Women bulldoze Lions, look ahead to Mac

Gaels take season opener 61-12 before facing division rivals in Hamilton this weekend

Six different Gaels recorded tries in Queen’s season-opening 61-12 victory over York.
Six different Gaels recorded tries in Queen’s season-opening 61-12 victory over York.

The Gaels rolled over their opponent on their first step towards a possible championship repeat.

The Gaels (1-0) started their OUA season off with a 61-12 victory over the York Lions (0-1) on Saturday, with points coming from seven different players.

Despite a few penalties, head coach Beth Barz was pleased with the women’s overall performance.

“Our goal for the game was to play massive defence,” she said. “And for the most part, absolutely we did a good job at that.”

Queen’s started the first half strong with a try from veteran forward Gillian Pegg and a conversion by fourth-year centre Lauren McEwen.

McEwen later added a try of her own and another successful convert.

As a result of their impenetrable defense, the Gaels finished the first half with a comfortable lead of 28-0 over the Lions.

Forward Loren Baldwin recorded a try quick off the whistle in the next half, promptly followed by a try by wing Karley Heyman. The Lions responded with a try of their own, somewhat closing the gap.

The Gaels quickly shut down York and scored another three tries, this time by centre Melanie Judges, McEwen and centre Miranda Seifert. These tries were each followed by successful conversions from McEwen and rookie Erin Geddes.

Before the final whistle, the Lions were able to put more points on the board from a try in the 80th minute.

McEwen, the game’s leading scorer, said the Gaels’ defensive work was a major reason for the lopsided win.

“This has been the first time that our defence has been stronger than our offence,” she said. “Even though the score was really high, our defence was just on point. So we just really need to focus on our attack and we will come full circle.

The defence will be tested in next week’s game, as Queen’s faces off against one their toughest competitors and biggest rivals, the McMaster Marauders. The game goes in Hamilton at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Fifth-year forward Devon Stride said strong defence will be something the team will continue to work on in preparation for next week.

“We have lots of talented girls that we know can run up the field and score lots of big points. But you win a game when you have the ball, and you have to play defence at some points in order to get the ball back,” she said. “So I think the defence overall for this season is something we will be focusing on, but especially against Mac because they are such a strong team.”

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