Fall sports roundup

McGill much-improved women’s field hockey squad posted its first victory in three years and tied three other games. / Photo: Andrew Dobrowolskyj
McGill's much-improved women’s field hockey squad posted its first victory in three years and tied three other games. / Photo: Andrew Dobrowolskyj

Season comes to a close for several teams

By Jim Hynes

The cold winds of November are here, which means the season is over for some McGill varsity sports teams. The last “fall” team standing was the Quebec University Rugby League (QURL) champion Redmen, who lost the “unofficial” eastern men’s university championship in heartbreaking fashion last weekend.  The Redmen, who won their third consecutive QURL title Nov. 8, dropped a 14-12 decision to Dalhousie on a penalty kick that came on the last play of injury time. The team posted a season record of 7-3-1 and had six players named to this year’s Conference All-Star Team.

Here’s how some of McGill’s other fall sports teams fared.

The Rugby Martlets finished third in the CIS six-team Quebec conference, posting a record of 4-2-0. They lost their conference playoff final 13-5 to rival Concordia but expect to return with a vengeance in 2009 with most of this year’s team intact.

QB Matt Connell and WR Erik Galas injected some positives into an otherwise disappointing season for the football Redmen.  Although the team went without a win again this year, the two seniors broke a number of individual CIS records. Connell set a new single-season record for pass completions (209) and established new career marks for attempts (1,364), completions (816) and yards (10,455), while Galas set a new career receptions record (194).

The Lacrosse Redmen were one win away from taking it all, losing the national championship Baggataway Cup to Guelph in the final. The 2008 team was one win better than in 2007 when they lost in the championship semis. In other words, wait ‘til next year.

The Baseball Redbirds also came up a win short of the Canadian Intercollegiate Baseball Association title, losing the final to the University of New Brunswick after winning their own Northern Conference with an 11-5 record.

On the soccer pitch, both the Redmen and Martlets bowed out in their league playoff semi-finals. The seventh-ranked Redmen, who finished second in league play with a 7-1-4 season record, were upset by the Université de Laval, while the Martlets dropped a 1-0 decision to the Université de Montreal Carabins.

In other varsity sports, the Redmen Rowing Team took the bronze medal in the men’s heavyweight coxed four at the OUA rowing championships in St. Catherines, Ontario. The much-improved Field Hockey Martlets won their first game in three years and proved to be very competitive all season long. The team’s co-coaches Lauret Fayen and Jean-Pierre Turpain earned OUA Coach of the Year honours, while goaltender Shauna Kearns and midfielder Camille St. Cyr were named to the second all-star team.  The Martlets and Redmen finished 10th and 13th respectively at the CIS cross-country championships in Quebec City. Redmen runner Alexander Duhault, an 18-year-old Civil Engineering freshman from Calgary, was named Rookie of the Year by the Quebec Student Sports Federation.  The highlight of the golf season was sophomore Victoria Kayser’s victory at the Omnium Rouge et Or in Quebec City. She became the first McGill woman ever to win an intercollegiate golf tournament.