Gee-Gees win RSEQ championship and move on to nationals
Photo credit: Remi Yuan
For the first time in University of Ottawa history, the women’s rugby team will compete for the title of Canada’s top rugby team as they prepare for the national championships.
The fifth-ranked Gee-Gees won their way to the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) finals Oct. 23, where they faced the eighth-ranked Concordia University Stingers.
Tallying all their points in the second half, the Gees prevailed with a score of 13-5, launching them to the national tournament that will be held in Guelph, Ont. With a scoreless first half, the Gee-Gees scored first in the second half as fourth-year fullback Irene Patrinos punched it in for the first try of the game. Patrinos was then able to score a penalty kick, giving them another three points. Lagging behind, the Stingers were able to come close, scoring a try of their own to cut the lead to three.
But Gees rookie Courtney Mastine was able to put away the game on one last try.
“The only thing going through my head was don’t stop, don’t fall, just run the ball into the end zone for the score,” said Mastine.
Head coach Jen Boyd was also recognized for her hard work as the RSEQ coach of the year. Boyd is credited for building a truly competitive women’s program, which hasn’t seen this much success since its inception. Pushing the Gee-Gees’ status from outlier to powerhouse caught the attention of other RSEQ coaches who each cast a ballot for her.
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“It obviously means a lot to be recognized by peers,” said Boyd. “It shows that they respect the changes that Duncan (McNaughton, assistant coach) and I have made to this program, so it’s a great feeling.”
With an undefeated regular season and a 2-0 playoff record, the Gee-Gees have secured the third seed nationally, and will play the loser of the McMaster versus Guelph game on Oct. 31, and the winner the following day.
Based on the record of that pool, the teams will be determined for the championship game to be played on Nov. 2.
With increased competition, the Gees will continue an uphill battle in search of their first Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) rugby banner.