National champions top Gaels grades

From Richardson Stadium to PEI and Peterborough, the Gaels’ acheivements were recognized across the country on both the provincial and national stage. The Journal’s Sports Editors take a look back at the fall season’s stand-out teams.

A CIS banner for women’s soccer and a first-time CIS appearence by women’s rugby capped off the Gaels’ fall season.
A CIS banner for women’s soccer and a first-time CIS appearence by women’s rugby capped off the Gaels’ fall season.
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Women’s Soccer

Grade: A
Record: 14-2 season, 5-1 playoffs; CIS Champions
The women’s soccer team enjoyed an outstanding regular season, outscoring their opponents 50-10 and dropping only two games, both to the Ottawa
Gee-Gees. Striker Jacqueline Tessier headlined the team by leading the CIS in scoring during the regular season with 18 goals. Their playoff record was equally as impressive as they only gave up two goals in the OUA and CIS championships combined. Their loss in the OUA Finals to the Laurier Golden Hawks was the only dark spot in their season, which they quickly redeemed in PEI at the CIS Championship, beating the Golden Hawks in overtime for the Gladys Bean Memorial Trophy.

Women’s Rugby

Grade: A-
Record: 5-0 season, 3-3 playoffs
The women’s rugby program is coming off a historic season for the Gaels. After breaking a quarterfinal curse last season, the Gaels ran with their momentum all the way to their first CIS Championship berth. The Gaels finished fifth in the national championship.
Eight man Ash Ward was named CIS All-Canadian. Fly-half/wing Andrea Wadsworth, scrum-half Susan Heald and fullbacks Karlye Wong and Jocelyn Poirier all earned OUA Russell Division All-Star nods.

Women’s Rowing

Grade: A-
Record: First in OUA, fourth in CIS
After failing to win the OUA championship last year for only the second time in seven years, the women’s rowing team took back their top spot on the podium. The lightweight program led the way with wins in the eight, the four and the single. However the team was unable to perform quite as well out west at the CIS championships where they finished fourth, two places behind a Western team that they had beaten in St. Catharines.

Women’s Lacrosse

Grade: B+
Record: 10-4-1 season, 2-1 playoffs
The women’s lacrosse team had a strong regular season with their only losses against perennial favourites Laurier and Western. The Gaels were able to grab a podium spot from the University of Toronto in the bronze medal game of the OUA Championship, improving from a fourth-place finish last year.

Women’s Golf

Grade: B
Record: Third in OUA
After an outstanding season last year which saw the Gaels go on a 6-0 gold medal streak, they continued to be a presence on the podium this year. Grabbing a first-place finish at their home tournament to start the season, the Gaels would finish second in the next three tournaments. The team would finish the season with a bronze medal at the
OUA Championship.

Men’s Cross Country

Grade: B
Record: Fifth in OUA, fifth in CIS
With the loss of veteran Matt Hulse for the beginning of the season, the Gaels were able to pull together for consistent finishes in Guelph and London. The return of Hulse at the CIS Championship and his career-best finish of fifth place propelled the men’s cross country team to fifth at nationals.

Men’s Rugby

Grade: B
Record: 6-2 season, 2-1 playoffs; OUA Bronze Medal
Although the team was unable to live up to last year’s high standards of a championship season, they were still able to come away with some OUA hardware. But even the bronze was only won by a hair as rookie full-back David Worsley kicked a penalty goal late in the game to squeak by the Brock Badgers, 16-15, in the bronze medal game. The Gaels had problems against the league’s top two teams, the McMaster Marauders and the Western Mustangs all season and need to find a way to get on par with them in order to make another deep post season run.

Women’s Cross Country

Grade: B
Record: Third in OUA, ninth in CIS
The women’s cross country team was led by runners Leah Larocque and Stephanie Hulse. Both pulled out their best finishes of the season at the Queen’s Invitational, finishing second and third respectively. However, the Gaels were only able to improve slightly on their 10th place finish at nationals last year.
Hulse also earned her first OUA All Star team honour.

Men’s Golf

Grade: B-
Record: Third in OUA
The men’s golf team pulled off a podium finish at the OUA Championship this year despite a large rookie presence. In the regular season, the Gaels were unable to find consistency and only grabbed two podium finishes. But the Gaels were able to pull together when it counted, grabbing a bronze medal and improving on their fourth-place finish last year.

Men’s Soccer

Grade: C+
Record: 8-5-1 season, 1-1 playoffs
The Gaels’ season ended in a controversial quarterfinal match against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues after they scored a penalty kick on a handball call. Even with the loss of key veterans, including goalkeeper Sean
Martin-Courtright and a coaching change, the Gaels showed strength and consistency throughout the season, never losing a game by more than two goals.

Men’s Rowing

Grade: C+
Record: Third in OUA, seventh in CIS
The team made little gains from their 2009 season where they also placed in third and seventh in the OUA and CIS respectively. The heavyweight eight provided a nice surprise by finishing in second place at the OUA championships. Equally as surprising was the lightweight four’s drop into fifth place. Several key boats also failed to qualify for the finals in the CIS championships, costing the team important points.

Football

Grade: C-
Record: 3-5 season, 0-1 playoffs
The Gaels’ play was extremely volatile over the course of the season. The year started with a few very tight games, suggesting the team could be highly competitive but big losses to Western and Laurier proved they couldn’t battle with the top OUA teams. The team struggled to accommodate for numerous graduating players from their Vanier Cup championship team, most noticeably quarterback Danny Brannagan.
Yet the season was not without its bright spots: rookie linebacker Sam Sabourin finished second in the OUA for tackles and recieved the Norm Marshall award for OUA Rookie of the Year, Matthew O’Donnell was awarded the J.P. Metras award for OUA Lineman of the Year and kicker Dan Village set the team record for points scored.

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