Men’s rugby opens with largest team yet
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO, Coach Stuart Robinson had just started his first season with the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees men’s rugby team with only 17 players. Last season, he had 40 men. This season, Robinson had the biggest turnout yet, with 60 men playing rugby this fall.
At the home opener this past Sept. 6, the stands were packed with Gee-Gees fans and the men were ready to play.
“This is a big game for us because we played them last week and lost and we expected a big turnout for our home opener,” said third-year commerce and marketing student Braydon Brommit-Stachel.
Seven minutes in, the Algonquin Thunder scored, and proceed to score 24 points in the first 30 minutes of the game. The Gee-Gees turned it around when flanker Josh Pearsall scored a try set up by a 60-metre run by captain John Thurston, making the score 24–7.
It was a great game for Gee-Gees lock Ben Maissoneauve and outside centre Christian Eanga-Selenge. The final score was 54–7 in favour of Algonquin, whose quick speed and big plays earned them the win.
Coach Robinson’s main focus in practice will be contact.
“Got to win the ball, got to be in there quick. We cannot be pushed off the ball,” he said. “The Algonquin Thunder really wanted it and that comes with experience. For this coming season we will work hard.”
Women’s soccer Gees tie up second best team in country
IN THIS WEEK’S standings, the Gee-Gees women’s soccer team ranked third in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East division and fourth in the country. The team’s home opener Sept. 7 against the Queen’s University Gaels—the second best team in the country— definitely proved to be something else. The Gee-Gees kept Queen’s at zero the entire game with their strong defence and proved that they are strong and competitive.
Gee-Gees’ fifth-year medicine student Chantal McFetridge—a former Gael—said she had a great game. McFetridge dominated with her passes, increasing the offensive pressure from the Gees’ forwards.
Throughout the game, the Gee-Gees’ defense grew stronger and outshot Queen’s 4–2. The score remained 0-0 by the end of the game.
On Sept. 11, the Gee-Gees will face the third-ranked team in the OUA East division, the Carleton Ravens, at Matt Anthony Field at 7 p.m.
Great win over Laval
THE UNIVERSITY OF Ottawa women’s rugby team had an amazing win against the Laval Rouge et Or—the sixth-ranked team in the country—on Sept. 7.
The game marked the Gee-Gees’ second game in their three pre-season games. It was also their second win with a final score of 29–27. The Gees played defence as one unit, stopping Laval’s offence consistently. Captain and fifth-year health sciences student Natasha Watcham-Roy played a great game, scoring one try and leading her team to a win.
Third-year U of O human kinetics student Nathalie Palmer had a number of tackles and scored the first try of the game for the Gee-Gees. At half, the game was up for grabs by both teams as the score was tied 17–17.
Laval led the half, scoring 10 points. The Gee-Gees responded with a 12-point comeback to end the game. Gee-Gees rookies also had a great game Saturday night.
“Our rookies have really stepped right in this season and performed well for us,” said Watcham-Roy. “As first-year players, they’ve stepped up and are helping the team make big plays.”
The Gee-Gees women’s rugby home opener is Sept. 13 against the Sherbrooke Vert et Or at 7 p.m.