Women’s rugby bounced back on Saturday in record-setting fashion.
Following a heartbreaking loss to McMaster last weekend, the Gaels rolled to an 81-0 road shutout against the Toronto Varsity Blues. The game was one for the record books, as the Gaels reached their highest point total in program history.
Head coach Beth Barz said she was very pleased by the performance of her athletes in the victory.
“We were able to accomplish much of what we wanted to do,” Barz said. “As coaches, our job is to notice some areas which we can perfect and we’ll continue working next week.”
With three tries and seven conversions, centre back Lauren McEwen was the standout performer of the game. She added 29 points to her league-leading total of 64.
Barz identified several other players who made notable contributions to the squad including centre back Miranda Seifert and rookies Lizzie Thomson and Jamie Deschanes.
Barz also pointed to fly-half Danielle Underwood, who returned from a knee injury suffered last season.
The Gaels had a strong first half against Toronto, with tries coming from McEwen, Seifert, wing Karley Heyman and forwards Melody Clarke and Jordyn Rowntree. Queen’s headed into the second half holding a comfortable 40-0 lead.
The Gaels were able to maintain their dominance, putting another 41 points on the board. McEwen scored another try in the second half, while four other players added tries of their own.
Looking back on the game, Barz said she was satisfied with the team’s ability to accomplish their goals.
“We game plan based on what our team needs and usually have a good idea how we can accomplish our goals before the game begins,” she said. “The goals we had for organization, connection and communication were accomplished.
“We also had a chance to get some athletes into the game who we have been looking forward to seeing perform and they did not disappoint.” Two of those players were Underwood and lock Claragh Pegg. Prior to the game neither had sported the gold jersey for Queen’s this season due to injury.
Looking forward, the Gaels take on the Trent Excalibur next Saturday on Nixon Field.
Queen’s has been victorious over Trent in recent matches. Last season the Gaels trounced the Excalibur 72-22 in the OUA quarter-finals, after topping them 36-5 during regular season play that September.
The Gaels have won their past 10 meetings with the Excalibur, including playoff games in each of the past five seasons.
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