In a must-win situation to qualify for the quarterfinals, the Algonquin Thunder women’s soccer team faced cross town rivals La Cité Collégiale and came away with a decisive 5-0 shutout.

The match drew a large and enthusiastic crowd as these fierce rivals faced off. La Cité fans came armed with pots and pans to make noise and cheer on their team, but to no avail.

Fourth year midfielder Jaymie Baldree had a header to put the Thunder up 1-0 in the early minutes of the game. Baldree would score again, in the first half, for the Thunder, as well as midfielders Julie Paul, Jeselah Rada and defender Chelsea McLean.

Keeper Jennifer Kelly played an exceptional game. La Cité had some great chances but she was able to stay calm and keepthe ball out of the net. La Cité received a penalty kick and Kelly came up huge with the original save, as well as off the rebound.

“We played well tonight,” said Kelly. “We really stepped it up after the last few weeks. We’ve come together as a unit. This sets the tone for the playoffs. We have overcome bumps on the path to get here and that makes us strong for the challenges ahead.”

Head coach Garth Gittens was very happy with the result.

“They played well and worked hard,” he said. “They executed on set plays which is something we have been working on.”
Still, Gittens says the team needs to “work on what we can fix. We’ll take a look at our game tape and see where we can make improvements. We’ll also look at the next team (Conestoga) and look at what they have.”

“We’ve had a couple setbacks, but I love this team,” said Rada. “We just have to maintain our focus and keep that up for the post season. The other teams are strong so we have to play with the same intensity throughout.”
While reflecting on how the season has gone Gittens said he was impressed by not only their veterans, but also the first year players who have made an impact on the team.

“We’ve seen great play from Jaymie Baldree and Kelly Avalos,” he said. “Our back line has been composed even under pressure. And our first year players have come out strong when we need them to be.”

Algonquin played Conestoga College in the quarterfinals on Oct. 20. Algonquin recognizes that their season is what will prepare them for the playoffs.