Women’s rugby loses hard-fought championship game

The St. Thomas University women’s rugby team lost to the University of New Brunswick Reds in the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association championship game on Nov. 3.

Despite the result, fourth-year player Bailey Andrews was happy with her team’s efforts.

“We left it on the field and there’s not much else we could have done. We didn’t give up and we fought to the last minute,” said Andrews.

“I’m proud of what we did.”

It was Kristen Bulman’s last game and she said while she is proud to be a Tommie, she’s going to miss the team next year.

“I am truly sad about being done with STU rugby because it has been such an important aspect of my life for so long. Rugby has kept me on track for the past few years and I’m really going to miss it,” said Bulman.

“What I’m going to miss most about the team is the players. It was an honour to play on the same field with each and everyone of them. They instantly became my second family. I don’t know what I’m going to do without them.”

The rain made playing hard and caused turnovers for both teams. (Shannon Cornelius/AQ)

The game started with hard pushes from both teams.

The rain and mud made for sloppy ball handling for both teams, but Tommie Becca Baker pushed through for a try. Emily Donelle’s conversion kick gave the Tommies an early 7-0 lead.

Minutes later, UNB made a hard run of their own and scored. With a successful kick, they tied the game up 7-7.

The rain and mud continued to wreak havoc and caused multiple turnovers for both teams. However, UNB pushed through for another try, taking the lead 12-7.

Despite the Tommies’ effort, the Reds kept their lead at the end of the half.

The second half started off like the first. The players started sliding around as the field was torn up by the rain.

St. Thomas University and the University of New Brunswick have faced off in the ACAA championship game for the last four years. (Shannon Cornelius/AQ)

After a fight, the Reds slid in a try, making the score 17-7. They scored again shortly after, increasing their lead to 22-7.

After a long, hard fight, Baker scored another try for the Tommies, making the score 22-12.

Bulman scored after another hard push with seconds left in the game, but UNB pulled off the win with a score of 22-17.

Bulman was proud of her fellow teammates despite the score.

“We worked every practice to get to that championship game and the score does not account for the drive, intensity and heart we put out on that field,” said Bulman.

Once UNB took the lead, they were able to keep it for the rest of the game. (Shannon Cornelius/AQ)

Head coach Meghan Morrison was also proud of her team’s season.

“We didn’t quit and that’s the best game I think we’ve played in a long time,” she said.

Morrison was happy the Tommies didn’t give up when the Reds took the lead.

“They worked hard to the last minute. Getting those couple scores at the end is huge and I think we had everyone here believing we could do it and that was a big thing we wanted to do this year,” she said.

“Just leave with that belief, knowing we could win that game … I don’t feel like we lost that game, but just ran out of time.”

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