By Jaden Ho
It was a disappointing start to Toronto Metropolitan University’s (TMU) new era in athletics, as the TMU Bold fell 5-1 against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees Sunday afternoon at Downsview Park in their first ever match under the new moniker.
The Bold struck in the dying minutes of the match when Ivymae Perez tapped a shot into the bottom corner past the Gee-Gees goalkeeper to cut the lead to 4-1. Perez’s marker was the first goal in program history under the new name.
“I was so ready,” said Perez following the match. “I think it was a cross…and I just made sure to get my body behind it and score.”
The Gees-Gees came out flying to start the game, controlling the pace of play and holding the Bold in their own side of half. The pressure paid off for Ottawa as Gee-Gees defender Kayla Kyle struck first, finding a gap in the Bold defence and striking a short range shot past Abby Harrison at the fourth minute mark of the match.
Vittoria Gallivan got the Bold their first scoring opportunity in the ninth minute, capping off a couple off a sequence of offensive pressure by firing a bullet just over the crossbar.
Ottawa struck again in the 14th minute, just seconds after a long shot from Élianne Gervaise bounced off the post and the visitors found the loose ball in the box and beat Harrison from in tight to double their lead.
Ottawa scored their third of the game in the 25th minute, as Cassandra Provost made a nice move into the middle of the pitch past Bold defender Tierra Bennett, finishing with a powerful strike into the bottom corner.
Provost doubled down 20 minutes later with a great run down the right wing, cutting into the box and beating Harrison in the bottom corner once again, sending the Gee-Gees into half time with a 4-0 lead.
A frustrated Bold came out strong in the second half, starting with a flurry of chances off of a corner kick in the 48th minute. However, they weren’t able to capitalize on the opportunities.
The Bold once again put together some chances in the 59th minute, started off by a well placed free kick into the box by second-year forward Lizzie Farsang. TMU forward Enoyaa Acheampong nearly stripped The Gee-Gees keeper of the ball in the box, but had it taken back and cleared before getting on net.
A great run up the wing by Bold veteran Kaliegh McKye resulted in a great chance for second-year forward Journey Lashley, who had been subbed in late in the first half.
Lashley generated a great chance in the 81st minute, breaking past the Ottawa defence and racing in after the rolling ball. But she was called offside on the play before she was able to get the shot away.
Olivia Allen added a fifth goal for Ottawa in stoppage time, as she broke into the box alone and beat Harrison with a shot along the ground into the net.
Despite the goal, the Bold continued to push, riding the momentum from the Perez tally right through stoppage time, but were ultimately unable to add another before the final whistle sounded.
Interim coach John Yacou commended his team’s effort in the second half following the match.
“Tremendous character, I’m proud of the ones who were on the pitch and I’m proud of the ones who were off the pitch,” he said “The scoreline really doesn’t show the fight that the girls gave.”
UP NEXT: The Bold will try to bounce back September 15 against Ontario Tech. Kick-off is set for 6 p.m.