For the second year in a row, the women's rugby team has secured a spot in the OCAA Provincial Championships on November 3rd.
The Lancers capped off regulation play with a 2-2 result at their final tournament. Playing on home fields for the first time in competition, the Lancers lost a tough on to the St. Lawrence Vikings to start the day, followed by a pair of victories over the Fleming Knights (15-14 final) and Durham Lords (22-12 final), and finishing with a gritty 15-0 loss to the first place Algonquin Thunder. Second year Lancer Kierstyn Bennett scored 4 of the team's 7 tries on the day while team leading scorer Bailey Meraw added two more of her own to bring her season total to 11.
With an 8-4 regular season record under their belts, the Lancers' focus shifts to the Provincial Championship in Oakville, hosted by the Sheridan Bruins.
After earning a bronze medal in the 2017 season, Head Coach Ken Fitzgerald had high hopes of returning to the Championships from the start of the season. "This recruiting class isone of the highest skilled groups I've seen in quite a while. Our first tournament was a bench mark day for us and we got to see just how well we could play as a team. Going 3-1 in that tournament gave us the confidence to know that we could reach provincials once and again."
Maintaining a healthy line up and having a deep, well rounded team has been crucial, Coach Fitzgerald continues. "The key to this season has been our lack of injuries. With only a couple of bumps and bruises along the way, we've really been able to showcase our team and get the girls playing cohesively game after game and building experience together. The great thing about this team is our depth and it has showed in many games. At any given time when our bench players took the field, our team play remained consistent which really gave us an edge in some matches."
The Lancers will attend the Provincial Championship Banquet on November 2nd before matches commence at the tournament the following day. Their first match of the day kicks off at 10:30am on the 3rd and will see the Lancers, who finished the season 2nd in the East, against the 3rd place team from the West, Sheridan Bruins who finished with 4 wins and 10 losses. The previous meeting of the Lancers and Bruins came on October 13th at the OCAA Crossover event in Peterborough and finished with a convincing 30-14 victory for the Lancers.
Coach Fitzgerald is confident that his team is ready for their next challenge. "We've improved alot over the course of the season, but so have other schools and it's not a one horse race anymore. Anyone can beat anyone next week, but our team is going to be ready and I know everything will all be left on the field and it will be done together, as one team."