Written by Samuel Hill
Photo by Marc Lafleur
It was a beautiful Thanksgiving Monday at Ravens Perch, and the action on the pitch wasn’t too shabby either. Carleton and the University of Ottawa played out a physical 1-1 draw. Both goals came late in the second half providing high drama for the home fans. It was a classic rivalry game with both teams going for it until the very end, with points shared being a fair result.
The Gee-Gees were the clear favourites coming into the match, beating Carleton 3-nil on Saturday and ranking third in the nation. However, the Ravens showed early on that they wouldn’t make it easy on their rivals. The home team brought the energy and had a few looks on goal in the first couple of minutes, but it wasn’t long after that Ottawa started to assert their presence. The Gee-Gees found time and space on the Carleton wings but didn’t create much with it. Ravens goalie Sophie Ehlebracht (Ottawa, Ont.) made one notable save in the first half, but for the most part, she felt comfortable in between the posts, as she talked about after the match.
“I was really comfortable. I felt very confident in the whole team and in our defensive shape, and we did a good job of forcing things wide and making my job easy. I can’t ask for much more as a keeper.”
You could tell both teams were up for the mid-afternoon match just by the number of fouls in the first half, thirteen combined for both teams. It wasn’t the prettiest first 45 by the Ravens, but they managed to go into halftime with the game tied at zeros.
The second half was a continuation of the first half for the first quarter of an hour. The Gee Gee’s started to break down Carleton’s formidable backline, and their pressing on the ball was incessant. Unfortunately, Carleton kept turning the ball over in their own third, and it led to multiple moments of panic in the Raven eighteen-yard box, but still, no way past for uOttawa.
It was around when the 65th-minute mark when the match started to turn in favour of Carleton after a jaw-dropping save from Sophie Ehlebracht kept the Gee-Gees scoreless. The Ravens fed off their goalie’s heroics and started to force Ottawa’s defenders into mistakes, which led to a free-kick opportunity from just outside the away team’s box.
Centre back Youma Konate (Ottawa, Ont.) stepped up to take. Her attempt was saved but fumbled by the Gee-Gees keeper right into the path of Ravens striker Lauren Illman (Whitby, Ont.), who tapped the rebound home to send the Bird Gang into a frenzy! Carleton just had to hold on for sixteen minutes, and they’d have a famous win.
However, it was not meant to be for the Ravens as finally the Gee-Gees broke through the Carleton wall in the 84th minute after Angelina Gendreau finished brilliantly from a cross. The Ravens faced a few more nervy moments but held on for a point.
Midfielder Mya Van Haaster was a bright spot for the Ravens in the match. Her aggression and ball progression in midfield allowed for the team to relieve some pressure at key moments in the game.
Postgame, Carleton coach Dominic Oliveri had nothing but positive things to say about his young team: “They’re the number three team in the country, and for us to come out and put six, seven rookies on the field and come out with a draw I’m proud of the group. That’s a heck of a result for us at this stage of the program.”
The Raven women have just one game next weekend on Friday, October 15th away to Ontario Tech. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. from Vaso’s Field with a free broadcast on OUA.tv.