Recapping and reflecting on a semester’s worth of sports
As the semester comes to a close, there is plenty to reflect on from the first half of Gee-Gees action in 2015.
If anything, it’s been a year of some good, some bad, wins, losses, and moments that we won’t soon forget.
Back in the first varsity sports game of the year, the women’s soccer home opening draw against Queen’s, there would be some foreshadowing what the semester would be like for many Gees’ teams this semester.
They fought hard but couldn’t come away with the win when they really needed it, so began the year for the Gee-Gees.
When it came to football, the season had plenty of promise. Many preseason polls had the Gees as the fourth team in province, with room to move up. A tough schedule seemed to be little worry as the Gees made light work of Queen’s in their home opener.
A close loss to McMaster proved that the team was ready to compete among top teams. Following that up with a blowout win over Windsor, the Gees hit the roughest patch of their season and never recovered.
A beating at the hands of Guelph led to a massive Panda Game matchup against the Ravens. They dominated the majority of the game before Carleton tied it and took it to overtime. After a gut-wrenching double overtime loss, the Gees began to spiral downward.
They would have awful showings against Laurier and Western before redeeming themselves in the regular season finale against Toronto. They would lose a tiebreaker for the playoffs, ending the painful campaign.
Fourth-year quarterback Derek Wendel and fifth-year senior wide receiver Ian Stewart had record-shattering years, but their accomplishments were overshadowed by the rocky season.
In women’s soccer, the team tore their way through their schedule undefeated and looked to claim their first national title in over 20 years. They entered the playoffs with a glorious victory over rival Carleton Ravens, advancing to the final four.
In their first final four match, the women were stunned in the final seconds at the hands of the Laurier Golden Hawks. The loss meant that the team couldn’t qualify for nationals, thus ending the careers of stars Julia Francki, Pilar Khoury, and Cynthia Leblanc.
Women’s rugby had the best run of any Gee-Gees team so far this season, as they went undefeated in the regular season, earning the top rank in the nation for the first time in the team’s history.
The Gees rode their run into the conference playoffs where they defeated the Concordia Stingers for their second consecutive conference title.
Moving into nationals, the Gees downed former national champions St. Francis Xavier in the first round before coming face-to-face with the eventual champion McMaster Marauders. The Gees ended their 2015 campaign with a national bronze medal, the best finish in team history.
As the fall sports drew to a close, the winter ones started picking up. On the basketball court, everything’s been gravy for the Gee-Gees.
The men entered the season with the top ranking in the nation and haven’t let it go, as they’ve ripped off seven straight wins.
Mike L’Africain and Caleb Agada have been sensational and the additions of Nathan McCarthy and Brody Maracle have arguably made this the most well rounded Gee-Gees team in history.
The women’s basketball team has also stunned in their early season success. The Gees have gone an impressive 6-1 to start the year and they have no plans of looking back.
The return of Catherine Traer has been huge for the team—she leads the team in almost every offensive statistic.
On the ice, the Gee-Gees women’s hockey team has also come out to a blazing start to the season.
A 7-4 start with wins over multiple top-ranked teams have earned the Gees their spot atop conference standings and a tenth rank in the nation.
It seems as if the team has put a disappointing 2014-15 campaign to rest and is looking to make a run into the playoffs again.
Women’s volleyball will look to take the holiday break to smooth out an up-and-down 6-4 start. The team ripped off four wins before losing their next four straight. The team rallied for another two wins to close the semester.
Track and cross-country as well as swimming have had strong seasons. The men’s swimming team has been ranked in the top 10 and will look to collect some medals come season’s end. The women’s team is improving and having strong personal seasons.
As we take a step away from sports for a well-needed break, we can sit back and appreciate the accomplishments of our athletes, anticipating their return and pursuit of championships.