The Gaels of November remembered

Journal sports editors Amrit Ahluwalia and Jake Edmiston look back on a term where Gaels teams reached the highest highs and the lowest lows

The Journal sports editors break down this fall’s Gaels in the annual fall-term report card
The Journal sports editors break down this fall’s Gaels in the annual fall-term report card
Photo: 

Football

Grade: A+
Record: 7-1 season, 4-0 playoffs

The 11-1 Gaels escaped each box the University football community put them in. The team upset heavily-favoured teams on their successful road to the Vanier Cup. They weren’t expected to beat the first-ranked Université Laval, or the second-ranked University of Calgary.

This season’s seven-game winning streak added to the 17-game regular season winning streak for the Gaels—the longest in team history. The Vanier Cup victory was the first for Queen’s in 17 years. The football team had four All-Canadians—wide receiver Scott Valberg, left tackle Matt O’Donnell, defensive end Osie Ukwuoma and cornerback Jimmy Allin.

Men's Rugby

Grade: A+
Record: 8-0 season, 2-0 playoffs

Men’s rugby finally won the Turner Trophy after three straight silver medal years, beating the Western Mustangs in the OUA final. The team completed its first perfect season since 2001 and had six players finish in the top-20 in scoring.

Lock Ryan Kruyne, who led the OUA in scoring, was named the league’s Most Valuable Player while scrum-half Liam Underwood garnered Rookie of the Year honours. Both were joined on the All-Star list by flanker Pat Richardson, eight-man Tim Richardson, outside centre Graeme Dibden and wing Chris Barrett.

Women's Soccer

Grade: A
Record: 13-1-2 season, 3-3 playoffs

Although the women’s soccer team didn’t manage to bring home any banners, they came as close as they could possibly have come. After a 13-1-2 season which saw them go on a 14-game unbeaten streak and allow a mere five goals all season, the Gaels took home OUA silver after losing the final to the York Lions on penalties. Then, in the CIS finals tournament, they lost to eventual champions Trinity Western in a semifinal shootout before losing the bronze medal game to the University of British Columbia by a 2-1 score.

Striker Renée MacLellan was named the CIS Player of the Year and OUA Most Valuable Player. Midfielder Riley Filion was named Rookie of the Year and head coach Dave McDowell was named Coach of the Year. Defender Brienna Shaw joined MacLellan and Filion as a First-Team All-Star.

Women's Rowing

Grade: A
Third in OUA, second in CIS

The experienced team of rowers were expected to be on Ontario and Canadian podiums this year. Although they weren’t able to repeat last year’s OUA gold medal, they did place second in Canada. Rower Sarah Marshall took gold in the women’s lightweight single at nationals in Montreal, while the lightweight women’s coxed four took silver and the women’s eight and lightweight women’s double both took national bronze.

Women's Golf

Grade: A-
Second in OUA

The women’s team received a bump from recreational to competitive club this year and won every competition in the regular season. Their 6-0 gold medal streak was broken at OUA Championships with a second-place finish behind the Western Mustangs.

Women's Rugby

Grade: B+
Record: 4-1 season, 1-2 playoffs

The women’s rugby team overcame their quarter-final hurdle by beating the Trent Excalibur and earning a semifinal date for the first time in half a decade. The team was then run over by the first-place Guelph Gryphons and fell to the McMaster Marauders in the bronze-medal game.

Fullback Jocelyn Poirier, wing Karlye Wong and scrum half Susan Heald were all named to the All-Star team along with OUA-leading scorer fullback Andrea Wadsworth, who was also named an All-Canadian.

Men's Soccer

Grade: B+
Record: 8-2-4 season, 0-1 playoffs

The men’s soccer team had a strong regular season, ending on a 10-game unbeaten streak with an 8-2-4 record, despite losing captain Michael Zanetti to injury at the start of the season. Their season ended after achieving a first-round bye in the playoffs, when they were beaten by the Carleton Ravens during a rain-swept semifinal on an unfamiliar turf Tindall Field. Defender Andrew Nador was the only Gael named a First-Team All-Star, as midfielders Jordan Brooks, Michael Arnold and Daniel McBride were all named to the Second Team.

Men's Golf

Grade: B+
Fourth in OUA

The men’s team was without last year’s star Patrick Forbes. The season was made up of six tournaments and the team was on the podium once. However, a surprise fourth-place finish at the OUA Championships suggests that the team’s regular season performance was not a sound indicator of their capabilities.

Men's Cross-Country

Grade: B
Third in OUA, seventh in CIS

The team improved enough this year to garner a spot at the CIS championships. Their bronze medal at the OUA Championship contrasts the sixth place finish last year that kept them from competing at the national level. Matt Hulse won the OUA community service award.

Men's Rowing

Grade: B
Third in OUA, seventh at CIS

Last year’s OUA champions and CIS bronze medallists were unable to defend either title this year. They had significant finishes throughout the season including Morgan Jarvis’ fifth place finish at the international Head of Charles regatta, but they weren’t able to dangle anything from their necks after the CIS championships.

Women's Cross-Country

Grade: B
Third in OUA, 10th in CIS

The women’s cross country team improved significantly provincially this year, moving up from sixth in the province last year to third. Nationally, though ranked eighth, the Gaels finished 10th at the CIS championship race at Fort Henry Hill. Patricia Roney and Leah Laroque had fantastic years, typically finishing towards the front of the pack in all competitions. Laroque was the highest finisher in the CIS championship race, finishing 33rd.

Women's Lacrosse

Grade: C
Record: 8-4 season, 0-2 playoffs

The women’s lacrosse team came into this season with four straight OUA silver medals and a young squad set to finally bring home the gold. Their record dropped from 9-3 last season to 8-4, and they fell in the OUA bronze-medal game to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, finishing fourth. Midfielder Lisa McLaughlin, who notched 37 points, good enough for seventh in the province, was named an OUA First-Team All-Star. Defender Kalyn Bolland garnered Second-Team recognition.

Women's Field Hockey

Grade: C-
Record: 2-10-2 season

Women’s field hockey enjoyed their first full season with a home field this year, but last year’s 2-9-3 record fell to 2-10-2. Forward Emily Newton and sweep Mary-Anne Reid were named OUA Second-Team All-Stars.

Correction

Cross-country runner Matt Hulse won the OUA's 2009 community service award.

Incorrect information originally appeared in this article.

The Journal regrets the error.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.