By: Stephanie Taylor-Baptiste
Minus three of their starters, the Algonquin Thunder women’s soccer team took to the pitch in Toronto on Sept. 28 to take on Centennial College.
While Centennial has quality players, they have never beaten Algonquin before, and that night was no exception.
Algonquin’s women took down the Colts by a score of 2-1, after finding a way to win the game in the 85th minute.
Head Coach Garth Gittens felt that although they won the game, they did not play to their level.
“We had four yellow cards in one game, the other team had one,” said Gittens. “That really puts players off their game. “We had a closed door meeting after the game and discussed how execution, and not the girls’ effort, was where work was needed.”
The hard-fought battle was one that did not go unnoticed by the Centennial coaching staff. “I thought this was the best games we have given Algonquin in the past 10 years,” said Centennial’s head coach Diarmuld O’Connor.
“They are the best coached college team that we play every year and for us to come that close to getting a result was consolation to us.”
By the time the team took to the pitch on the 29th to take on Loyalist College, they had a different attitude. Due to card trouble in the previous match, the Thunder were short one more starters.
“We were missing a few of our key players, which impacted our play,” said first-year midfielder Melissa Harrison.
The women were up 1-0 for most of the game, but could not connect for another goal after the Lancers tied it up. The match wound up ending in a 1-1 draw.
“We hit posts, crossbars, keepers, players, but we couldn’t get up on them,” said Gittens.
The team recognizes that this weekend is an opportunity to build on, although they do lead the East Division with 19 points.
“We will be picking up our intensity at training this week to prepare for our last regular season game against La Cité,” said Harrison.
The team take on La Cité on Oct. 10, and Gittens thinks this weekend will help the Thunder defeat them.
“This weekend was not what we expected, but it has given us the wake up call that we have to give everything, despite the circumstances,” said Gittens.