The Queen’s Gaels showed up with a game plan and worked it pretty much to perfection in a 1-0 victory over the StFX X-Women in the third of four quarterfinal matches on day one of the CIS women’s soccer championship, Nov. 10 in Wolfville, N.S.
Fourth-year forward Tara Bartrum, one of nine Gaels in either her fourth or fifth year of eligibility, scored the game’s only goal 4:21 into the first half.
Playing with precision and very little wasted energy, fifth-ranked Queen’s, 1-0 losers to the UOIT Ridgebacks in the OUA conference final, put AUS champion StFX back on their heels early, and ended up allowing the X-Women few offensive chances and just one shot on goal.
Queen’s, meanwhile, had six shots on the StFX goal, and barely missed adding to their scoring total a couple of times in the second half.
“We have a lot of good experience,” Gaels Player of the Game Laura Callender said afterward. “A lot of us were at the CIS championship last year as well.”
Queen’s lost its quarterfinal match a year ago, and according to Callender, came to Wolfville this year determined to avoid a repeat of last year’s disappointment.
Asked if the precision Queen’s showed against StFX was their usual game, the fifth-year midfielder acknowledged, “kind of.” As a group, the Gaels “have been in a lot of playoff games. We try to be precise and efficient, not wasting any energy.”
Callender said it was tough playing a team like StFX
“We play a lot of teams who are more direct,” she said, inferring the X-Women play a more deliberate style. However, “when we do get on offense, it gives us a lot of momentum.”
With the win, the Gaels move on to a semifinal meeting with the winner of the UBC- Acadia quarterfinal Friday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. St. F.X. will play the loser of the UBC-Acadia game Friday at 2:30 p.m.
Callender acknowledged Queen’s “got the start we wanted. To be playing for a medal now is great for us. We’re in a great position.”
As for the keys to the victory, she said, “taking control of the midfield and sticking to our game plan.” The latter, she said, “is very important at this level, where there are no bad teams.”