The Voyageurs women's soccer team seem to have a knack for leaving things until the last minute. After waiting until the final regular season game to clinch home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs, the squad would again wait until the last possible second to secure their playoff win over the Ryerson Rams and move on to the second round.
The game started off much the same as many of the Voyageurs' contests this year, with the blue and gold sitting back and absorbing the early pressure from the visitors before methodically increasing their offensive urgency. The Rams controlled much of the early possession, but couldn't break through the Voyageurs stingy back line or goaltender Caitlin McNamara, that is until the 45th minute. Racing to meet a 50-50 ball, Victoria Watson beat McNamara by half of a step, poked the ball past the keeper, and slid the ball into the open net just before the halftime whistle.
The Voyageurs came out a little passive in the 2nd half and the Rams looked to double their lead early but McNamara made a spectacular diving save from in tight that would serve as a turning point in the game. The save seemed to light a spark within the team and the Voyageurs began pushing the pace looking for an equalizer. Their perseverance would pay off in the 65th minute when an Allison Pilon throw into the box would cause some issues for the Rams defenders, landing on the foot of Sam Selkirk who made no mistake in knotting the game at 1-1.
Despite some chances for both teams, after 90 minutes the game remained tied at 1-1 and overtime beckoned. After nearly 30 minutes of overtime, it seemed like a shootout was in the cards until a free kick was awarded to the Voyageurs in the dying seconds. From roughly 35 yards out, Mia De Gasperis stood over the ball, waited for her teammates to get into position, and played a great ball into the area. Sarah Sanford timed her run perfectly as she met the ball at the top of the six yard box and headed it into the far corner. The final whistle would sound just seconds later to secure the victory for the Voyageurs.
With the win, the Voyageurs will face either UOIT or Queen's on Sunday in 2nd round playoff action.