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Gaels crush Excalibur in women's rugby

[Women's Rugby]
Nadia Popov scores one of her three tries at Nixon Field as the Queen's Gaels beat the Trent Excalibur 71-5 on Saturday. (Photo by Michael Parkinson)

A quick roundup of the Queen’s Gaels teams that were in OUA action over the weekend:

Women’s Rugby

The Queen’s Gaels got points from eight different players as the women's rugby team dominated the Trent Excalibur in a convincing 71-5 win Saturday afternoon on Nixon Field.

Nadia Popov returned to the Gaels lineup in style, scoring the first two tries of the season for the tricolour. Popov was the OUA Rookie of the Year in 2012 when she was fourth in OUA scoring with 52 points, but hasn't played CIS rugby since her first year of eligibility because she earned a spot with Team Canada, including the senior women's sevens team in 2015. 

Also scoring before the half were Molly Labenski, Jordi Di Nardo and Kendyl Wilson for a 29-0 lead.

Popov picked up her third try after the break while McKinley Hunt and Labenski added two tries each. Lauren Cranfield and Abby Refausse also crossed the line for the Gaels. Erin Geddes finished the day with eight successful conversions on 11 attempts.

Men’s Rugby

In a rematch of the 2015 OUA men’s rugby championship game the Queen's Gaels (1-1) came up short this time around as they fell to the Guelph Gryphons (2-0) 18-12 on Sunday afternoon in Guelph.

The Gaels struck first through Kainoa Lloyd but the conversion failed. Guelph responded with a pair of penalty goals to make the score 6-5 for the hosts at the half.

The Gryphons struck twice after the break to take an 18-5 lead. The Gaels tried to battle back with a try from Michael Douros to make it 18-12 but could go no further.

Football

The Queen's Gaels (0-2) went into Guelph (2-1) to visit the No. 10 Gryphons and fell 38-29. Despite holding an 11-8 lead at the break the Gaels were upended in the second half as the Gryphons responded with 30 points.

Jonah Pataki provided the power for the Gaels and scored after hauling in a short pass from Nate Hobbs and scrambling 37 yards for the opening touchdown. With the wind at his back rookie kicker Nick Liberatore made the convert added a rouge on the subsequent kickoff and followed with a 40-yard field goal to put Queen's in front 11-0 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, and the wind now at their backs, Guelph responded with a pair of single points and two field goals to make it 11-8 at the half.

Queen's started out the second half with a bang with Ryan Keays hauling in a Hobbs pass for a 49-yard score while Lberatore tacked on another field goal from 43-yards out for a 21-8 lead.

Guelph roared back with three straight touchdowns to go up 29-21 before Gaels receiver Chris Osei-Kusi scored on a 77-yard run. However, a failed two-point conversion kept Guelph up 29-27.

Guelph closed out the game a few minutes later intercepting Hobbs for the second time in the afternoon and followed up with a touchdown for a 38-29 victory.

Men’s Soccer

The Queen’s Gaels men’s soccer team picked up three points on the weekend with a win and a draw, to remain undefeated at 3-0-1.

On Sunday, the Gaels were in Peterborough and tied the Trent Excalibur 1-1 on a goal by Julian Gailiunas

A day earlier in Oshawa, the Gaels topped the UOIT Ridgebacks 3-1 with goals coming from Tonko Bacelic, Andrew Martin and Gailiunas.

Women’s Soccer

The No. 6 Queen’s Gaels women’s soccer team split their games on the weekend, falling to their first defeat on Saturday against UOIT before bouncing back against Trent on Sunday.

Against the Ridgebacks in Oshawa, the Gaels had opportunities but were unable to find the back of the net. The hosts scored in the 33rd minute and held on for the big win.

In Peterborough, the Gaels found their scoring touch and trounced the Excalibur 4-0 with Rachel Radu notching a hat trick and Brittany Almeida adding a lone strike.

The Gaels are now 3-1-0.