Fired up after a 3-0 win over UQTR earlier in the week, the McGill Martlet soccer team came ready to play Bishop’s on Friday night. The Martlets defeated the Gaiters in their last home game of the regular season by an 8-1 margin.
Despite the large goal differential, Head Coach Marc Mounicot was slightly disappointed with his team’s effort.
“Our goal was to score as many goals as we could,” Mounicot said. “Yes, we scored eight goals today, but we should have beaten that team by more.”
McGill started the first half quickly, moving the ball well and creating many scoring opportunities. Just 15 minutes in, forward Kristina Pearkes launched the first goal of the game, opening the floodgates for other Martlets. Minutes later, Margaux Sleckman scored the second goal from 25 yards out. Selena Colarossi and Stephanie Avery eached chipped Bishop’s goalkeeper Marie Pierre Harvey to pad McGill’s lead. Second-year defender Jenna Holdham tallied yet another, heading it past Harvey in the 36th minute.
Entering halftime, McGill found itself ahead 5-0. The Martlets’ large lead allowed complacency to set in. They stopped moving their feet, which gave Bishop’s free shots on net. The Gaiters scored in the 62nd minute, denying McGill a shutout.
After some substitutions for McGill, the Martlets picked up the tempo. Meghan Bourque came off the bench and scored two quick goals within six minutes of each other. Another substitute, Melissa St-Onge, scored the final goal of the game in the 90th minute, sealing the Martlet victory.
Sitting in third place in the RSEQ, the Martlets have secured a playoff position. However, Mounicot believes the Martlets must improve in a few areas if the team wants to contend for a conference title.
“I was not happy that we gave up a goal,” Mounicot said, as it was just the Gaiters’ fourth goal of the season. “We have to keep working on our set plays, [our] finishing, and controlling the tempo of the game. When we are in control, we [create] better shots, and when we don’t have control, we need to concentrate and get that control back.”
The players, however, were more enthusiastic about the outcome. Bourque explained that it was important to give all the Martlets some playing time.
“It was great. Once we warmed up, we got into a groove and everyone got a chance to play. It was important to come out and score lots of goals, both for stats, but also for confidence,” Bourque said. “I don’t get a lot of opportunities to score, so getting these two goals puts me in a great confident position for our upcoming games.”
One of McGill’s strengths is the ability to get offensive output from many players of all positions. Even Holdham, a defender rarely in a position to score, managed to add one in the game.
After the match, she reiterated the importance of momentum.
“Scoring lots of goals and proving ourselves out on the field will be important for playoffs,” Holdham said. “We’re going to come up against Sherbrooke, who beat us in the semi-finals last year. We’re going to have to carry this type of play over, and take it to them.”
The Martlets tied Sherbrooke on Sunday afternoon, and will get another crack at the Vert-et-Or in the RSEQ semifinal on Nov. 2.