By Martin Cleary
The moment of truth has arrived for university sports teams – win or try again next year.
The Carleton University Ravens men’s and the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees women’s soccer teams are still in the mix and will play their OUA semifinals on their home fields Wednesday.
The Ravens women’s soccer team wasn’t as fortunate as it lost its quarterfinal last week 1-0 to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Carleton had enough opportunities – 13 shots and seven on goal – but couldn’t respond to a 17th-minute goal by Toronto’s Anne Yeomans.
The prize for winning that Round 1 game was for the Varsity Blues to meet the Gee-Gees and it didn’t go well for the visiting squad. The Gee-Gees produced a tidy package of offence and defence for a 3-0 victory.
Cassandra Provost scored a pair of first-half goals and Ottawa’s third marker was a Toronto own-goal. Jenna Matsukubo assisted on Provost’s first goal.
Juliann Lacasse earned a quiet shutout as she didn’t have to make a save and watched three Varsity Blues shots miss her net.
The Gee-Gees, the East Conference champions, will play host to the McMaster University Marauders on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The other semifinal will see the Queen’s University Gaels travel to London to face the West Conference-winning Western University Mustangs.
The OUA men’s semifinal between the visiting Brock University Badgers and the Ravens will have the identical 6:30 p.m. start time at Carleton University.
The Ravens waited until the last possible moment in regulation time to blank the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 1-0 in their quarterfinal.
Seven minutes after taking a yellow card, freshman forward Eric Yoseke scored the game-winning goal in the 90th minute. Goalkeeper Tyler David stopped two Varsity Blues shots on goal for the shutout.
Yoseke played in seven regular-season games and had six starts, scoring two goals and adding one assist. The Ravens won the East Conference title with a 10-1-1 record.
RAVENS, GEE-GEES LOSE TIGHT OUA FOOTBALL QUARTERFINALS
The final whistle has blown on the OUA football season for the Carleton University Ravens and the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees.
The Ravens were unable to achieve a comeback victory for the third week in a row as they lost 14-11 on the road to the University of Windsor Lancers.
Windsor quarterback Nick Dimovsky and receiver Evan Martin combined for a 25-yard touchdown with 4:08 remaining to regain the lead once and for all. Brady Lidster kicked the convert.
Carleton had two possessions with about four minutes remaining in regulation time, but couldn’t produce any points.
After a 75-yard drive took the Ravens to the Windsor 14-yard line, quarterback Tristan Lefebvre threw an interception. Placement kicker Brandon Forcier missed a 50-yard field goal in an attempt to tie the game at 14 with 31 seconds remaining.
Elijah Barnes ran for a one-yard touchdown with 6:11 remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Ravens an 11-7 advantage. A two-point convert attempt failed. Forcier kicked a 34-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter and the Ravens also were credited with a third-quarter team safety.
Lefebvre completed 19 of 35 passes for 145 yards, while Tristan Ready caught three passes for 77 yards and Kaseem Ferdinand made nine receptions for 43 yards.
In a rematch of their final regular-season game, Queen’s University Gaels scored points in every quarter and led from start to finish for a 15-10 win over the Gee-Gees.
Ottawa received all its scoring from placement kicker Campbell Fair, who kicked field goals from 31, 17 and 15 yards as well as a single.
Quarterback Josh Janssen gained 172 yards through the air by connecting on 13 of 24 passes and running back Charles Asselin gained 62 yards rushing on 11 carries. Defensively, Kevin Victome made seven solo tackles and had three assisted tackles.
ROSALYN BARRETT WINS SILVER, BRONZE MEDALS AT OUA CROSS-COUNTRY FINALS
Ottawa’s Rosalyn Barrett, a senior kinesiology student at McMaster University, was a double medallist at the OUA cross-country running championships in Kitchener-Waterloo.
Barrett finished second in the women’s eight-kilometre race, which was one spot higher than her finish at the 2022 provincial university championship, and sparked her team to a third-place team result. She also was named to the OUA first all-star team.
Barrett completed the course in 29 minutes, 07.7 seconds, which left her 1.3 seconds behind University of Guelph Gryphons’ Julia Agostinelli, who finished first in 29:06.4. The Gryphons won the women’s team title.
Queen’s Elizabeth Vroom of Ottawa placed 14th in 30:01.6 to help the Gaels finish fourth in the team standings. She was selected a second team all-star.
University of Ottawa Gee-Gees fifth-year student-athlete Andre Alie-Lamarche was eighth in the men’s eight-kilometre final in 24:41.3. Earlier this season, he won the Ronald C. Hoffman Invitational and was second in the Vert et Or Invitational meets.
Ottawa’s Will Cox was ninth in the men’s race in 24:41.9 and played a major role in Queen’s earning second place in the team event.
At the Atlantic University Sport cross-country running championships, the University of New Brunswick’s Olivia Baggley of Ottawa placed 10th in the women’s eight-kilometre race in 32:11.
Baggley was named to the second all-star team as well as the AUS women’s rookie of the year.
OTTAWA PLAYERS PART OF ST. FRANCIS XAVIER DOUBLE SOCCER CELEBRATION
The St. Francis Xavier University soccer program was in full celebration mode, after winning its first men’s Atlantic University Sport title in 29 years and the women’s first since 2016.
And the Xavier rosters were filled with plenty of Ottawa talent – 10 on the women’s side and five on the men’s roster.
Xavier defeated six-time defending men’s champion Cape Breton University Capers 2-0, after it edged the Capers 2-1 in the women’s final.
Ottawa’s Amanda Smith, a forward with Xavier, was named the women’s AUS tournament MVP as well as a first-team all-star. The AUS first all-star team also included Xavier forward Abby Steen and midfielder Caitlin Crichton.
Xavier’s Dylan Vil, a midfielder, was selected to the AUS men’s second all-star team, which also included University of New Brunswick midfielder Lars Gierull of Ottawa, and Cape Breton midfielder Jason Hartill of Carleton Place. University of New Brunswick striker Luke Rosettani of Ottawa was named to the first all-star squad.
The other Ottawa and area players on the Xavier championship rosters were: women – Meg Hamilton, defender; Emma Steen, defender; Lauren Reid, forward; Ava Elgood, forward; Maya Stoppa, midfielder; Kristen Rils, midfielder; and Hailey Jones, goalkeeper; men – Cameron Shaw, forward; Owen Pensom, defender; Damian DeDekker, defender; and Jack Pensom, defender.
LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST
· The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees have been seeded No. 1 for the U Sports women’s rugby championship at Université Laval in Quebec City. The Gee-Gees will play the University of Victoria Vikes in their opening quarterfinal Wednesday at 1 p.m.
· Former Gloucester Skating Club athlete Kaiya Ruiter of Calgary placed 10th in her first Grand Prix event at Skate Canada International in Vancouver. She was ninth in the short program at 55.82 points and 11th in the free skate at 99.62 points.
· The Ottawa Junior Riders finished their Quebec Major Junior Football League regular season in second place with a 6-2 record, after losing 36-23 to pennant-winning South Shore Junior Packers, 8-0.
· Christian Veilleux’s third start as the quarterback for the University of Pittsburgh Panthers was a rough one as the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish cruised to a 58-7 NCAA football victory. Veilleux completed 14 of 29 passes for 127 yards, was intercepted four times, didn’t generate any points and didn’t finish the game.
· Canada lost 45-12 to England in its second game at the WXV Tier 1 championship in Wellington, New Zealand. On Saturday, Canada will play its third and final game in the series against France. Former University of Ottawa players Claire Gallagher, Madison Grant and Alexandria Ellis are on the Canadian roster.
· The Algonquin College Wolves finished fourth at the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association women’s rugby 7s championship, losing the bronze-medal game to Loyalist College Lancers 12-10. Earlier, Algonquin defeated Seneca College 24-5 in the quarterfinals, but dropped its semifinal 7-0 to St. Lawrence College.
· Ivanie Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann, both of Ottawa, and Vincent De Haitre of Cumberland have been named by Speed Skating Canada to compete in the first four World Cup long-track speed skating meets in Obihiro, Japan, Nov. 10-12; Beijing, China, Nov. 17-19; Stavanger, Norway, Dec. 1-3; and Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland, Dec. 8-10.
· The Royal Ottawa Golf Club’s Anne-Sophie Bourgault of Naples, Florida, carded rounds of 78-68 for a two-over-par 146 to win the South Florida PGA Medallist Tour girls’ 13-18 junior tournament by two strokes at Eagle Trace Golf Club in Coral Springs. She shot a blistering five-under-par 31 on the back nine of her second round, which included five birdies.
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 50 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.
When the pandemic struck, Martin created the High Achievers “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.
Martin can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com and on Twitter @martincleary.
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