uOttawa Gee-Gees hoist the National cup in the air after a 2-1 victory against the Trinity Western Spartans. Courtesy of the Ottawa Sun.
It’s been 13 years since the uOttawa Gee-Gees made an appearance at the U Sports National Soccer Championship and over two decades since their inaugural win in 1996. But, on Nov. 11th, the Gee-Gees walked out onto their home field and earned the right to call themselves national champions once again.
After a stellar regular season, the Gee-Gees headed into the Ontario University Athletics Championship with 14 wins and only one loss behind them. That momentum propelled them ahead of the McMaster Marauders with a 2-1 win in the semi-finals to face the Western Mustangs in the OUA Gold Medal game on Nov. 4th. Dominating the field and maintaining tight possession, uOttawa scored the only goal of the game to claim the moniker of OUA Champions.
Clear underdogs at the beginning of the season, the Gee-Gees started their season tying with Nipissing before hitting their stride and commanding the field with an almost perfect season.
Their team chemistry and drive to win made them a force on the field this year. Speaking with the Ottawa Sun after their National Victory, head coach Steve Johnson said, “This whole year has been wonderful and it’s a really good group of girls. No egos. Nobody is a super star, yet everybody is a super star.” The head coach since the women’s soccer team began at uOttawa in 1994, Johnson added: “They’ve been very good as a team, probably one of the most together teams since 1996 and the results show on the field”.
The culmination of skill, cohesiveness and comradery on the team carried them to the U Sports National tournament on Nov. 8th. With temperatures in Ottawa dropping below zero and high winds intercepting passes and shots over the weekend, every team had to fight to come out on top.
The Gee-Gees first national outing came against the Calgary Dinos in a 2-1 victory on Thursday leading to a rematch against the McMaster Marauders on Saturday, Nov. 10th.
Facing the Marauders again proved an easy feat for the Gee-Gees, who dominated McMaster to win 4-1 and secured a spot at the championship game against the Trinity Western Spartans.
On Nov. 11th at Gee-Gees Stadium, the uOttawa women’s soccer team took to their home pitch, surrounded by fans, friends and family, to win the National title again after 22 years.
Within 19 minutes, uOttawa scored against the Spartans with a shot by top goal scorer, Mikayla Morton. Fighting hard for a National win, Trinity Western responded five minutes later with a successful shot by Seina Kashima to tie it up.
Solid Gee-Gee defense and Miranda Smith’s goal 64 minutes into the game secured the lead for uOttawa but it was the stellar diving save by goalkeeper Margot Shore at the 72-minute mark that carved their names into the National Cup and crushed the Spartans.
On Sunday night, in the cold and snow on their home field, the uOttawa Gee-Gee’s women’s soccer team hoisted the National Cup up high and celebrated the highest victory they’d been working towards all year, breaking a two-decade drought and solidifying uOttawa women’s sports in university history once again.