The Gee-Gees women’s rugby team stormed back from a 15-3 deficit against the Calgary Dinos in the national semifinal, forcing overtime before dominating the final twenty minutes for a 32-15 final score. Ottawa advances to the U SPORTS National Final for the second straight season and will play the Laval Rouge et Or in a rematch of the 2017 RSEQ Championship.
The gold medal game is scheduled for Sunday at 5:00 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT.
Dria Bennett was named player of the match and recorded the final try. Her determined runs throughout the match kept Ottawa dangerous and on the attack. “The fight and the heart and the effort that we put in today, I’m at a loss for words.”
The Gee-Gees defence starred in the first half while the offence took over in the second half to turn the tide in the match. Calgary’s number eight was sent off for a high tackle just five minutes into the second half, and Ottawa quickly capitalized with its first try of the match.
“Our defence kept us in the game, our tight five were so dominant,” said Ottawa’s head coach Jen Boyd. “It is the kind of rugby you have to play in this type of weather. We had a slow start but what an end.”
Alex Ellis, a vocal force throughout the match, got the Gee-Gees rolling with the opening try. The forwards would continue to be vital to the scoring effort, fighting as a group for tries by Breanna Phillipps, Danielle Erdelyi, and Erin McCallan from close range.
“Once the forwards got rolling we picked up momentum and we’re very cohesive working together,” added Bennett. “Before the overtime it was visible that we were pumped and ready to go.”
The Gee-Gees outscored Calgary by a 17-0 margin in overtime. Early in the first overtime, Erdelyi picked the ball up off a ruck and leaped across the line for the first score of the extra frame. Sandstrom made her second convert of the game and gave Ottawa a 22-15 lead.
Ottawa continued to press Calgary and off another strong push near the endzone, substitute Erin McCallan registered the Ottawa’s second try of overtime and gave the Gee-Gees a 27-15 lead heading into the second overtime.
Dria Bennett broke free in the fourth minute, scoring the third Ottawa try of overtime, putting the game out of reach and securing Ottawa’s second consecutive trip to the gold medal game.
1 2 OT F
Ottawa 3 12 17 32
Calgary 10 5 0 15
18’ Ottawa Emma Sandstrom penalty kick – 3-0
23’ Calgary Elysa Sandron Try – convert missed – 5-3
30’ Calgary DeLeaka Menin Try – convert missed – 10-3
33’ Calgary Elysa Sandron Try – convert missed – 15-3
38’ Ottawa Alexandria Ellis Try – convert made (Sandstrom) 15-10
49’ Ottawa Breanna Phillips Try – convert missed 15-15
1’ Ottawa Danielle Erdelyi Try – convert made (Sandstrom) 22-15
6’ Ottawa Erin McCallan Try – convert missed 27-15
14’ Ottawa Dria Bennett Try – convert missed 32-15