Soccer and rugby teams both rank top five in the country

Women’s Soccer

The University of Ottawa women’s soccer team is off to a roaring start this year, with 5–1–1 record lifting the Gees to second in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East standings. The impressive numbers don’t stop there—the team is tied for tops in the East in goals for, while allowing the fewest goals against.

The team has a heavy veteran presence, with many players returning from last year, and while they have been playing well, the team can’t afford to get complacent. Last year they got off to an even more blistering start, racking up nine straight wins at the start of the season,  but the goals started to vanish in the final games, and the Gees made a disappointingly early exit from the playoffs, losing in the quarterfinals.

Thus far, the Gees have been putting up strong offensive numbers, largely thanks to back-to-back 6-0 blowouts against Ryerson University and the Royal Military College (RMC). They key for the Gees will be maintaining a more consistent offence, as some games featured a single goal or none at all by the Garnet and Grey.

The Gees will continue to look to offensive talents like second-year striker Emma Lefebvre, who accounted for five goals and an assist through seven games, and third-year midfielder Katherine Bearne, who has four goals, including two game-winners.

To maintain the brick wall that has only allowed four goals in seven games, the team will continue to need strong performances from goaltenders Margot Shore and Julie-Anne Lamarche.

Eric Davidson, Editor-in-chief

Women’s Rugby

The women’s rugby team bounced back from a loss in their first game with two wins against Concordia and Montréal. It’s still very early in the season, but right now the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) is wide-open, with four teams tied for second entering this past weekend’s games.

The Gees have been led offensively by fifth-year center Emma Sandstrom, who has 22 points off of seven conversions and a try. Fifth-year second row Breanna Phillipps leads the team with three tries, and is second behind Sandstrom with 15 points.

The Gees’ offence has been off to a slow start compared to their RSEQ counterparts, with their 82 points for ranking sixth out of eight teams in the conference.

They’ve fared better on defence, with their 50 points against ranked third in the conference.

The Gees are still in the thick of it early on, but it’s a tight conference, and there’s still plenty of time for the three-time RSEQ champions to pull away from the pack.

Nico Laliberté, Sports Editor

Men’s Football

With last week’s 24–7 loss to McMaster, the Gee-Gees now sit on the outside looking in regarding the nationally ranked teams.

The Gees are coming off a game against Windsor and are gearing up for next weekend’s much anticipated Panda Game.

The U of O will need to improve on their offensive effectiveness, as entering this weekend they had been limited to only one offensive touchdown all season. Fifth-year kicker Lewis Ward has been busy, converting the second most field goals in the conference.

The fact that the Gee-Gees still have a winning record is largely due to their defense, who have stood tall on many occasions, picking off the most balls in the league with seven interceptions. The Gees also have the second most sacks in the league with 17.

Not to be overlooked in the Gees’ defensive struggles is the fact that fifth-year starting quarterback Victor Twynstra has been injured for a good part of the season, forcing first-year quarterback Alex Lavric to play most of the snaps.

Going forward, the Gees will have to focus on their offensive game, both in the air and on the ground. They will have to convert touchdowns instead of field goals going forward if they want to be a contender in the Ontario University Athletics and nationally.

—Zack Goobie, Associate Sports Editor

Cross Country

On Sept. 16 the Gees cross country team competed in their first event of the year, the McGill invitational.

Both the men’s and women’s teams excelled in their respective events. Both groups captured a sixth-overall team finish out of over 30 competing schools.

The men’s team had five finishers place 51st or better out of over 300 runners. Their best finish came from second-year Ziyad El Hankouri, who finished 22nd with a time of 20:54 in the 6k race.

The women’s team had the best Gee-Gees finish of the day; first-year Keili Sheppard finished 14th in the women’s 4k race with a time of 15:43. The Gees had five top 50 finishers out of almost 300 runners.

The Gee-Gees cross country team will return to action for the Rouge et Or Invitational on Oct. 7, and then participate in the Capital Cross Country Challenge here in Ottawa on Oct. 14.

Nico Laliberté, Sports Editor