Women’s rugby bests McMaster

Second consecutive blowout win boosts Gaels to #3 national ranking

Maddie Banks runs towards the try zone with a grasping Marauder hot on her tail
Freshman Maggie Banks sprints to evade a Marauder

The women’s rugby team continued its tremendous start to the season against McMaster on Saturday, drubbing the visiting Marauders 100-0.

The Queen’s offence continued to hum, and the defence was clearly stout.

Sofie Kennedy opened the scoring for the Gaels with a try early on. And there would be many to follow.

Harlee Bruce, Sophie de Goede, Taylor Black, and Carmen Izyk would also tally for the Gaels in the first half, ending the first frame with the score being 64-0.

Kennedy, Black, Cecila Martensson, McKinley Hunt, Lizzy Gibson, and Bridget Peros got themselves into the try zone in the second half.

Black paced the Gaels with four tries, while de Goede hit 10 conversions throughout the game. That gives de Goede a total of 19 on the season, best in the OUA.

After this game, seven of the top ten scorers in the province are Gaels. De Goede with 48 points, Black with 45, and Gibson with 27 are at the top of the heap. 

Head Coach Dan Valley was impressed by the consistent effort over the last two games. “That was a top to bottom team effort with really strong transitions and communication,” Valley told The Journal in an interview after the game.

“We had come out with the intention of starting very quickly and being very technically excellent, doing the little things very, very well on the point of contact. We were confident that our athleticism would take over from there.”

This year, the team is focusing on consistency against tough competition.

“Definitely looking forward to nationals,” Gaels centre Thea White said in an interview. “[Getting] a better outcome than previous years because our team is really strong this [season].”

“Our play [today] was a direct reflection of how much work we put in over the last couple weeks.”

Going forward in the season, the Gaels are looking to work on the details that will give them the edge against their future competition.

“Continuing to take those small steps forward across the board,” Valley said. “We’ve got a lot of really talented athletes and we’ve got a very committed group of coaches, so for us, we look to make those little improvements.”

According to Valley, their success is a reflection of the work that the team has been doing.

“This group has put in a lot of work since our season ended last fall. I am very proud of the work that we have done and getting to see it in real time.”

The team looks to continue their hot streak as they travel to nationally-ranked Guelph, playing the #4 Gryphons on Saturday, Sept. 14.

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