Photo by Valerie Wutti
OTTAWA – It was a chilly, drizzly October day at the Ravens’ Perch, but the Raven women did not let the weather stop them from making the goals rain down on their opponent, The Royal Miltary College of Canada. When the final whistle went, the scoreboard showed a decisive 9-0 Carleton win. The two teams started the game in identical 4-3-3 formations, but that is about where the similarities stopped, as the Ravens were commanding from the kick-off.
Carleton was able to find plenty of freedom and space on both wings, which led to their first goal. Rookie Ravens defender Taylor Saunders (Ottawa, Ont.) delivered a lovely low cross that found the feet of forward Chloe Doherty (Ottawa, Ont.) who cooly placed the ball into the back of the RMC net 23 minutes into the contest. Saunders and Doherty connected again for both the second and third Ravens’ goals, and they were beauties. Saunders was able to expose the Paladins high defensive line twice with lovely through balls to the feet of Doherty, who finished the goals off in nearly identical fashion, side-footing the ball into the bottom right corner of the net.
Those goals completed a hat-trick in just 37 minutes of game time for Doherty, who spoke about taking a new approach in front of goal after a disappointing match on Friday night in which Carleton tied RMC 1-1.
“I was obviously frustrated with myself with all the chances I missed on Friday, and I just knew I had to finish them today. So I just focused on passing the ball into the back of the net instead of just shooting it.”
The calmer strategy certainly paid dividends for Doherty and her team, as they went into halftime with a three-nil lead. However, they did not stop the scoring there, as just eleven minutes into the second half, Lauren Illman (Whitby, Ont.) scored the fourth Raven goal after yet another cross from the wing. Illman made a tidy move around an RMC defender and finished brilliantly into the bottom corner.
Ghalia Hammada (Kanata, Ont.) scored two goals late in the game to cap off the blowout, with Martina Milito (Ottawa, Ont.), Selena Moussa (Ottawa, Ont.), and Melissa Balachorek (Whitby, Ont.) also getting a goal each bringing the final tally to nine for Carleton.
To put into context just how good the Ravens were today, Carleton goalie Chloe Lachance-Soulard (Ottawa, Ont.) did not face a single shot on target from the Paladins all game, and it was a comprehensive performance from back to front.
After the game, Ravens head coach Dominic Oliveri praised his team’s ability to bounce back from tough results: “Difficult game for us on Friday…Today was a statement game for us, and we wanted to rebound; we’re a young team. We’re learning how to play in the league. It all came together today for us.”
It was the Ravens’ first win since September of 2019, and it should be a great match to build on for the rest of their season. They play bitter rivals the University of Ottawa on Saturday, October 9th, and then return home on Thanksgiving Monday to complete the two-game series with the Gee-Gees. When asked if she was pumped up to play their biggest enemy, Chloe Doherty (Ottawa, Ont.) said simply, “We’re ready and excited!”