File photo.

On November 1, the Varsity Blues’ men’s soccer team took on the Queen’s Gaels in an OUA-East quarterfinal at the Varsity Centre. The two teams finished second and third in the regular season, with the Blues putting up 35 points to the Gaels’ 32.

In this contest, a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal, the Blues were looking to once again advance to the OUA final four, while the Gaels were looking to redeem themselves after a loss last year.

Both teams came out strong and were eagerly looking for early goals. The teams exchanged chances early, and fourth-year Gaels’ keeper Rab Bruce-Lockhart made an outstanding save in the tenth minute to keep Gaels’ fourth-year midfielder William Twadek from scoring.

The scoring finally opened up during the forty-fifth minute. First-year midfielder Yousef Helmy sent a beautiful cross through the 18-yard box, where it found third-year striker Nirun Sivananthan who connected and sent the ball into the top right corner to register the first point of the match. Sivananthan’s seventh goal of the season ended up being the deciding goal of the match.

At the end of the half the Blues were leading 1–0.

Throughout the second half, both teams were relentless, with both teams having multiple scoring opportunities. Towards the end of the half, the Gaels really put on the pressure, hoping to even the score. However, despite their best efforts, the Blues’ back line was solid, and with an excellent team effort, the Blues were able to hold off the Gaels and secure the win.

With this win, the Blues advance to the OUA final four tournament for the second year in a row. The tournament kicks off on November seventh at York University, where the Blues will face the likes of the Ryerson Rams, York Lions, and McMaster Marauders — the same four teams from last year’s tournament.

Both teams are fighting to qualify for the CIS Championships, which will take place at York University, from November 12-15.

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