By: Patrick Millar

For Kelly Avalos, these last few hours must have been an emotional rollercoaster.

After being named the 2012 OCAA women’s soccer player of the year this Friday, her and the Algonquin Thunder took on the Fanshawe Falcons in a semifinal game in the OCAA women’s soccer provincials being held at Algonquin College.

With a modest but vocal home crowd behind the Thunder, the women came out with a lot of energy and had control of the ball for a good deal of the early game. Unfortunately, Fanshawe midfielder Alex Chesney scored about eight minutes in, getting a rebound off a corner kick that was just too far for goalkeeper Jennifer Kelly to get.

After the goal, the Thunder started to rebound, keeping their dominant possession percentage and pushing the ball up the field hard, but were rewarded with only a few shots on net and by the end of the first half.

When Algonquin came out for the second half, they showed no signs of quitting, pressing the attack a number of times and moving the ball far into the Fanshawe end. The Falcons played well defensively and limited the Thunder’s shots, keeping the bulk of Algonquin’s chances limited to throw-ins and corner kicks.

In the end, Algonquin just couldn’t get the ball through and the game ended 1-0 for Fanshawe.

“What happened is we lost a game where we let in one goal, and that happened to be one goal too many,” said Gittens. “They stopped us from moving the ball effectively and getting shots.”

The Thunder, being the only undefeated team in the OCAA, the East champions, and just voted the best defensive team in the East division with only three goals against all year, were favorites going into the match. However, the Fanshawe Falcons aren’t an unknown to the Thunder; Algonquin and Fanshawe battled at provincials for the third straight year this afternoon.

With Humber and Fanshawe both qualifying for the gold medal game, Algonquin is in danger of being the only one of the trio to not finish in an OCAA medal position for the last three years straight.

“As a team we’re really hurting right now, we just need to take our time to grieve, and tomorrow we need to put on our kit and bring it harder than today to get that medal,” said Avalos. “It’s not what we came out to get, but it’s still a medal and we need to finish the season strong.”

The bronze medal game happens tomorrow at 1 p.m. The Thunder will face Centennial, who lost 3-0 to Humber earlier in the afternoon. Fanshawe and Humber will play at 3:30 p.m. to determine both the gold medal, as well as which team represents Ontario at nationals.

“If we come out tomorrow and play the way we know how to play and the way we want to play, we should do well,” said Gittens.