With the off-season coming to a close, varsity seasons have started up. Every Queen’s team rolls into September bristling with hope and trying to make a run for a championship. With a fresh new schedule, we made our picks for key games to keep an eye out for this fall’s varsity teams.
September 23 in London, On vs. Western University
An OUA classic, Queen’s and Western face off this fall in what should be a highly anticipated matchup for both teams. With no win against their rivals since 2012, Queen’s has a lot to prove this matchup isn’t one-sided.In recent years, these two teams have gone down different routes. While the Mustangs have only lost one regular season game in the last two years, Queen’s hasn’t made it past the first round of the playoffs. With Queen’s core staying intact, they’ll look to avenge the 27-13 loss the Mustangs handed to them last season in their home opener at the now-rejuvenated Richardson Stadium.
September 30 at Richardson Stadium vs. Ryerson University
Following another strong campaign in 2016-17 – in which they placed fourth in the conference — the men’s soccer is hoping to take the next step forward. In the OUA quarter-finals last season, the Gaels gave the top-seeded Rams everything they could handle, but eventually dropped the game 1-0 in overtime away from home. Playing host to Ryerson this time around, look for Queen’s to test their opponent’s resolve and compete for a full three-points.
September 23 at Richardson Stadium vs. UOIT
The Gaels and the Ridgebacks have had tension brewing all summer. The last time the teams met was in the OUA championships, where Queen’s lost a 1-0 nail-biter. This season both teams again project to make deep post-season runs; U Sports has UOIT as the second best team in the country, while Queen’s narrowly follows in fifth. Their September matchup could serve as an early indicator to see who will potentially sit atop the OUA by season’s end.
September 30 at Nixon Field vs. Guelph University
In men’s rugby, Queen’s versus Guelph has become a staple in the finals, having the last three decided between these two teams. Last season, the Gaels failed to beat the Gryphons in both regular season play and in the championship game. Time will tell if the Gaels can bounce back from their championship overtime loss, but their first matchup against the Gryphons is sure to be an exciting one.
September 9 at Nixon Field vs. Western University
Losing three straight OUA bronze medals against Western has women’s rugby ready to turn the corner on this matchup. Since 2014, the Mustangs have beat the Gaels in each of the OUA’s three bronze medal games. If Queen’s wants to make it back to the OUA final — their last championship appearance and win was in 2013 – they’ll have to show they’re ready for the challenge when they host Western at Nixon field.
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