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RECAP: Ottawa advances to National Semi-Final

Thursday November 2, 2017
A snowy quarter-final for the Gee-Gees rugby team
Ron LeBlanc

The Gee-Gees women’s rugby team advanced to the semi-finals at the 2017 U SPORTS National Championship at the University of Lethbridge with a commanding 65-5 victory over Acadia in the quarterfinal on Thursday. Ottawa will meet Calgary in the semi for the second straight year, having narrowly edged the Dinos by a 7-5 score a year ago.

On Thursday, Ottawa jumped all over the Axewomen from the opening whistle, piling on the points in the first half. Samantha Alli opened the scoring immediately with a long run down the sideline and by half time the Gee-Gees owned a 41-0 lead.

“I heard Sam Alli call for the play and I knew right away that I was going to be able to get her the ball and watch her score. Right there the tone was set,” said third-year Emily Gray who was named the Player of the Match for Ottawa. Gray’s kicking was a crucial element of Ottawa’s control in the match. “We knew the game plan and I was able to step out and work with our nines. Our back three did a great job with the chase.”

Alex Ellis and Danarae Sommerville scored two tries each in the opening half, and Danielle Erdelyi scored one as well. Four different Gee-Gees scored in the second half, including substitutes Paulina Karwowski and Tamera Butera as the Gee-Gees utilized all 25 players on the roster.

Conditions were fierce on the field with the temperature at minus eight degrees and winds gusting at 23 kilometres per hour with a steady snowfall. “We used the conditions to our advantage,” said Gee-Gees head coach Jen Boyd. “We’ve been talking about it for two weeks and I couldn’t ask for a better performance. We executed the game plan perfectly today.”

The semi-finals will be played on Friday afternoon. Ottawa against Calgary is scheduled for 3 p.m. local time, 5 p.m. ET.



First half 

1’ Ottawa – Samantha Ali Try – Convert made (Emma Sandstrom) 7-0

9’ Ottawa – Alexandria Ellis Try – Convert missed 12-0

16’ Ottawa – Breanna Phillipps Try– convert missed – 17-0

20’ Ottawa – Danielle Erdelyi Try – convert made (Emma Sandstrom) 24-0

23’ Ottawa – Danarae Sommerville Try – Convert missed – 29-0

28’ Ottawa – Danarae Sommerville Try – Convert missed – 34-0

33’ Ottawa - Alexandria Ellis Try – convert made (Emma Sandstrom) 41-0


Second half

37’ Ottawa – Dria Bennett Try – convert missed – 46-0

43’ Acadia – Nicole Pahl Try – convert missed – 46-5

47’ Ottawa – Bianca Paiement Try – Convert missed – 51-5

61’ Ottawa – Paulina Karwowski Try – Convert made (Emily Gray) 58-5

66’ Ottawa – Tamara Butera Try – Convert made (Emily Gray) 65-5