Women’s rugby perfect for playoffs

Team earns 6-0 regular season record against Golden Hawks

The Golden Hawks couldn’t keep up with women’s rugby as Queen’s completed a perfect regular season on Saturday.
The Golden Hawks couldn’t keep up with women’s rugby as Queen’s completed a perfect regular season on Saturday.

A perfect 6-0 season and the guarantee of a quarterfinal match on home turf were on the line for the women’s rugby team Saturday against the Laurier Golden Hawks. Nothing was going to come between them and victory. And indeed nothing did.

Within the first few minutes of play, the Golden Gaels showed every intention of dominating their opponents, driving a hesitant Laurier squad deep into their own end. Twenty-five minutes in, employing a down-the-centre strategy, the Gaels made a fierce rush for the line. They overcame the Hawks to score their first try and the conversion.

In an attempt to pull up their socks and get on the board, Laurier replied with a hard push into the Queen’s end—cutting off several runners—but was quickly denied.

The Gaels began the second half up 7-0 and eager to finish what they had started. Switching their focus from down the centre to out wide, they attacked with a vengeance and in less than five minutes had put up their second try and conversion.

But the Golden Hawks would not be so easily defeated. They responded almost right away with their first try of the game, but missed the conversion. Their hopes were short-lived, though, as Queen’s immediately took the ball the length of the field for their third try.

A small string of sloppy passes slowed momentum a little but was nowhere near enough to give Laurier an opening.

The Gaels built to a strong finish, scoring two more tries and a conversion in the last ten minutes of play, for a final score of 31-5.

Kelly Lagace scored two tries, while Laura Cooney, Jen Redwood, and Paige Churchill scored a try each, and Charlene Barker made good on three conversions.

Head coach Beth Barz said being vocal on the field was a big part of the team’s season goals, and the players delivered. She said communication was crucial for the Gaels, and the field was indeed abuzz with voices as the team looked to close out the match and claim a perfect regular season record.

The game was the realization of a season-long goal, and one that the team felt from the start was within their reach, Barz added.

“We wanted to finish the regular season with no losses,” she said.

Barz added her team also focused on achieving each player’s personal goals and on making their time on the field fun.

“Last year was very frustrating,” said Barz, emphasizing the need for her players to take the time to just enjoy the game.

The team is looking ahead to their quarterfinal match against Waterloo on Saturday when they will host the Warriors at Kingston Field. Queen’s has not yet played Waterloo, nor even had a chance to see them play, but Barz said the Gaels still expect stiff competition.

Barz said that while their sights are set on a semifinal match next Sunday, the team will be keeping their focus on the task at hand.

“There’s no time like the present,” she said.

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