Banner Season: Early offence helps Lions roar to OUA title over Varsity Blues

Photo by Greg Mason
Photo by Greg Mason

Ottawa, Ont. (via Ottawa Gee-Gees) - Two goals inside the first 20 minutes were enough for the York Lions, who defeated the Toronto Varsity Blues to win the 2019 OUA Women’s Soccer Championship by a 2-0 score at Gee-Gees Field on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Toronto put one in their own net in the 11th minute, before Jessica Lush doubled the lead in the 17th.

“These girls put in a great effort and we played some really good football,” said York head coach Carmine Isacco. “We weren’t afraid to play through situations, so hats off to them. They did very well.”

York entered the match coming off a dramatic extra time victory over the number one ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees the night prior.

The Lions opened the scoring after a dangerous cross into the six-yard box was hammered into the back of the net by Varsity Blues defender Anna Crone.

Jotam Chouhan, whose extra time winner in the quarterfinals helped the Lions defeat the Guelph Gryphons, dropped a free kick into the box in the 17th minute. The ball fell to Jessica Lush, who remained composed and slotted her shot into the bottom corner to make it a two-goal advantage.

The 2-0 lead would hold for the rest of the match, as York turned in a quality defensive effort. Toronto could only muster two shots on target in the second half, both of which were handled by goalkeeper Danitza Indacochea.

“We worked hard for it, so for us this is a big win,” said Lions midfielder Kalifornia Mitchell. “It’s a big achievement for us. The second 45 was more defensive. We had to play for each other, because we knew we had to hold the two-goal lead.”

“We were disciplined, and we understood what to do to win at this level,” Isacco said when asked about his team’s second half performance. “It was important that we defended first and created opportunities off our defending. I thought we could have got a third and we limited [Toronto] in the second half.”

This is York’s fourth OUA Championship and their first since 2009.

By virtue of their wins in the semi-finals the day prior, both the Lions and the Varsity Blues qualified for the U SPORTS Women’s Soccer National Championship, which will take place in Victoria, B.C., from November 7-10.

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