On October 25, the Varsity Blues played in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) men’s soccer playoffs under the eyes of 200 spectators at Richardson Stadium in Kingston, Ontario. The Blues, dressed in their classic blue jerseys and coming with four wins in a row, visited the Queen’s Golden Gaels, who didn’t want to lose their “lucky seven” win streak. 

In the end, it was the Blues who emerged victorious, earning a strong 3–1 victory. 

What happened

Despite the Blues possessing the ball for much of the game, the Gaels surprised them with a corner kick around 12 minutes into the game. The ball was kicked into the air by Gaels midfielder Andrea Gortana, finding defender Ian Ferguson’s head, who scored the first goal of the match from inside the box and put the Gaels ahead. 

Soon after, determined to return the game to the initial draw, after receiving a pass from Blues rookie forward Michael Maslanka, Blues midfielder Nino Nikolovski took a daring and stunning shot from just outside the area, placing the ball in the back of the Gaels’ net. There was nothing that Gaels goalkeeper Connor Adams could do to stop that ball from crossing over him. 

The rest of the first half had opportunities for both teams; the Blues registered three more shot attempts and the Gaels only two, with each goalkeeper having to make a save only once. 

The second half of the match started with the Blues moving the ball, and seven minutes in, it found Nikolovski. Like in his first goal, Nikolovski received the ball from Maslanka before taking a beautiful curling shot from outside the box that passed just beyond Adams’ fingertips. The Blues now had the lead and maintained it thanks to their perfect line of defense, which not only caused multiple offsides for the Gaels but also contributed to the imprecision of the Gaels’ passes. 

At the 64-minute mark, Maslanka extended their lead, heading the ball into the Gaels’ net. Maslanka finished the game with one goal and two assists. 

The Gaels were unsuccessful for the rest of the afternoon, taking four shots at the Blues’ net, which Blues goalkeeper Alex Lin carefully protected. 

What’s next

After this victory, the Blues played against the Carleton Ravens in the OUA quarterfinals. The game, played in Ottawa on October 28, ended in a 1–0 defeat for the Blues after conceding a goal in the last minute of the match.