By Steven Smeall
The Algonquin women’s soccer team will be looking for some revenge this season after securing their spot in Provincials.
After finishing second place in the East Division for the regular season, Algonquin received a bye to the quarter-final round.
The Thunder defeated the Sheridan College Bruins on Oct. 19, winning by a score of 3-0.
“You could see that they worked really hard and we’re just so glad we got the chance to make it to Provincials,” said midfielder Sylvie Avedissian.
Head coach Dom Oliveri believed that the game could have been better than just a 3-0 victory.
“I don’t think we played that well to be honest,” said Oliveri. “We may have won 3-0 today, but I think we panicked for parts of the game and hopefully we learn from the experience today.”
Heading into the game, Algonquin knew they were going to face some tough opponents as Sheridan placed third in the West Division.
The game started off with both teams getting their fair share of chances, putting shots on the net. Neither Algonquin nor Sheridan seemed to control the pace of the game.
The Thunder were able to strike first in the 35th minute after countless opportunities. Midfielder Amy Savage was able to knock the ball in off a corner kick attempt.
Following the first goal, Algonquin was able to keep control of the game for the rest of the first half, holding on to their 1-0 lead.
Coming in after half-time, Algonquin did not let up on the offensive pressure they established in the first half and added on their second goal of the game early in the second half.
Following the second goal, the game returned to the back-and-forth pattern displayed in the first half, with both teams getting their fair share of chances to change the score. With a 2-0 cushion to fall back on, Algonquin didn’t seem too worried.
The Thunder focused on securing the victory with one more goal and that chance came later in the second half, when Algonquin put in the third and final goal of the game.
“It feels amazing,” said midfielder Kelly Avalos. “This was one of the last times I will be playing on home turf so we definitely wanted to go out with a win.”
Oliveri said that the win was a learning experience for the team.
“We just have to keep playing these games as a team,” said Oliveri. “Unfortunately, during our regular season we don’t get the best competition so it’s tough to change the mentality when we’re against stronger teams all the time.”
With the win, Algonquin eliminated Sheridan from Provincials, which will be taking place at Sheridan College. Algonquin will not be getting the friendliest greeting from the Sheridan crowd.
“Any time you can win in playoffs it’s a good day,” said Oliveri.
Algonquin will play Humber College in the first game at Provincials next weekend. Humber has won the OCAA Championship for the past three seasons, and in the 2011-2012 season it was Algonquin that Humber defeated to win their second-consecutive championship.
The score in their matchup from two seasons ago was 2-1. The game required penalty kicks after the game couldn’t be decided in regular time and overtime.
Things have changed from two seasons ago however, and the Thunder feel that this is their game to lose.
“We’re good technically and we’re good with set plays,” said Avalos. “So we just have to stay focused and it’s in our hands.”
Humber qualified for Provincials after defeating Cambrian College by a score of 1-0 in a close matchup.
Earlier in the regular season, Algonquin dominated their way to a 9-0 victory over Cambrian College, a number that wasn’t uncommon for the women this season.
Oliveri is confident the Thunder have a chance to win no matter what the odds are.
“We just have to keep playing and fight through these games.”