Key match-ups for Queen's fall varsity teams

The Journal's sports editors give their takes on the season's must-see games for Queen's fall squads

Many Queen's teams will be looking for breakthrough seasons in 2018.
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Every fall, varsity teams run into the season bursting with optimism, eager to prove their mettle. With a jam-packed schedule, we compiled a list of the most exciting varsity games in the coming months.

Football

Sept. 29 at Richardson Stadium vs. Western Mustangs

For the football team, this game is the biggest mountain to climb in their regular season schedule. Up against the reigning Vanier Cup champions, the Gaels will have their hands full with Western’s experienced offence and championship quarterback, Chris Merchant, back in the lineup after an injury. 

While the Gaels may need some magic, they have home-field advantage against their historic rivals and will have the chance to maintain their strong start to the season.

Cross Country

Nov. 9 at Fort Henry, U Sports Championships

After finishing second in the national championships last year, head coach Steve Boyd’s younger women’s and seasoned men’s teams will get their chance to compete on the national stage and home soil at the same time. 

The women are expected to go stride-for-stride with powerhouses in the University of Toronto and Laval, while the men are looking to improve on their fifth-place finish at last year’s championships.

Men’s Rugby

Sept. 28 at Guelph, ON vs. Guelph Gryphons

Despite defeating them handily 62-17 in last year’s OUA final, the Gaels will need to work hard to stay on top of the Gryphons this season. 

Currently matching them with a record of 2-0, Guelph is the biggest threat to Queen’s quest for a 24th Turner Trophy. 

The results of this game will show fans if the strong opening to the season will allow the Gaels to continue to dominate—or if they’re in trouble. 

Women’s Rugby

September 16 at Hamilton vs. McMaster Marauders

While the Gaels fell a point shy of the Marauders in the OUA standings last year, they squeezed by their conference rivals in a tight OUA semi-finals match. McMaster will undoubtedly be looking for revenge, with last year’s match propelling the Gaels to the U Sports Championships in Lethbridge, leaving McMaster on the outside looking in. Both teams have plenty to fight for, so expect an intense and physical match.

Men’s Soccer

Sept. 29 at Toronto vs. Ryerson Rams

This year, the Gaels are hoping to rewrite their history of falling to the Ryerson Rams. The Rams have taken the last six games over the Gaels, a streak spanning nearly three years. 

Moreover, Ryerson has kicked the Gaels out of the playoffs in consecutive years. But with a high octane offence leading them to four victories to start the season, they seem poised to give the Rams a tough outing. 

The men will try to use this strong start to enable them to overcome Ryerson and enter the OUA playoffs with confidence.

Women’s Soccer

Oct. 7 at Richardson Stadium vs. University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)

Although last year’s Gaels were able to sweep the OUA bronze medal out from under the UOIT Ridgeback’s, they fell short to the team in their second regular season game this year. 

While the roster is full of fresh faces, these women are hungry for more. When they get back on the field together, the Gaels will be hungry to taste the victory that earned them OUA medals in the past two seasons. 

The Gaels are sitting with a 3-1 record to start the season.

 

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