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Women’s rugby team loses to top-notch Laval

Spencer Van Dyk | Fulcrum Staff

Photo by Justin Labelle 

THE WOMEN’S RUGBY team suffered an unfortunate 29-14 loss to the Université Laval Rouge et Or this past Sunday, Sept. 16, breaking their two game winning streak.  Both teams were undefeated prior to this match, but Laval, who has consistently been considered one of the best teams in the Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) managed to defeat the Gee-Gees in this Sunday’s game.

Laval started out the game with a strong offensive, scoring just two minutes into the game, and once again five minutes later.  They remained ahead at the end of the first half, with a 20-10 lead, but the Gee-Gees’ strong defence kept them firmly in the game.

“I was pleased with [the game] overall,” said Gee-Gees coach Suzanne Chaulk. “I think the biggest thing for these guys to understand is that we can compete here. I think if any team’s going to surprise this year, it’s going to be us, and I’m quite happy with that. We can compete, but we can’t continue to leave our opportunities on the field.  We more than had our opportunities today, and we did not capitalize on them. We have to finish.”

Despite Laval’s reputation for being a tough-to-beat team, the Gee-Gees played well. Chaulk said that although there was some added pressure in playing last year’s champions, it did not impede their game.

“The kids from last year always bring in that ‘oh gee, they were the league champions last year’,” she said. “I think they did a really good job of not bringing that forward, but it’s there. It’s there in the back of their minds. They have something to prove, and they bring that energy, and I can tell what players are uptight.  But the younger players just want to play, it’s just another game, so they helped to settle it down for us.”

The game’s MVP was centre Dria Bennett, now on her second year on the team, who played an excellent game, and was a huge contributor in slowing down Laval.  She said her highlight of the game was seeing the team work together.

“Just seeing our team play as a team,” she said. “The cohesiveness was great today, and I think we played an exceptional game, especially on defense. I think they’re a tough opponent, but I think we maintained our composure, and buckled down on defense, and it was good. I’m really proud of our team.”

Chaulk explained that in order to improve in coming games, the Gee-Gees must maintain a cohesive offense.

“We have to stay organized and composed on offense,” she said. “We can’t get all excited and say ‘oh, I’ve got the ball’.  We’re leaving a lone runner instead of working in tandem when we’ve got the ball.”

The Gee-Gees will hit the road to play the Stingers at Concordia on Sept. 21.