Algoma Thunderbirds Weekend Wrap Up – September 6th-8th


Weekend Report – Algoma University Soccer
Saturday, September 7th – Algoma (0) @ Windsor (5) – Women

The Algoma University Thunderbirds Women’s Soccer Team travelled down to Windsor, Ontario this past weekend to take on the Lancers in a double-header of away games. On Saturday, the Thunderbirds were outmatched by a Lancer squad who showed poise, tactical brilliance, and execution in all phases of play. In the Homecoming weekend for the Lancers, they got out to a blazing start notching 3 quick goals and taking a commanding lead into halftime. Head coach of the Thunderbirds, Neil Ovey, was less than impressed with his teams performance in the first half. “We lacked the execution of the basics”, said the boss. Simple, careless mistakes let the Thunderbirds down in the opening 45 minutes. “Our passing and speed of play lacked tremendously. Honestly, we made too many basic mistakes”, added the coach. The Thunderbirds, the youngest squad in the OUA this year showed a bit of inexperience on the day. The Lancers took advantage of their experience despite being a relatively young squad themselves. Coach Neil added, “Aside from not being able to execute the basics, we simply didn’t follow the game plan which was frustrating”. The end result was 5-0 in favour of the home side, Windsor Lancers. A commanding victory that
placed a divide between the two teams on day one of the weekend’s double-header.

Saturday, September 7th – Algoma (0) @ Windsor (4) – Men

The Algoma University Thunderbirds Men’s Soccer Team travelled down to Windsor, Ontario
this past weekend to take on the Lancers in a double-header of away games. On Saturday, the Lancers showed plenty of squad depth which outmatched the Thunderbirds on the day. Two heartbreaking goals inside the opening 30 minutes on the back of individual errors was all it took for the Lancers to take hold of the game and not look back. Head coach of the men’s squad, Neil Ovey, heaped praise on his team for the way they started the game, “We started off really well. We were excellent defensively, didn’t concede any real chances, and produced a little bit in and around their box”. A goal just after the 15 minute mark off a deflection and a second goal off of a failed clearance took the wind out of the sails for the Thunderbirds. “You could see that those two errors hurt us”, said Coach Ovey.

A 2-0 lead for an experienced Lancer men’s team going into halftime was really all it took for
them to manage the game in the second half. Whilst the game remained in the balance, another goal for the Lancer’s late in the second half off a defensive giveaway put the scoreline to 3-0. With just 5 minutes remaining, a penalty kick for the Lancer’s put the game to bed making it 4-0. “The biggest struggle for us [Algoma] today was fitness. We lacked hugely in that area”, said the boss. The Algoma men’s team, due to various reasons of injuries and travel permits, were only able to attend the weekend games with 15 players. Coach Neil commended his squad for putting forth a genuine effort despite the circumstances, “The lads gave it a fair go and did as they were
asked. Some individual errors costed us. In the end, we didn’t get that bit of luck that was needed to keep the game a little closer and potentially make a late run to put the pressure on”. A 4-0 scoreline in favour of the home side certainly bolstered the Lancer’s heading into the second game of the weekend double-header.

Sunday, September 8th – Algoma (4) @ Windsor (1) – Women

History was made Sunday afternoon at Alumni Stadium in Windsor, Ontario as the Algoma
University Women’s Thunderbirds won their first ever OUA game in school history. The lady
Thunderbirds came out to a blistering start filled with attacking football, loads of chances, and
putting the Lancer’s on the back foot. An early goal from rookie, Kate Nippard, had the
Thunderbirds out in front early on in the contest. The lead for the Thunderbirds wouldn’t last
long as a handball committed inside the area caused the Lancer’s to soon thereafter get back on level terms after a calm finish from the spot. The Thunderbirds responded brilliantly just
moments later regaining their lead thanks to the efforts of Maria De Melo putting one past the Lancer keeper. Not to be stagnant, the Thunderbirds continued on in the attack coupled with a high press causing several turnovers and exchanges in possession. Another goal by Kate Nippard just before halftime gave the Thunderbirds a 3-1 lead going into the break.
In the second half, the Thunderbirds found themselves on the blackfoot on a few occasions but, were still able to generate chances whilst keeping the Lancers relatively quiet in the attack. A solid defensive effort from the Thunderbirds cut out many promising attacks from the Lancers. Late in the second half, a brilliantly executed counter-attack lead by _____ to a third goal from rookie, Kate Nippard. A top class performance put the game to bed as the Thunderbirds went up 4-1 and were able to see the game out. An exclamation mark was put on the contest as the Lancers were able to earn a second penalty kick in the game but, only to be stopped.

For the first time in Algoma University history, the women’s soccer team recorded a win in the OUA. Coach Neil Ovey was full of praise for his squad after the contest. “It was a much better performance from the day prior. We made some changes to the starting 11 and tweaked some of the tactics as well. The girls played with a great deal of intensity, character, and grit. At times, especially towards the end of the game, we had to dig in but, we never felt overly threatened. Full credit to the girls; they managed the game incredibly well”.

Next up for the lady Thunderbirds will be a set of home games at Superior Heights on September 14 & 15. Both games will kickoff at 1:00 pm v. Waterloo.

Sunday, September 8th – Algoma (0) @ Windsor (6) – Men

On day two of the weekend double-header, the Windsor Lancer men’s squad picked up where
they left off from the Saturday evening contest picking up a second win against the Algoma
Thunderbirds. A weakened and depleting Thunderbirds side was met by a deep, veteran Lancer team who were able to simply out-do the Thunderbirds on Sunday afternoon. Countless defensive errors lead to many chances in front of goal for the Lancer’s in which they were clinical. A 4-0 lead for the Lancer’s at halftime had the game all but won.
Head Coach, Neil Ovey, spoke to the performance of his side as being, quite simply, not good
enough. “It wasn’t a great performance. Nothing we did seemed to work. We were far off the pace, honestly”. A persistent Lancer squad saw much of the ball on the day and took advantage of nearly every chance they had. Coach Ovey once again spoke to the individual errors of his side, “The first 3 goals were all individual errors. At this level, a lead of 3 goals puts the game to bed; you’re just done”.
In the second half, the Lancer’s added another 2 goals to round out the game with a 6-0 final
scoreline. The main message for the Thunderbirds after the game was to simply, “Move onto the next”. Coach Ovey furthered his post-game team talk stating, “We learn from this, we pick ourselves up, and we grow”. The boss also stated that, “It’s important we move on because we have another 10 games ahead of us to look at and get something from. It all starts next weekend against Waterloo and really focusing on the task at hand there”.

Next action for the Men is at home (Superior Heights) on September 14 & 15. Both games will
kickoff at 3:00 pm v. Waterloo.