Toronto defeated, Waterloo next

Women’s rugby advances to OUA Seminfinals for the second straight year

Winger/Centre Sarah Pathak is brought down after scoring a try in the Gaels’ 44-5 OUA Quarterfinal victory.
Winger/Centre Sarah Pathak is brought down after scoring a try in the Gaels’ 44-5 OUA Quarterfinal victory.

The women’s rugby team powered through the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 44-5 in their OUA Quarterfinal match on Saturday at Kingston Field. The Gaels scored early and often, carrying a 22-5 lead into halftime and didn’t let the Blues back in to the game, sealing the victory.

The win propelled the Gaels in to next week’s OUA Semifinals against the Waterloo Warriors at home. The two teams did not meet in the regular season.

Scrum-half Susan Heald led the team with two tries, on top of a team effort of eight other Gaels scorers. Andrea Wadsworth, Samantha Trinier, Ashley Ward, Sarah Pathak, Jocelyn Poirier and Marin Macleod all added a try each. Bronwyn Corrigan and Annika Rinas were each successful on one convert.

After taking on the Blues in the final game of the regular season, head coach Beth Barz said she was pleased with the team’s simplified strategy in the rematch.

“I think what we did try to do this week was go back to the basics and we weren’t overly complicated in our attack,” Barz said. “We did play a basic game and we did well as a result.”

Barz said they were able to improve their game since having played the same team last week.

“We can’t play a perfect game of rugby but we made ... improvements in some specific areas that we focused on in practice last week,” she said.

Heald echoed her coach’s sentiments, adding that the team was not fixated on the rematch but rather on their own play.

“We didn’t talk too much about [Toronto] from last weekend because we knew we were playing them again,” Heald said. “We just focused on our game and I think we really turned it around well. We fixed the mistakes that we made last week to come out strong today. We capitalized on their mistakes better and really put it together.”

Despite the lopsided score, Heald emphasized that the team would look to improve some key areas before this weekend’s match.

“Our hands kind of fell apart sometimes,” she said. “We’re in postseason now and we’ve worked hard on our systems. All our tactical stuff is good now we just have to focus on some of the technical stuff like passes and kicks.”

After a 5-0 regular season that guaranteed the team home field advantage for the duration of their postseason, Heald said the team appreciated the comforts of being in Kingston.

“It’s really rewarding for sure,” she said. “The fans have been fantastic this season. It’s always great to see other athletes too supporting us. It’s a mental game too, so when we’re warming up on our field it’s that much easier to get ready for the game.”

The Gaels will look to improve on their fourth place finish last year after being defeated by the Guelph Gryphons and the McMaster Marauders.

Queen’s will play in the OUA Semifinals against the Waterloo Warriors this Saturday at Kingston Field.

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