This marks the fourth bronze medal in the program’s history
A semi-final loss to the Queen’s Gaels at the 2022 U Sports National Championship tournament was not in the plans for the Gee-Gees.
Down 22-0 after the first half, the Gee-Gees were too good to just give up. Unfortunately, even after a 17-point scoring run, the second-half comeback couldn’t be completed.
Queen’s came out on top, besting the Gees 22-17, sending the Garnet and Grey to the bronze medal matchup.
“The semi-final loss is going to hurt for a while,” Claire Gallagher, a Gee-Gee who earned plenty of honours this season, including being named to the tournament all-star team. “It’s hard not to think of all the what ifs.”
Despite the loss, it’s still true that the University of Ottawa women’s rugby team has been nothing but excellent for years, medaling every season since 2015, including bringing home gold in 2017.
This time around, the U of O met Guelph in the third-place game. The Gees took the turf on Sunday afternoon, where the whole team contributed to the 29-7 win.
Claire Gallagher, Talia Hennessy, and Ketsia Kamba each added to the score for the U of O. Of course, the defensive prowess was unmatched, preventing Guelph from getting very far throughout the game.
“It’s not the colour of medal we wanted, but it’s pretty cool to [add] another one to our record of seven straight,” Gallagher said.
This marks the fourth bronze medal in the program’s history.
The third-place finish comes after a 5-1 regular season record.
Aurora Bowie, a fourth-year player, explained the U of O’s success.
“Everyone had a lot of fun together which has made it really special,” Bowie said. “Out on the field ‘dominant’ was actually a term we used a lot and I thought we brought a new level of physical dominance this season and our tactical skills continued to evolve as well.”
Their only loss was at the hands of Laval. In the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) championship, the Gee-Gees fell to Laval in a tight 13-11, showing an improvement from their regular season meeting. Laval went on to win the U Sports National Championship title.
While that may sting, it was still a great year for the Gee-Gees.
“This team is like no other. We had a particularly special group this year who were so connected and driven,” Gallagher said. “We also had an incredible staff and coaches who always went the extra mile for us.”
The Gee-Gees earned various awards in 2022. Kamba was named to the First Team of All-Canadians. Gallagher and Georgia Stewart were placed on the Second Team. In the RSEQ, ten Gees were selected as All-Stars, Mercedes Cole was named Rookie of the Year, and Ngozi Mosindi won the Leadership and Community Engagement Award.