Women’s rugby makes early exit

Undefeated team falls 10-7 to Waterloo in quarterfinals

Women’s rugby was unable to muster enough offence to overcome the Waterloo Warriors in quarterfinal action.
Women’s rugby was unable to muster enough offence to overcome the Waterloo Warriors in quarterfinal action.

Riding high from their perfect regular season, the women’s rugby team was brought back to earth Thursday when they fell three points short of a semi-final berth and a visit to Western. The team had gone into their quarterfinal match against Waterloo with high hopes and a realistic shot at the semi-finals. The Gaels did not play the Waterloo Warriors in the regular season and the women played a tough game despite not having seen their opponents before.

Waterloo was first on the board with a try 20 minutes into the game, but Queen’s was not long in responding. A try by Kelly Lagace and conversion kick by Charlene Barter gave the Golden Gaels the lead. Both teams were strong on offence and defence, and fairly even play during the remainder of the half sent Queen’s into halftime holding a 7-5 lead.

When the third quarter began, the wind was against the Gaels and they struggled to gain control of the game. Waterloo was relentless in their attack, persistently keeping the Gaels trapped in their own end. Finally they proved too much, and Waterloo’s Diane Kelly scored her team’s second try. Again, no conversion was made but it was all the visitors needed to take home the win.

In the last few minutes of play, the Gaels made one final push into Warrior territory but couldn’t capitalize.

The quarterfinal loss eliminated the Gaels from the OUA playoffs, putting an abrupt end to an otherwise unblemished season.

Coming out of the match, team members said they may have missed an opportunity, but there was no bitterness about the game despite their high expectations going in.

“There are definitely some things we could have done to win the game,” said Gaels head coach Beth Barz. She said her team had focused on finding what each player could do to make the player beside her better.

The Gaels focused on supporting their teammates and ensuring that players’ mistakes were viewed as team mistakes.

“They were able to congratulate each other when one person did exactly what they had planned to do,” Barz said.

Despite a disappointing end, Barz said she was pleased with the way the season played out.

“I think the girls definitely came away with a good taste in their mouths,” she said, adding that compared to previous seasons, this team not only played better together, but enjoyed their time on the field much more.

Barz said she is confident that at the end of the day, the women were able to come away having experienced something worthwhile.

“We definitely would have liked to have gone to play Western,” Barz said, but added she had no regrets about the year. The team will be remembered for their undefeated season and will be looking to take their game even farther in the season to come.

Erin Flegg came through in the clutch for this article.

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