On Wednesday, the UTM Division One women’s soccer team braved the cold to play their semifinals game against St. Michael’s College at Varsity Stadium. Since the game was a playoffs match, it had both a referee and linesmen. By 7:45 p.m. the teams were on the field, ready to earn their spot in the gold-medal game.
Both squads had to adjust to playing in Varsity Stadium, since the field is bigger than what they’re used to, and the field is made of turf.
UTM controlled the play for the majority of the first half and had a few scoring opportunities, including a shot from Leah Smith that hit the crossbar, but the girls were unable to sink their shots. Late in the half, UTM had another great chance at scoring, but the forward was deemed offside, giving St. Mike’s the ball. At half-time, the score still stood at 0–0.
The Eagles came out strong in the second half, hungry for a goal. The girls were rewarded for their effort after just two minutes of play when Diane Fric and Leah Smith came down the right side. Fric easily passed the St. Mike’s sweeper and crossed the ball into the goalie’s box, where Smith sent the ball into the left corner of the net. UTM had broken the score to 1–0, and all they needed to do now was keep their opponents from scoring.
St. Mike’s tried to answer with a goal, but only had one good opportunity, which was shut down by UTM’s goalie, Christy Simbeya. UTM had a few opportunities to secure their lead with a second goal, but were unsuccessful: Sarah Atkinson kicked the ball just over the crossbar and Natasha Butzow was deemed offside. On the defensive end, UTM had a spectacular lineup and prevented St. Mike’s from getting any chances to score.
“The girls played amazing,” said UTM’s coach, Robert Brown, after the game. “They limited the other team’s chances and they worked the flanks perfectly.”
UTM will play the women’s Division One final against UTSC on November 24 at Varsity Stadium.