Despite outplaying their opponents on Saturday afternoon, the Voyageurs came out on the wrong end of the score line, losing yet another heartbreaker, this time coming at the hands of UOIT Ridgebacks by a score of 2-1.
Celebrations erupted early in the match for the Voyageurs when just three minutes in, first year midfielder, Helaina Vansoelen scored to put Laurentian up by one goal to nothing. But these celebrations would not last long as just seven minutes later, the Ridgebacks' Rihannon Kissel scored an unassisted equalizing goal. Despite this setback, the Voyageurs marched on, looking for the go ahead marker. They had a greater possession and number of shots the rest of the half but were unable to find the back of the net. On the other hand, the Ridgebacks were able to finish off their chances when, in the 42nd minute, Katherin Koehler-Grassau scored with an assist from Melanie Hoekstra to give UOIT their first lead of the match.
The second half started in the same manner the first finished, with increasing pressure from the Voyageurs. Brianne Rodrigue and Mia De Gasperis had successive shots on goal early in the second half but the Ridgebacks goalkeeper was up for the task and denied their quest for an equalizer. The Ridgebacks then got into a bit of foul trouble but nothing came of it as the Voyageurs were unable to capitalize. A score line of 2-1 would hold until the final whistle was blown.
After the match, coach Gallo admitted where his team fell short. "Another solid performance. The inability to finish is our story this season. [An] unfortunate 2-1 loss vs UOIT."
After Saturday's match, the playoff picture got more complicated for the Voyageurs but it has not deterred them one bit. They are confident that playing with heart and leaving it all on the field will translate into success; a sentiment expressed by De Gasperis: "The standings are very tight, so every game from here on out is a must win. The team has a lot of heart and we want to decide our own fate. So we will not give up the fight. Unfortunately the results haven't shown how hard we work but if we continue to play the way we've had, we should see success."
The Voyageurs will now play a crucial match tomorrow against the Trent Excalibur who sit just one spot ahead of Laurentian and are also chasing the Toronto Varsity Blues for that sixth and final playoff spot. Both, Laurentian and Trent have identical points this season so far. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 pm on Sunday.