Ottawa downs McMaster in back-and-forth quarterfinal matchup
U Sports – VICTORIA (U Sports) – The Ottawa Gee-Gees tallied three second-half tries on their way to a 25-19 victory over the McMaster Marauders at Wallace Field on Thursday.
“In the last two years we have lost a close game to McMaster in the semifinal and I was worried at one point that it was going to be the same storyline,” said Ottawa head coach Jennifer Boyd. “But the girls really pulled through. We learnt a lot from a close loss last year and they played hard.”
The Gee-Gees, who entered the tournament seeded second after winning the RSEQ title, move on to the semifinals on Friday, where they’ll be matched up against the Calgary Dinos. McMaster, ranked first in Canada for the entire season, will play Acadia in the consolation semifinals on Saturday.
“This is the third championship in a row that we’ve played Ottawa and now the combined point difference isn’t over five points,” said Shaun Allen, head coach of McMaster. “We are two physical teams that are willing to battle it out, and they got the better of us today.”
McMaster got the scoring started on a try from Irowa just over five minutes in and teammate Black hit the convert to make it 7-0 Marauders. Thirteen minutes later the Gee-Gees would get on the board, as Ellis drove in her first try of the afternoon.
Irowa and Ellis both finished with two tries, as they once again traded points early in the second half to bring the score to 12-12. From there Ottawa took control, getting tries from Jessica Lynn Foran and Samantha Alli to jump out to a 22-12 lead.
The Marauders had one last gasp of life in the final minutes off of a nice run from Maddy Seatle and a convert from Steph Black. Black’s convert was her second of the night and it put McMaster within three points, although a penalty goal from Emma Sandstrom put the game out of reach as the Gee-Gees finished up 25-19.
“We played with a lot of confidence on attack, we had nothing to lose,” said Boyd. “We are a second half team, we always perform better late in games and the girls know that. That is a bit of a psychological boost and they started out really well in the second half.”
Despite the loss, Allen wasn’t upset with his team’s performance.
“Overall I was really happy with our defence for the most part, we tackled like crazy,” said Allen. “I was happy with us doing what we were trying to do by spreading them out and moving the ball it was just that last finish that we were missing.
“We had our opportunities we just unfortunately didn’t finish.”
Ottawa will take on Calgary in the national semifinal at 5:00 p.m. PDT on Friday while McMaster will take on Acadia o n Saturday at 2:00 p.m. with a chance to play for fifth on the line.
“We still have to prove that we have the capability to play the rugby that we can and represent the OUA well,” said Allen. “Do ourselves, our families and our community proud.”
OTT: 7-18: 25
MAC: 7-12: 19
MAC Try – Colleen Irowa (Steph Black convert) – 7-0
OTT Try – Alexandria Ellis (Emma Sandstrom convert) – 7-7
OTT Try – Alexandria Ellis (no convert) 12-7
MAC Try – Colleen Irowa (no convert) 12-12 (CLEAN RUN)
OTT Try – Jessica Lynn Foran (no convert) 17-12
OTT Try – Samantha Alli (no convert) 22-12
MAC Try – Maddy Seatle (Steph Black convert) 22-19
OTT PG – Emma Sandstrom 25-19
Players of the Game
OTT #3 Alexandria Ellis
MAC #10 Steph Black
MAC – Sara Svoboda (Yellow)
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (All times Pacific Time)
Thursday, Nov. 3
12:00 Quarter-final 1: No. 3 Calgary (42) vs. No. 6 Acadia (10)
14:00 Quarter-final 2: No. 2 Ottawa (25) vs. No. 7 McMaster (19)
17:00 Quarter-final 3: No. 4 StFX vs. No. 5 Concordia
19:00 Quarter-final 4: No. 1 Guelph vs. No. 8 Victoria
Friday, Nov. 4
17:00 Semifinal 1: Calgary vs. Ottawa
19:00 Semifinal 2: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4
Saturday, Nov. 5
12:00 Consolation 1: Acadia vs. McMaster
14:00 Consolation 2: Loser QF 3 vs. Loser QF 4
Sunday, Nov. 6
11:00 Fifth place
13:00 Bronze medal
15:00 Championship final
About U Sports
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