The 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Soccer Championships consolation final was an all-Ontario battle with a 1-0 victory for Western as they met Ottawa on the pitch for the last time this season.
Western dominated play in the first half with four shots on goal, while Ottawa took none. In general, Ottawa had a difficult time advancing the ball past half with Gee Gee Cassandra Provost pushing it up on her own in many cases.
Even with all the purple shots, the game remained scoreless in the first half as Ottawa’s Cassidy Joslin protected her net with poise and intensity. In many cases she rushed the play to capture the ball and belted instructions to her defensive line. Her leadership was essential in the opening plays.
Early in the second half, the Mustangs converted. In the 49th minute Western earned the first corner of the game and Reese Fowler’s kick set up their breakthrough opportunity. Medina Birani ran up the right side ready to strike and sunk the ball deep on the left to put the Mustangs up 1-0.
Late in the second half, Ottawa turned up their intensity in an effort to pull ahead, but their added energy earned them more fouls than points as they struggled to enter the Mustang box. Even their two corner kicks late in the half did little to change the momentum.
Western held their lead to finish the game 1-0 and earn a fifth place finish at the 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Soccer Championship, and marks an improvement on their seventh-place finish two years go. Ottawa, for their part, will go home in sixth place.
Nike Team players of the game:
- Western: Medina Birani
- Ottawa: Maya Smith