Photo by Valerie Wutti
OTTAWA – After a Friday night 1-1 draw with the Trent Excalibur, the Carleton Ravens women’s soccer team closed out their 2021 regular season with an impressive 4-1 win at home in their Halloween rematch with the Excalibur
Before the game, Carleton honoured several key team veterans that would be playing their last match as U Sports athletes. Coach Dominic Oliveri gave his players a final send-off in front of the appreciative crowd at Raven’s Perch. Sunday marked the final match in a Ravens uniform for goalkeeper Sophie Ehlbrecht (Ottawa, Ont.), Ghalia and Sabrina Hammada (Kanata, Ont.), Jade Dacosta-Pacheco (Gatineau, QC.), Jenna Gurniak (Vancouver, BC.), and Selena Moussa (Ottawa, Ont.).
“Senior’s day is always the toughest day of the year,” Oliveri said about losing key players.
“We always tell our players that we want them to leave the program in a better place than when they got here. All of those players today we just honoured can definitely say that.”
Right from the get-go, the Ravens were the aggressor putting in some great chances on the Trent goal in the opening 30 minutes. Lauren Illman (Whitby, Ont.) and Chloe Doherty (Ottawa, Ont.) were linking up well in attack, nearly scoring in the opening 5 minutes after Doherty collected an Illman pass and put the ball off the crossbar. In the 27th minute, Lauren Illman finished a scramble inside the 18-yard box, slotting it behind the Trent goalkeeper and giving the Ravens a 1-0 lead.
After nearly adding a second goal, Illman then went down in the box to draw a penalty kick for Carleton in the 41st minute. She took the penalty that she drew and finished her shot into the bottom left-hand corner to double the Carleton lead just before halftime.
Ten minutes after the halftime restart, Chloe Doherty got involved in the goalscoring action after a strong longshot hit with her right foot found the corner of the net to put Carleton up 3-0 in the 55th minute.
Trent would not make this an easy affair for the Ravens. After falling behind 3-0, the Excalibur quickly struck back with a goal just 4 minutes later. Following a flurry of corner kicks, the ball dropped to Trent’s Jada Foss-Mills (Keene, Ont.) who’s shot took a deflection and beat Sophie Ehlebracht to make it a 3-1 match.
Before the final whistle, Elodie Sylvain (Ottawa, Ont.) struck a beautiful free kick in the 84th minute to make it 4-1 Carleton and secure their 2nd win at Raven’s Perch this season.
After the final whistle both fans and players were emotional as the 2021 season had reached its conclusion for the Carleton women. Younger players gathered around teary-eyed veterans who had just worn the jersey for the last time. Coach Dom Oliveri was able to reflect on the emotions of his team.
“We are happy with where the program is at. Obviously today we gave an emotional send-off for the seniors, but we’ve shown we’re a young team that can compete in a very tough division, and that’s something to really be proud of for this season.”