By Jim Hynes
A number of McGill’s varsity sports squads have been gearing up for their respective upcoming regular seasons by taking part in pre-season tournaments and exhibition games.
The football Redmen surprised the Ottawa Gee-Gees with a 37-14 victory in CIS preseason action at Molson Stadium last Friday.
Sean Murphy, a sophomore from Ottawa, rushed for a game-high 76 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Redmen, who are coming off an 0-9 season. McGill place-kicker Austin Anderson, a senior from Canmore, Alta., accounted for 13 points, nine on field goals from distances of 10, 28 and 13 yards. McGill generated 383 net yards compared to only 210 by the Gee-Gees, who finished atop the OUA standings last year with a 7-1 record.
The Redmen will kick off their 131st season tonight (Sept. 1) when they travel across town to open Quebec conference play against the Montreal Carabins.
The basketball Redmen, meanwhile, pulled off a surprise of their own when they stunned the University of New Hampshire Wildcats 77-74 in men’s preseason basketball at the Sir Arthur Currie gymnasium, Wednesday, Aug. 24. The win snapped McGill’s 10-game losing streak to NCAA teams and marked their first win over a Div. 1 program in three years, dating back to an 88-83 decision over the Virginia Cavaliers on Aug. 31, 2008. Simon Bibeau of St. Bruno, Que., and Tristan Renaud-Tremblay of Montreal each tallied 22 points for McGill. Winn Clark, a third-year guard from Mission Hills, KS, added 11 points for the Redmen, who never trailed in the game, holding quarterly leads of 19-9, 34-31 and 59-50.
The Redmen had lost their four previous exhibition games against NCAA opponent this year, dropping contests against Illinois State (90-60), Central Florida (100-58), Akron (85-57) and Albany (83-513). The Redmen play the NCAA’s Niagara University Purple Eagles at Love Competition Hall this Saturday then take a lengthy break before embarking on a three-game exhibition tour of Nova Scotia (Dalhousie, St. Mary’s and Acadia) October 14-16. The team will host the annual Redbird Classic Oct. 21-23 and willalso take part in the Jack Donohue Classic in Ottawa Oct. 28-Nov. 1 before launching their regular season at home against Concordia Nov. 10.
The championship games of the Old Four Soccer Tournament, hosted at McGill this year, were cancelled because of adverse field conditions in the wake of last Sunday’s, Tropical Storm Irene-related heavy rainfall. In women’s action, the Martlets were set to play Toronto after defeating defending CIS champion Queen’s 2-1 on penalty kicks Saturday. The soccer Redmen were also set to play their U of T counterparts after easily defeating Queen’s 4-1 on Saturday.
McGill’s field hockey squad opened their season with promise, defeating Queen’s (4-0) and UPEI (1-0) and tying Western 1-1 at the McGill Invitational at Forbes Field Aug. 27. The team will play home two games this year, beginning with their regular season opener vs. Queen’s at Molson Stadium on Sept. 15 and against York Sept. 16.
For more varsity sports scores and information visit www.mcgill.ca/athletics/.
-With files from Earl Zukerman