U Sports Communications
WOLFVILLE, N.S. - The UBC Thunderbirds will have an opportunity to repeat as U Sports champions after an exhausting semifinal matchup against the Queen'sGaels.
After a delay of the field lights inadvertently turning off and two overtime halves of 15 minutes, the game resorted to penalty kicks to decide who would move on to the gold medal game scheduled for Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Rachel Jones' (North Vancouver, B.C.) made penalty kick was the game winner as the Thunderbirds captured a 3-2 shootout victory.
With 13 shots and seven landing on net, the Thunderbirds protected Adidas Player of the Game Marlee Maracle (Oakville, Ont.) by limiting the Gaels to five shots on net.
When questioned what her mindset was prior to the penalty kicks, since she had not been tested this season with any games decided by them, Maracle noted the need to erase and start fresh.
"Honestly I just cancelled out the overtime and regulation time I was playing and started fresh trying to go forward with a clear mindset,” she said. “With the PK stressful on both ends including the shooter, I just got on the goal line and began reading body language."
The Thunderbirds had several opportunities to end the game before overtime play, including a shot off the top bar that was ruled to be not a goal.
Today's match was the fourth game in a row that played beyond regulation time, with the previous consolations games extended directly into penalty kicks and Laval's overtime win against UOIT.
The defending U Sports champions will take on Laval on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 2:30 p.m., while the Gaels will play for bronze against UOIT at Noon. In consolation play, the host Acadia Axewomen are matched up against the Saskatchewan Huskies tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.