By JAKE ROBINSON
This is what movies are made of – a first year sports team, clearly the underdog, playing in the gold medal game against the defending champions.
The Conestoga Condors won silver in women’s rugby as they lost 24-19 against Humber in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) championship game on Nov. 13.
The game was the third time Conestoga and Humber played each other this season; Humber won all three of the games on their way to an undefeated season.
Conestoga had a strong start to the season, winning their first two games against Seneca and Mohawk. However, they followed with a three-game losing streak, two of the games being against Humber, but pulled it back together as they defeated Mohawk 70-12 on Oct. 29. The Condors finished the regular season with a 3-3 record, placing second in the West Region Conference.
The team’s first playoff game was against the East Region’s top team, St. Lawrence. Conestoga won 35-22 at the Nov. 6, match.
The team’s season also saw some great individual performances as flanker Danielle Pauze was named the OCAA player of the week after she scored the game-winning try in the first game of the season.
Athletic director Marlene Ford was happy with the team’s performance as this was the first season that Conestoga participated in women’s rugby.
“I am extremely proud of how well the girls did this year,” she said. “For a first-year team and a first-year program it was a positive start and women’s rugby has a bright future at Conestoga.”
Paul Osborne, director of athletics and recreation, complimented the team on their progression throughout the season.
“It has been an amazing inaugural season,” he said. “We went from wondering how many would show up for tryouts to fighting to the last second of the last game for the gold medal. The players and coaches worked very hard all season and deserved the success they achieved.”
The Condors were hopeful before the season began as the team’s assistant coach, first-year general arts and science student Brittany Conrad, said that they were “going for gold.” The head coach, Josh Kirk, also noticed the team’s talent prior to the season and predicted correctly when he said that they expected to finish in the top two in their division.
Although they didn’t strike gold, they secured silver and showed they are one of the powerhouses in the West Region.