The Gaels' mid-season review

The Journal’s sports desk breaks down how the fall teams are doing halfway through their seasons

Gaels assemble. Credit, left to right: Petrus Engelbrecht, Alina Yusufzai, Jeff Chan, Jack Rabb, supplied by Emma Crivello.

If you’re a Gaels fan, there’s been a lot to cheer for this season. Women’s rugby and women’s cross country are both ranked number one across the country. Men’s rugby is undefeated, and women’s soccer hasn’t yet lost through seven games. Football stumbled out of the gates but looks to be on the come-up, and men’s soccer is finding their footing. Here are The Journal’s grades for the fall teams who have already seen some action:

Women’s rugby: A+

The women have been unstoppable, bowling over everybody in their path on their way to an undefeated season. Their play has been historic, marking the first time in the program’s existence that it’s ranked number one in the country. The Gaels have a star-studded roster with a strong veteran presence, and the expectation is that they will compete for the national championship come October.

Men’s rugby: A

Men’s rugby came out of the gate in mid-season form this year. Their season opener, an 89-5 blowout against U of T, showcased their offensive prowess. That was followed by another commanding victory against Laurier. This past weekend, they travelled to Guelph for what was likely their most challenging game of the season. After a tied first half, the men were able to run away with a 21-10 victory. This has positioned Queen’s as the first seed in the OUA. They have the most points for and the least points against in the conference. Coach Butcher and his boys look to be on track to seriously challenge for a national championship this year.

Football: B-

Nobody was especially sure what to expect of Queen’s football coming into this season. They had graduated some key pieces, and were newly under the stewardship of Head Coach Steve Snyder. The men started slowly, losing their first three games, but have revived their playoff hopes with consecutive wins, first over Windsor and now over nationally ranked Toronto. The Gaels are now tied for the sixth and final OUA playoff spot. Quarterback Ryan Licandro made his first start in the win against Toronto and looked good doing it, so look for him to take control under centre as the Gaels make a final playoff push with crucial matchups against Laurier, Guelph, and York.

Women’s soccer: A

The women’s soccer team is one of only three undefeated teams in the OUA. Rookies like Jenna Matsukubo and Cecilia Way have blended in with the veterans seamlessly. Having won games against talented sides from U of T and Ryerson, as well as tying the powerhouse Gee-Gees this past weekend, this youthful Queen’s team looks legit. Dynamic and cohesive, balanced and determined, look for these Gaels to make some noise in the playoffs.

Men’s soccer: C-

The men’s soccer team hasn’t had the start to the season that they were hoping for. The rap on the team is that they have a stout defence but an anemic offence, as their multiple 1-0 losses attest. They’ve endured a challenging schedule, having played the lion’s share of their games against top-ranked opposition, so the hope is that easier competition down the final stretch will allow the team to find some offensive chemistry and sneak into the playoffs.

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