Overtime win sends Gaels to semifinals

Forward Kayla Roote scores last-second try to secure playoff win over Trent

Forward Kayla Roote barely crosses the line to score a try as time expires in overtime.
Forward Kayla Roote barely crosses the line to score a try as time expires in overtime.
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The Trent Excalibur almost ended the women’s rugby team’s season on Saturday. But Gaels forward Kayla Roote scored a try as time expired in overtime to give the Gaels a 14-10 win in their OUA quarter-final match.

Pouring rain and heavy winds made for sloppy conditions at Tindall field. It was a physical battle with little flow due to numerous ball-handling errors from both teams.

The Gaels beat Trent 38-22 in their last meeting on Sept. 10, but Queen’s coach Beth Barz said the poor conditions made for a closer competition on Saturday.

“Weather is the great equalizer,” she said.

The Gaels were awarded a penalty try to open the scoring, after Gaels winger Natalie Poirier was hit by an Excalibur player outside of play.

“The call was quite questionable,” Barz said. “There probably should have been a card instead but we’ll take the points.”

Trent responded with a try before halftime. After a scoreless second half, the teams headed into overtime tied 7-7. The Excalibur converted a penalty with five minutes remaining in the second overtime period, but the Gaels responded with a series of strong runs deep in Excalibur territory to set up Roote’s game-winning try.

Barz said she was unimpressed with the quality of the officiating during the game.

“It is really difficult to execute a game plan when the referee is unpredictable,” she said. “We had a good discussion after the game and I’ll be sharing some film with [the referees] so they can have a chance to look at a few things.”

The Gaels will travel to play the Guelph Gryphons on Saturday for the OUA semifinals. The Gryphons are 5-0 this season and beat the Gaels 54-5 in last season’s OUA final. The winner advances to the OUA final and clinches a spot at nationals in Peterborough next month.

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