Written by Mark Bahensky
Photo by Valerie Wutti
OTTAWA, Ontario – The Carleton Ravens saved their best performance for the final game of the season on Sunday afternoon, defeating the Toronto Varsity Blues 2-0 to capture their second win of the season.
“The kids executed our game plan, to be fair I think this has been coming for a few weeks now,” said Ravens Head Coach Dom Oliveri.
“The story of our season is injuries. I think we’ve missed 75 [man] games due to injury, 7,500 plus minutes. When you have those types of injuries it’s hard to overcome.”
The Ravens capitalized on their first chance, six minutes into match. Jenna Gurniak dispossessed a Varsity Blues player in midfield before playing the ball up to Chloe Doherty on the right side. Doherty beat two defenders before playing a low cross into the box for Cheyenne Bent to run on to. Bent executed under pressure from a defender, directing the ball into the net with her first touch.
“You’re seeing that [Doherty] is a very dangerous player. When she does the things she’s capable of, she creates a lot for us. She’ll be a big part, one of our leaders next year,” said Oliveri.
In the 16th minute, the Ravens doubled their lead. Elodie Sylvain played a long free kick into the box which met Jordyn DeAveiro, who deflected it towards goal. The initial contact was weak, but Youma Konate dove in to push it over the line.
Ravens goalkeeper Sara Wicks was largely untested in the match, being forced to make just two saves with both coming in the second half.
The Varsity Blues best chance came with just over 10 minutes remaining as Jenny Wolever sent in a cross which met Valentina Greco at the penalty spot, but her header flew over the crossbar.
“I think everyone had a little more grit when they played today, so it kind of just pushed us over the top and allowed us to get the result,” said Ravens Captain Sarah Zutrauen.
The Ravens finish the season with a 2-8-4 record, placing them eighth in the OUA East division, despite allowing the fourth-fewest goals.
“I’ve been coaching for 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like this, where a team has this many injuries. They play so well, but don’t get the results they’re supposed to get based on the play,” added Oliveri
“[It was] a lot of rookies playing a lot of minutes and we’re going to be better for it. We’ll be back in the playoffs next year.”
Before the match, the Ravens honoured Zutrauen, Wicks and midfielder Michelle Wilson who will be graduating from the program.
“Definitely an emotional game, it didn’t really hit me until the last whistle blew but definitely some sad emotions. I’ll miss being here every day and competing as a Raven, it’s been a great experience,” said Zutrauen.
“After the season that we had, how much we battled every game and just had the unfortunate and unlucky results, it means a lot to get the three points in our last game.”