Women’s Rugby takes home silver medal

Gaels lose gold medal game to Rouge et Or at the U Sports Championship 

The Gaels travelled to Victoria to compete.
Supplied by A&R
After winning the OUA Championships at home on Oct. 28, Women’s Rugby flew to British Columbia to compete in the U Sports Championships in Victoria.
Over the last week they played in the quarterfinals, semi-finals, and the gold medal game. In the end, Queen’s played well and returned home as silver medalists.
To kick off their campaign for a national title, the Gaels played the host Victoria Vikes and brought the enthusiasm and grit they’ve become known for this season. 
The last time these team played, the Vikes beat the Gaels on Nixon field. This year, Queen’s returned the favor by beating Victoria on their home turf. 
Maggie Banks scored Queen’s only try before a 10-10 tie forced extra time. During the extended time, Lizzie Gibson—U Sports Rugby Player of the Year—scored a penalty convert for the win. 
The Gaels played their second game of the tournament on Nov. 4 against the uOttawa Gee-Gees. Queen’s repeated their Monilex Trophy-winning performance from last year with another win over the Gee-Gees.
Queen’s was up 22-0 in the first half, but the Gee-Gees fought hard and blanked the Gaels 17-0 in the second half. Their comeback, however, wasn’t enough as Queen’s moved onto the championship game against Laval with a 22-17 win. 
The Rogue et Or beat the Gaels in the 2019 gold medal match, while Queen’s won when they faced in last year’s semi-final match. These teams have had a contested history.
This year’s game started off solid for both teams. Queen’s fought hard for a try as the Rouge et Or held a disciplined and impenetrable defensive line. Laval converted on each of Queen’s three penalty kicks in the first half to build a 9-0 lead by halftime.
Queen’s still had 40 minutes to put up some points, and they did just that three minutes into the second half.
Rookie Madison Donnelly found the try zone after some excellent passing on the left side of the field.
However, the Gaels struggled to maintain their momentum as Laval scored a try of their own six minutes later. In the end, Laval put up another penalty conversion and another try to give themselves a 17-point lead. 
Queen’s never gave up. Even in the final moments when all hope should’ve been lost, the Gaels dug deep and looked to their stands for support. A surprising number of Queen’s fans made the trek to B.C. to don their tricolour and support the Gaels—their impassioned chants and cheers came through even on the CBC livestream. 
Although Queen’s couldn’t pull off the comeback, they still played a game to be proud of. When the final whistle blew, the Gaels ran over to give their cheering section a standing ovation. 
“Obviously it is a lot of fun to go out and win, and win banners and championships and things of that sort, but at the end of the day its that old adage its about the journey not the destination and its about making sure that we have fun along the way,” Head Coach Dan Valley told The Journal.
After the game, Queen’s Jaden Walker was named Nike Top Performers of the game alongside Laval’s Corinne Fréchette. Maggie Banks, Mya Brubacher, Siobhan Sheerin, and Jaden Walker were all named to the Tournament All-Star team.
Women’s Rugby should be proud of their performance this season. It’s no small feat to bring home the OUA Champions title and U Sports silver medal. 

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