halloween Friday, where the Martlets lost the battle for a berth at the CIS championships with a 2-1 setback to Laval in an RSEQ conference sudden-death semifinal at PEPS Stadium.
In the other semi, Montreal edged third-seeded Sherbrooke 3-2, so the RSEQ final will feature top-seeded Laval and No.2-seed Montreal on Nov. 2, with both qualifying for CIS soccer nationals in Quebec City, Nov. 6-9.
Laval’s Joelle Gosselin scored in the first minute of play, a goal which appeared to be the sole marker of the first half. But McGill’s Stefania Folino, a freshman from Montreal, pounced on a loose ball and tied the score at 1-1 in the 45th minute. Then much to her dismay, her heroics were overshadowed an instant later when Laval’s Mellisa Roy scored what proved to be the game-winner, seconds before halftime.
“We got caught up in the emotion (after Stefania’s goal), were distracted and they scored,” said McGill head coach Jose-Luis Valdes of the bizarre circumstances that no doubt had something to do with the ghosts hovering nearby on the Plains of Abraham.
The Martlets pressed in the second half and replaced a defender with another forward in the final 10 minutes, but missed a great chance to score late in the contest. It was a somewhat disappointing conclusion to a McGill season that started with much promise but ended with a 1-3-3 record in their final seven games.
McGill goaltender Cassandra Faffalos, a sophomore from Richmond Hill, Ont., was peppered with 14 shots from a pesky Rouge et Or squad, while at the other end of the field Marie-Joelle Vandall had a quiet night, stopping two of just three shots on net.
“Yes this was disappointing but it was a much more postive ending to the season than last year when we met Montreal (in the semifinal) and did not play very well,” said an emotional Valdes, searching for words after an abrupt end to the season. “But in this year’s playoff, we played well. A couple of distractions ended up costing us.”
McGill finished with a 5-8-4 record overall, including a 4-6-4 regular season mark to finish fourth in the eight-team RSEQ conference.
A young team with seven rookies and eight sophmores, the Martlets show promise for the future. Seniors who suited up for the last time in a McGill uniform included forward Amanda Gonzalez, a physical education major from Montreal, goaltender Elissa McCarron, a civil law student from Halifax, midfielder Hannah Kirby, a fifth-year mathematics student from Kanata, Ont., and team captain Meghan Bourque, a fifth-year physiology major from Burlington, Ont. Bourque was named as McGill’s player of the game in her final match.
SoccerMeter for iPad Game Data
|14||Shots On Goal||3|
|4||Missed Shot Attempts||1|
|77.8||% Shot Attempts On Goal||75.0|
|11.1||% Shot Attempts Scored||25.0|
|49:30||Time of Possession||40:30|
|55%||Time of Possession %||45%|
|10.2||Average Time of a Possession (sec)||8.4|
|63%||Pass Completion %||56%|
|25||Number of Pass Strings||11|
|7.8||Average Pass String Length||6.3|
|16||Longest Pass String||11|
|66.3||Goalkeeper Save %||85.7|
|Laval 2||McGill 1|
|1′ Joëlle Gosselin (Melissande Guy)
45’+ Mélissa Roy (Gabrielle Lapointe)
|45′ Stefania Folino (unassisted)|
|Marie-Joëlle Vandal (W, 1 GA, 2 SVS, 90:00)||Cassandra Fafalios (L, 2 GA, 12 SVS, 90:00)|
|Pos||2014 RSEQ Final Standings||GP||W||L||T||GF||GA||+/-||PTS|