A year after falling in the first round of the Ontario University Athletics playoffs, the McMaster women’s soccer team is headed to the national championships.

The Marauders defeated the Queen’s Gaels 3-0 on Sunday to earn their spot in the U Sports women’s soccer championships, which will be held in Ottawa next weekend, and pick up an OUA bronze medal in the process.

While they scored three times, the Marauders would need just one to ern the victory. The game winner came off the foot of Steph Roberts in the 45th minute but she did not initially know she had got the goal.

Ally Riganelli went down the right side of the field and sent it into the box which Roberts tipped on and rang off the crossbar, coming straight down on the line. However, the assistant referee called it in and the head official pointed to centre sending Roberts and her teammates into a celebration.

Six minutes into the second half, Roberts found the ball that came off a save by the Gaels’ keeper and put it into the open net for a 2-0 lead.

McMaster would put the game away in the 82nd minute when Riganelli headed the ball in off a corner kick that went off a couple other players before being put in for the 3-0 lead.

In the gold medal game, the Ottawa Gee-Gees defeated the Western Mustangs 1-0 to capture the OUA crown, but because the Gee-Gees had advanced to the OUA gold medal game and are the U Sports hosts for the championships, the bronze medal winner also advanced to the U Sports tournament.

The victory avenges a loss six years ago to Queen’s in the OUA bronze medal game which was decided in penalty kicks.

The U Sports Women’s Soccer Championships will start on Thursday with quarterfinal action. McMaster will take on the Montreal Carabins starting at 3pm eastern.