The Gee-Gees women's soccer team enters the OUA Final Four at Western this weekend as the top remaining seed after the OUA West division saw its no. 1 and 2. seeds fall in quarterfinal play. Ottawa will face McMaster in semifinal play on Friday at 3 p.m.
The OUA Championship game is set for 3 p.m. on Sunday, with the bronze medal match beginning at 11 a.m. that day. All matches at the OUA Final Four will be webcast live on OUA.tv
Head coach Steve Johnson has eight OUA banners to his credit (2014, 2012, 2006, 2003, 2000, 1999, 1997, 1996), which is tops among all OUA programs. Ottawa is returning to the Final Four for the first time since 2015 when the team won bronze, and are riding a nine-game win streak.
The Gee-Gees enter the weekend ranked no. 4 in the national top ten thanks to a 14-1-1 regular season record and a strong 2-0 win over the Toronto Varsity Blues in quarterfinal play on Sunday. Emma Lefebvre, who led Ottawa with 11 regular season goals, scored both for the Garnet and Grey while defensively the squad allowed only four total shots.
Ottawa's lineup includes four players who captured the 2014 OUA Championship: midfielder Katherine Bearne, strikers Delaney Rickert-Hall and Sophie Curtis, and Kayla DaCosta Pacheco in defence.
Friday's opponent, McMaster, upset the nationally ranked Guelph Gryphons by a 2-1 score in the OUA West Division quarterfinal. The Marauders also played in the opening round of the playoffs, taking a 2-0 win over Brock. McMaster, 8-3-5 in regular season play, last lost on September 21 and recorded a 1-0 win over Guelph earlier in the season.
Senior striker Stephanie Roberts was the primary goal-scoring threat for McMaster throughout the regular season, counting 14 goals and two assists. Roberts also netted the game-winner against Guelph and both goals against Brock.
One of the stingiest teams defensively, the Marauders allowed just 0.81 goals against in the regular season which ranked fifth in the entire OUA. Ottawa's mark of 0.47 goals against was second only to the now-eliminated Gryphons. The Gee-Gees led the conference in team scoring, with 2.56 goals for, while McMaster counted 1.88 per game to tie for fifth.
With Ottawa hosting the U SPORTS National Championship, a total of three teams from the OUA Final Four will advance to compete at the U SPORTS tournament, which opens November 8 at Gee-Gees Field.