Varsity Blue Julia Gonsalves battling against Ottawa Gee-Gees defender Lauren Da Luz. ANDY TAKAGI/THE VARSITY

The University of Toronto Varsity Blues soccer program had another strong home weekend at Varsity Stadium, earning one victory and two draws. The Blues women’s team defeated the Carleton Ravens and tied the Ottawa Gee-Gees, while the men’s team extended their unbeaten streak to nine and moved into second place in the OUA East standings with a 6-0-3 record following their 1–1 draw against the rival Ryerson Rams.

Nick Lambis scored a late equalizer for the Rams on Saturday in the 85th minute to prevent the Blues men from earning their seventh victory of the season. In the 18th minute, Kenny Lioutas had opened the scoring when he headed home Marko Mandekic’s free kick. Following the draw, the Rams remain seventh in the league standings, having forfeited their first six games of the season the previous week for playing an academically ineligible player.

“We know that Ryerson is a good team and that we may end up seeing them again in the playoffs, so this was a taste of what we will see come October,” Blues head coach Anthony Capotosto said in the team’s official press release following the match. “I thought that our guys put in a great shift today, fought for one another, and picked up a very important point against a very good team.”

The Blues women opened their weekend doubleheader with a 1–0 victory over the Carleton Ravens on Saturday. In the tightly contested match, Blues forward Chelsea Cheung proved to be the only difference, netting the game winner in the final minutes of the match. Cheung followed a shot off the crossbar and placed her rebound attempt in the back of the net.

The Blues women also played host to the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees on Sunday, a match that ended in a 2–2 draw as both teams fought to maintain possession and created chances throughout the match. Cheung continued her strong form, netting a goal from the top of the box in the 12th minute for her fifth goal of the season. Following the goal, Ottawa sustained pressure in the Blues’ defensive third. Ottawa’s persistence eventually paid off, as Gee-Gee Faythe Lou tied the game in the 33rd minute.

As the game continued in the second half, both teams played evenly, with scoring chances occurring at both ends. The tie was not broken until a long pass sent Natasha Klasios on a one-on-one with an Ottawa defender. She beat the defender and the keeper with a shot from inside the box to give Toronto a 2–1 lead in the 63rd minute.

Toward the end of the game, Toronto attempted to hold on to this lead by playing conservatively and not allowing themselves to get caught too far in Ottawa’s end. This strategy did not pay off, however, as an Ottawa free kick from 30 yards out set up a perfect chance for Gee-Gee Katherine Bearne. She did not waste this opportunity and struck the ball into the back of the net to tie the game at two goals apiece.

In a nerve-wracking final 10 minutes, Ottawa looked to have taken the lead in the 85th minute. However, the goal was quickly called offside. In the final few minutes, Ottawa looked dominant, but the Blues held on until the final whistle and secured a draw. The Blues women maintain fourth place in the OUA East and their record now stands at 5-4-1.

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