High hopes for fall Gaels

As teams begin their seasons, the Journal predicts who will sink and who will swim

The fall’s Gaels look to repeat on the legendary 2009 season and raise their own banners to the rafters.
The fall’s Gaels look to repeat on the legendary 2009 season and raise their own banners to the rafters.
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After legendary wins, heartbreaking losses and a long summer of training, the Gaels will be back to attempt to improve upon their records of last season. The Journal staff looks at how each team improved in the offseason and their finishes last season to predict how the Gaels will fare this season.

Football

Last year (grade, record): A+, 7-1 regular season, 4-0 Playoffs; Vanier Cup Champions.

Significant departures: Cornerback Jimmy Allin, Quarterback Danny Brannagan, Wide Reciever Scott Valberg, and Defensive end Shomari Williams.

Following a championship season can be extremely difficult for any team. For the 2010 Gaels the challenge will be compounded by the loss of many key players on both offense and defence. With several positions in question and the transition to inexperienced quarterbacking, the 2010 season may contain more than its fair share of growing pains. Reaching the Yates Cup final could attain them top season marks despite the high standard set by last year’s squad.

Men's rugby

Last year: A+, 8-0 regular season, 2-0 Playoffs; Turner Trophy Champions.

Significant departures: Wing Chris Barrett, Lock Ryan Kruyne, Flanker Patrick Richardson, and eight-man Tim Richardson.

Sharing a similar problem with the winning football team, the men’s rugby team must deal with the high standard of a perfect season and a championship banner. Despite this, the team may have a good outlook for 2010 because it has not lost a substantial amount of key players. While winning another championship ring may be difficult the team should come very close to earning a top grade for the fall. Last year: B+, 4-1 regular season, lost in the bronze medal game.

Women's rugby

Significant departures: Jocelyn Poirier.

Although the women’s rugby team lost in the semi-finals last season, their win over Trent saw them advance in the playoffs – something they hadn’t done in five years. Building on this achievement might prove difficult with the loss of several veteran members and a young team.

Men's soccer

Last year: B+, 8-2-4 regular season, lost in the semifinals

Significant departures: Goalkeeper Sean Martin-Courtright, captain Michael Zanetti.

The loss of Zanetti and Martin-Courtright will be eased by a stellar rookie class, memories of an excellent 2009 season and the return of head coach Chris Gencarelli. The soccer team is largely unchanged and should be able to make a strong push into the playoffs.

Last year: A, 13-1-2 regular season, 3-3 Playoffs; OUA silver, lost in CIS bronze medal game.

Women's soccer

Significant departures: Forward Renee MacLellan.

Last season was a sign of good things to come for women’s soccer at Queen’s. With a squad filled with first and second-year students the women rattled off a 13-1-2 record which included a 14-game winning streak. The women lost the OUA banner in penalty kicks against the York Lions, and fell in a shootout to the eventual champion Trinity Western in the CIS semifinals. Earning top marks will require at least one new banner in the ARC rafters.

Field Hockey

Last year: C-, 2-10-2 regular season, missed the playoffs.

Significant departures: Emily Newton, Mary-Anne Reid.

The field hockey team may have finally found a home at Tindall field in 2009, but they failed to progress in the OUA standings. Reaching .500 will be a difficult task for the women, but is a must for a top grade.

Men's rowing

Last year: B, Third in OUA, seventh at CIS.

Significant departures: Jamie Christian, Morgan Jarvis, Andrew Joyce, Ryan Meyers and Greg McNally. Now two years removed from their OUA banner, the men’s rowing team still seeks to replace the athletes that it lost after 2008. This year may be another step for a team in transition.

Women's rowing

Last year: A, third in OUA, second in CIS.

Significant departures: Charly Thivierge-Lortie, Sarah Marshall.

With strong performances this summer at the Royal Canadian Henley the women’s rowing team may be set for a breakout season. Despite the loss of key rowers, the development of younger athletes has gone smoothly and top finishes can be expected in the years to come.

Women's lacrosse

Last year: C, 8-4 regular season, lost in the bronze medal game.

Significant departures: Nicole Walton.

The women’s lacrosse team faced tough competition last year and wasn’t able to respond. After four straight silver medals, they finished in fourth-place after falling to the University of Toronto in the bronze medal game. The Gaels need to reset and forget about last season. Playing in the gold medal game will determine whether women’s lacrosse earns top marks.

Men's cross country

Last year: B, third in the OUA, seventh in the CIS.

Significant departures: None.

The cross country team will continue to build on their third-place finish last year which saw them compete on the national level. With no changes to their roster, the men’s team has all the tools to improve upon their finishes, especially with the return of Matt Hulse.

Last year: B, third in the OUA, 10th in the CIS.

Women's cross country

Significant departures: Elizabeth Miller, Carla Murphy.

Like the men’s team, women’s cross country has faced few changes over the summer. The women’s team significantly improved their ranking last year and they should expect to compete at the CIS championship with the likes of Patricia Roney and Leah Laroque back for another season.

Men's golf

Last year: B+, fourth in the OUA.

Significant losses: Mike Hossack.

Last year, the men’s golf season was bruised by the loss of captain Patrick Forbes and the inexperience of the majority of its team. Last year’s grade was earned with the team’s surprising fourth-place finish at the OUA Championships last fall. However, this summer saw a disappointing finish at the Canadian University/College Championship where they did not make the cut. The team needs to get over its first-year nerves and be more of a presence on the podium in order to gain top marks in December.

Last year: A-, second in OUA.

Women's golf

Significant losses: Kate Burnett.

A 6-0 gold medal streak began the women’s team inaugural season as a varsity team. The team should be able to show the same energy and determination as last year and should look to fix their only misstep of the season – their second-place finish at the OUA Championship.

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