For the first time in four years, there’s a new champion in Ontario University Women’s Rugby.
The Queen’s Gaels defeated the three-time defending champion Guelph Gryphons last Friday night at Nixon Field, 46-17.
Sophie de Goede led the Gaels offensively with 11 points.
McKinley Hunt and Rachel Hickson pitched in with 10 points apiece.
It was Queen’s second OUA title. They last won the championship in 2013.
“That was a really hard fought championship battle,” said de Goede, who was also the OUA’s Player of the year.
The third-year commerce student from Victoria B.C. says a tremendous amount of work has finally paid off.
“Everybody has put in a lot of work. We’ve been very fortunate to recruit some talented players and everybody has come to together to make this the great team that it is.”
How good are the Gaels? They won six straight games this season, outscoring their opponents 491-46.
“This is a very, very talented squad,” said back row all-star Lizzie Gibson.
The first year student from Caledon, Ont. was named the OUA’s Rookie of the Year.
“We earned this,” continued Gibson.
“It’s a great feeling, knowing how hard we worked to get to this point. I’m a rookie here and they’ve made me feel right at home. This medal around my neck means the world to me.”
Winning the OUA and dethroning Guelph was the first of two goals this season for coach Dan Valley’s club.
Next up is the U-Sport national championships at the University of Ottawa.
The quarter-final playoffs begin Oct. 30.