U of O teams provided plenty of memorable moments in 2021
For Gee-Gees teams, 2021 was filled with amazing highlights. From championships, individual accomplishments, and even emotional moments, there were so many memories worth noting.
The fall season marked the first time University of Ottawa teams were able to compete since the pandemic, and teams had different goals they wished to accomplish as they returned to competition.
Women’s rugby and soccer returned to dominating the competition on the field, men’s rugby gave us the best season we’ve seen them play in the RSEQ, and of course, the Garnet and Grey continued their Panda Game win streak.
While there were lots of ups, there were plenty of downs to go along with it. Despite an undefeated regular season, the women’s soccer team couldn’t secure a spot at the U Sports National Championship, the women’s rugby team could not find a way to defeat Laval this year, and their RSEQ championship win streak was broken.
The football team suffered the worst of it, losing a beloved teammate just moments after their season opener in Toronto. The passing of Francis Perron is something that had (and will continue to have) an impact on teammates, staff, friends, family, and everyone in the Gee-Gees community.
Clearly, a lot happened for the Gee-Gees this year: here are the best moments of 2021.
Emma Lefebvre joins the 30 goal club in an undefeated season
Emma Lefebvre made the decision to return to the Gee-Gees squad and continue her outstanding university soccer career.
The team finished the regular season 9-0-1, making it the eighth undefeated season in program history.
Lefebvre added her own milestone to the team’s historic season. With a goal in a 3-0 win at Matt Anthony Field over the Carleton Ravens, Lefebvre’s contribution made her the sixth player in the Gee-Gees women’s soccer program to score 30 career goals.
While the team did not earn a spot in the U Sports National Championship tournament, Lefebvre finished up her Gee-Gees career in admirable fashion.
Women’s rugby nationals run
There were a few hiccups in the women’s rugby season. Laval proved to the Gees over and over again that they were the best team in the country for a reason, taking them down in both the regular season and in the RSEQ championship game.
Still, the Gee-Gees showed up when it mattered, and went on a run at the U Sports National Championship tournament in Kingston.
Their first matchup was won easily, the 40-12 victory of St. Francis Xavier sent the U of O to the semi-final game where they met the University of Victoria.
This game was close. Like, really close.
The game went to overtime, and it was Claire Gallagher who kicked the ball between the goal posts to make the score 17-14. The win meant the Gee-Gees earned their way into the national championship game.
It was the home team against whom the Gee-Gees faced off, and in a challenging matchup, the Garnet and Grey fell to the Queen’s Gaels.
The team returned to Ottawa with silver medals, finishing the year as the second-place team in the country.
Campbell Fair’s kick securing third straight Panda Game win
It is not an understatement to say that having Panda Game back on the schedule was monumental for the team and for everyone on campus.
Clouds and rain did not stop Gee-Gees and Ravens fans from filling TD Place to watch the rivalry game between the U of O and Carleton football teams.
The game was not an easy one.
Carleton opened up the scoring, and the Gees took their time to claim the lead heading into half-time.
While the Gee-Gees had a 16-7 lead, the team struggled in the later quarters and allowed the Ravens to get a comeback in the works. A touchdown and a field goal put Carleton back in the lead.
With 17-16 on the board, the Gees only had three minutes to work with.
A string of plays brought the U of O into field goal range. Campbell Fair, the Gees kicker, knew what he needed to do.
And he did it. He sent the crowd into an eruption of cheers, made the score 19-17 for the Gees, and kept Pedro at home.
Honouring Francis Perron in Kingston
One of the most beautiful moments of 2021 was how the Gee-Gees honoured their fallen teammate.
In Kingston, the U of O were matched up against Queen’s University for their second game of the season — their first since the passing of Francis Perron.
The grey 99 jersey was laid on the field, right where Perron would usually line up during kickoff.
Gees kicker, Campbell Fair, stood in position to kick the ball and begin the game.
The kick didn’t come.
The clock winded down, the officials threw the yellow flag. Perron’s teammates carried his jersey off the field, and the Gaels declined the penalty.
That was Perron’s final play.
From then on, the Gee-Gees have gone above and beyond to honour Perron.
Women’s volleyball wins first game since 2018
On the morning of Nov. 21, Gee-Gees head coach Lionel Woods went to park in his regular parking spot at the Fulcrum office, only there was a problem — a white Subaru was in his spot. This forced Woods to find a new spot in the parking lot. Later that day his team won its first game since 2018.
Coincidence? I think not.
With that said, full credit goes to the women in Garnet and Grey who put on a show for the hometown faithful defeating the UQTR Patriotes 3-1 at Montpetit Hall.
In the win, it was veterans who led the way with Tristan Peterson scoring 18.5 points, Avery Hughes putting up 12.5 points, and Trinity Lusan adding 11 points for Ottawa.
In what has been another difficult season for the Gees, this was a much-needed bright spot.
Men’s volleyball winning the Adidas Cup, women’s ultimate winning Canadian University Ultimate division two championship on universe point, men’s rugby hosting first-ever playoff game on Matt Anthony Field, men’s ultimate qualifying for division one at nationals.