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A key point in the fight for the playoffs

Following a 3-0 road loss to the Carleton Ravens and returning home to face the same opponent one week later, the Laurentian Voyageurs women's soccer team were feeling anything but defeated as their match kicked off last Saturday in Sudbury.

Turns out they had very good reason to feel that way.

"We actually felt that we played a really exceptional game last weekend," stressed fifth year defender Megan Short, not all that long after the L.U. women had played to a scoreless draw against Carleton, earning another key point in their fight for a playoff spot.

"All of their goals came in a very short time period," Short added. "Other than that lapse, we felt that we played strongly. Today we came in looking to avoid that lapse that we had in the last game - and we knew the players that we had to keep an eye out for."

Sure enough, a quick scan of the boxscore on the OUA website revealed that the Ravens scored all three of their goals at home in a span of seven minutes or so midway through the second half.

And while it would take a huge penalty kick save from Jones in extra time to earn her team the point and her second shutout of the season, the overall flow of the rematch game was generally evenly spread, with Carleton holding a slight territorial advantage in play.

Improving to 2-3-1 and still very much in the post-season conversation, the Voyageurs continue to put together far and away their best season to date under head coach Brian Ashton, remaining competitive in every single game.

"We are really focusing on playing for each other," said Short. "A lot of us are going into our fifth year, so quite a few graduates this year. We're trying to make it out best year yet and go out with a bang."

Few players have benefitted from the stability that experience can bring more than the 22 year-old graduate of Sports Psychology who has tacked on a year of Concurrent Education as she eyes the teaching profession as a career.

"I am playing right fullback and have not moved in five years," said Short. "I think I am a very defensive minded player - but I also think that right back gives me the opportunity to get up and down the line and into the attack, which I am also quite suited for."

Laurentian is back at home this Saturday, hosting the Nipissing Lakers in what stands as a very intriguing contest. Not only are the Lakers among the leaders in the OUA East at 4-1-2, but the northern rivals have also posted excessively lopsided victories over L.U. in each of the past two years, giving the locals plenty of motivation heading into this game.

The Laurentian Voyageurs men's team represent something of the mirror image of the women this year. Saturday against Carleton, three quarters of their back line were freshman, with a number of other rookies and sophomores dotting the pitch of Laurentian University.

The results are a testament to their youth as the Voyageurs were beaten 5-1 by the Carleton Ravens, the same score they posted against the same opponent a week earlier in Ottawa, and followed up with a 6-2 setback at home Sunday versus the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks.

The lads were actually tied 2-2 at the half with the Ridgebacks before a series of penalty kicks put the game out of reach after Timi Aliu had scored twice for the home side in the opening 45 minutes.

The Laurentian men will take their 2-5-0 record into a tilt with Nipissing as well, with the Lakers currently tied for third in the division with a mark of 3-5-0.

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