Women’s rugby secures playoff spot for first time in program history

The Carleton Ravens women’s rugby team defeated the McGill Martlets 33-21 over the weekend, securing their first playoff appearance in varsity team history. Since becoming a varsity team in the 2011-12 season and joining the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ), the Ravens have narrowly missed playoffs multiple times.

This year the program has been having their best season yet and translated that success into the standings.

The Ravens’ game against eighth ranked McGill started off well for the Ravens. Ravens prop Sarah-Jane Vezina was able to open up the scoring, giving the Ravens an early five-point lead and later found herself in the try zone again with her second try of the game. Soon after, Bailey Dean scored her first of four conversions in the game.

The Ravens entered halftime with a comfortable 12-0 lead as the teams defensive play stuffed any offensive push from the Martlets. The Ravens came out strong in the second half scoring another 14 points with tries scored by Dean and Maya Addai. Dean was able to successfully convert on both plays.

McGill was able to respond with a pair of tries by Dori Yeats who was playing in her first game as a Martlet. Yeats is Canadian national team wrestler who competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics and won gold at the 2015 Pan American Games. Another try and conversion by the Martlets cut the Ravens lead to five points.

Raven Sonia Hassan-Legault was able to stop the McGill comeback by scoring a try of her own giving the Ravens the win, 33-21 and securing the Ravens a fourth place RSEQ finish. With two games left in the season, the Ravens will be hoping to build momentum going into the playoffs.

The Carleton team is led in points by Dean, who has successfully converted 17 times this season, and put up a total of 57 points, landing her in fourth place in RSEQ for points. First-year teammate Addai has also had a major impact with the team putting up 20 points this year, the second most on the Ravens rugby team.

If the Ravens aren’t able to move up in the standings and hold steady at third place, then a semi-final matchup between  the University of Ottawa (U of O) Gee-Gees and Carleton could start off the RSEQ rugby playoffs.

The Ravens’ final two games are both against teams above them in the standings. On Oct. 7, the Ravens will take on first place team Laval Rouge et Or who holds an impressive undefeated record. Laval has a total of 338 points for, compared to the Ravens 171 points for.

Then on Oct. 15, Carleton will face off against their cross-town rivals, the U of O Gee-Gees, who sit in second place, one spot above the Carleton team. The Gee-Gees are coming off a massive 101-0 win over Bishop’s University and a 116-0 win against McGill.

The Ravens will have a tough final two weeks but will look forward to their first playoff appearance in program history.