OTTAWA (U SPORTS) – The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees are writing a fairytale script at the U SPORTS Women's Soccer Championship, clinching a spot in the gold medal game at Gee-Gees Field with a 4-1 victory over the McMaster Marauders. Third-year striker Emma Lefebvre played hero, scoring a brace to help Ottawa to the win.
The first scoring chance came for the Gee-Gees 15 minutes in. A free kick by Delaney Rickert-Hall was an enticing one, but a glancing header by Lefebvre went just over the bar.
In the 198th minute, madness ensued in the McMaster box. A harmless ball into the danger area by Lauren Da Luz was touched by two Marauder defenders and somehow found its way into the net. The own goal gave uOttawa the lead.
Another McMaster miscue in the box cost them dearly less than fourten minutes later.
The Marauders were too casual at the back, and Mikayla Morton crossed the ball to Lefebvre who redirected the ball into the back of the net, doubling the Gee-Gee lead.
Looking to make amends, the Marauders leveled the field in the closing stages of the half. Stephanie Roberts thumped a shot from close range, but Thea Nour made a selfless block, maintaining her team's 2-0 lead into the half.
With a stiff wind at their backs for the second half, the Marauders launched a couple of dangerous balls into the box, challenging Margot Shore in the Gee-Gees goal. Ottawa avoided conceding, although it was a warning that McMaster were ready to fight back.
In the 68th minute, McMaster pulled one back with a cracking goal. Lindsay Bosveld spun and fired a left- footed strike into the roof of the net. The stunning strike made for a nerve-wracking end to the game.
After the goal, the Gee-Gees were on cruise control, and Lefebvre notched her second goal of the game eight minutes later. She showed great fundamental skill by controlling the ball in the box, turning her defender, and beating Juliana Hifawi cleanly to restore the two-goal cushion.
McKayla Morton put the icing on the cake in the closing stages with a long-range effort. Her hard shot along the turf beat Hifawi, confirming and confirmed Ottawa will take part in their first national championship final since 2005.
"I'm just overwhelmed and happy," said Lefebvre, who was named the Player of the Game for the Gee-Gees. "The team was dominating the whole game. Going into the second half the goal was to play possession and play on the ground, but we still got those balls overtop through. I'm really proud of my team!"
The Gee-Gees will look to win their second national championship – and first since 1996 – when they take on the Trinity Western Spartans in the gold medal game. The pivotal, winner-take-all match goes tomorrow, Sunday , November 11 at 3:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 p.m. PT. The Marauders will compete for the bronze medal on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT against Cape Breton.
Players of the Game:
Ottawa: Emma Lefebvre
McMaster: Hannah Chau-Stacey