Spotless season

Win over Waterloo sets up OUA championship push

Lauren McEwan finished the season with 54 points, the second-most in the OUA.
Lauren McEwan finished the season with 54 points, the second-most in the OUA.

Women’s rugby wrapped up their undefeated regular season in style on Saturday, with a convincing 45-12 win over the Waterloo Warriors.

In a repeat of last year’s OUA semi-final against Waterloo, the Gaels ended up with their highest offensive output of 2013, cracking the 40-point barrier for the first time this season. The game was essentially over at halftime, as Queen’s held a 33-0 advantage after 40 minutes of play.

With a 5-0 record and a first place finish in the Russell Division, the nationally fourth-ranked Gaels will now host the Trent Excalibur next Saturday in the OUA quarterfinals.

“It was nice to see the girls play together on the same page today. There was good continuity between the forwards and the backs,” said Gaels head coach Beth Barz.

While the Warriors dominated possession early in the game, it was the Gaels who scored first, thanks to a ninth-minute try from fourth-year forward Taylor White.

The two teams alternated scoring chances after that, as the fans were entertained by the back and forth play. After fourth-year lock Bronwyn Corrigan scored a try in the 30th minute, the floodgates opened as Queen’s went on a 28-0 run in the last 10 minutes of the first half.

Miranda Seifert, Jenna Ledson and Karley Heyman also scored tries, with third-year centre Lauren McEwan converting four times. Heyman had a highlight-reel scoring play for the second straight week as she juked out multiple Waterloo defenders on a long run just before the half.

“It was good to see us really hammer it home in the last 10 minutes in the first half, and then continue to score in the second half,” Barz said. “Our defence also looked pretty good, which definitely helped.”

“We’ve had a bit of trouble clicking together in some games, but we worked really hard all week and overall, we had a good team win today,” Seifert added.

The Warriors regrouped after the intermission and scored five minutes into the second half, giving them a glimmer of hope. But all chances of a comeback ended when McEwan singlehandedly went on a 12-0 run, scoring two tries and a conversion to give Queen’s a 45-7 lead.

McEwan led all scorers with 20 points, and finished second in OUA scoring by tallying 54 points in just four games of play. The Newmarket, Ont. native led the team in scoring on three different occasions this season.

Waterloo scored a late try as the game ended with a 45-12 final score. The Warriors fell to 3-2, and finished third in the Shields Division.

On the other hand, the Gaels were the only team in the OUA to earn the maximum 25 points in five matches this season.

“I think we just tried to focus on our best assets, and we were able to do what our team does best in this game,” Seifert said. “Going into the playoffs, we just have to keep each other motivated and keep working hard in practice and I think we should be able to have some success.”

OUA Quarterfinal Matchups

Russell (East) Division:

(4) Trent Excalibur @ (1) Queen’s Gaels: Friday, Oct 11, 6:00 p.m.

(3) York Lions @ (2) McMaster Marauders: Friday, Oct. 11, 1:00 p.m.

Shiels (West) Division:

(4) Laurier Golden Hawks @ (1) Guelph Gryphons: Friday, Oct. 11, 4:45 p.m.

(3) Waterloo Warriors @ (2) Western Mustangs: Friday, Oct. 11, 6:00 p.m.

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