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Host Gaels win women’s national rugby title

The Queen's Gaels celebrate with the Molinex Trophy and the championship banner after winning the U SPORTS Women’s Rugby Championship final on Sunday on home turf at Nixon Field.

The Queen’s Gaels capped off a successful hosting of the U SPORTS Women’s Rugby Championship with a gold medal at Nixon Field on Sunday.

The Gaels defeated the Ottawa Gee-Gees 26-18 in the final game to hoist the Molinex Trophy on home turf as national champions.

Supporters of both teams and fans of rugby lined the field despite the inclement weather and were treated to an exciting national title game.

The teams were tied 15-15 at halftime before Jaden Walker scored a try in the 49th minute to give Queen’s a lead they would not relinquish on their way to the eight-point win.

The Gaels’ Sophie de Goede, who was named U SPORTS Women’s Rugby Player of the Year on Friday, finished the game with one try, one convert, and two penalty converts. 

de Goede was also named the tournament MVP after the championship game.

“I’m honestly speechless,” de Goede said. “This is the best week that I’ve ever had. I'm so proud of the way that our team played. We couldn’t ask for anything else. This whole week, every single game, they’ve been grinding it out. They've been so gritty, so passionate. And I really feel like we’ve been a family this whole time.”

For Queen’s, Sunday's championship win was redemption after finishing second at the 2019 U SPORTS Women’s Rugby Championship and a great way to cap off a two-year journey after the 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It says something about the group of women that I get the chance to work with, when we put something like this at the top of our bulletin board two years ago, going and competing in and winning a national championship on our home pitch,” said Gaels head coach Dan Valley. “To see that come to fruition is an unbelievable feeling. I couldn’t be more proud of our athletes, our coaching staff, our support staff. It was a team effort every single day to get here.”

The U SPORTS Women’s Rugby Championship brought together the eight best teams from across the country. It marked the first national event hosted by Queen’s since the start of the pandemic.

Queen’s will also host the Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship from Nov. 24-28. Tournament passes are on sale now.

WOMEN’S SOCCER

The Queen’s Gaels are headed to the U SPORTS Women’s Soccer Championship after capturing the OUA title on Saturday with a penalty-kicks win over the Western Mustangs in London after neither team could score in regulation or overtime.

The Gaels will open the tournament on Thursday, Nov. 18 (9:30 a.m.) against MacEwan University in Cape Breton, N.S.

FOOTBALL

The Queen’s Gaels booked their ticket to the Yates Cup to vie for an OUA title against the Western Mustangs.

On Saturday the Gaels beat the Ottawa Gee-Gees 32-15 at Richardson Stadium, keeping their perfect record intact at 8-0.

The Yates Cup will be played at Richardson Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 1 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online.