Through the athlete’s eyes: Claire Chow on Women’s Football

Gaels semifinalists in inaugural tournament season

Image supplied by: Supplied by Jeff Chan
Gaels on the line of scrimage.

Queen’s Women’s Football finished their season with grit last weekend at the Ontario Women’s Intercollegiate Football Association (OWIFA). After a slow start back in February, the Gaels turned their season around and won nine of their last 11 games.

I’m in my first year at Queen’s and as a half-back on the team, I’ve had a chance to watch this group of girls evolve into the family we are today. Our season is a little peculiar, but I’m so proud of the way we bonded together and the success we found.

The women’s football team is one of the most accepting and passionate programs I’ve ever been a part of. Every single one of the girls put tremendous amounts of time and effort into the season and it showed in our performances.

The coaches kept everyone motivated through consistent effort and by taking the sport seriously. I’ve never met someone more passionate about football than our Head Coach Cameron Davidson. 

This past weekend, we traveled to Oakville to compete in the OWIFA Championships—our last tournament of the season. We arrived confident after going 5-1 in our last tournament, and wanted to see what else we could accomplish against a new set of opponents.

On the first day, the weather was brutal. Through rain, wind, and cold, we persevered and won all our games. We beat U of T first 14-7, and then took Laurier Brantford in a 35-0 demolition. We played our last game of the day against host team Sheridan College and took it 27-0.

Gaels plow through the defense. Photo: Supplied by Jeff Chan

Day two—the day of the playoffs—was our real challenge 

We played first against Laurier, a team we had only tied with in our previous matchups. We got out to a slow start with our first play getting intercepted by the Golden Hawks, but we were quick to respond and shut down their next drive, forcing them to kick a field goal.  

After a very scrappy game, we ended up winning 10-6 with one touchdown and one field goal. 

The next game was against McMaster, a team we had beat in the past. Things once again started off slow with another interception by the opposing team, but we again responded on defense by stopping their running attempts and then handing it off to our offense. The offensive line dominated, and we crossed the line to make it 7-0. 

Unfortunately, the Marauders responded quickly with a touchdown and a kick to tie the game 7-7. We continued to fight until the end. We got an offside penalty moving the offense back 10 yards, and on the very last play McMaster got a safety tackle worth two points. With that, they won the game, and we were left beyond devastated.  

The energy on the sideline completely shifted. We were all silent; no one even moved.  

After shaking hands, we returned to our sideline and our Coach Cameron Davidson gave a speech telling us that sometimes this happens, but we cannot give up because next we will have another chance at victory.  


Football, playoffs, semifinal, Women's Football

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