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Tough competition ends Gee-Gees’ otherwise perfect season

Photo credit: Karin Stepien

The Gee-Gees women’s rugby team’s perfect season finally came to an end at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) finals. The University of Guelph hosted the national finals, which brought in teams from the University of Alberta, Western, McMaster, Guelph, St. Francis Xavier, and the University of Ottawa. Each team played two games starting on Thursday, Oct. 30, which decided the tournament rankings before the fight for medals began.

Going into this final tournament, the Gee-Gees were riding high after winning the Réseau du sport éducatif du Québec (RSEQ) championship. They scored consistently throughout their first game against the Guelph Gryphons to land a 21-15 win.

Despite the big victory, the team was still the underdog since it was their first-ever appearance at the tournament.

“It’s unreal that we just beat a team like Guelph because they are a big team that has been part of this tournament many times,” said fullback Irene Patrinos. “A lot of people underestimate us in my opinion, because it’s our first time here, but that’s an advantage for us because we can take teams by surprise.”

The team followed Saturday’s win with a 17-12 loss to the McMaster Marauders, the first defeat for the Gee-Gees’ otherwise perfect season. The defeat meant the Gees would be pitted against the Western Mustangs to battle it out for bronze. The Mustangs eased into third place with a final score of 17-5, leaving the Gees off the podium but still thrilled to be there at all.

“Honestly, I told those girls in the circle that it has been an honour to play with them this year and accomplish everything that we have,” said flanker Allison MacCormak. “The success in this program is only going to get better and better.”

The tournament ended with St. FX taking first place against McMaster, and the Gryphons in fifth place after a win over Alberta’s team.

Having ended their first appearance at nationals just shy of a medal is a victory in itself for the steadily improving Gees team, and surely next year’s season will be one to watch.