The McGill Redmen (14-0-0) overcame a late rally by the Brock Badgers (11-4-0) to win the CUFLA Baggataway Cup semifinals 7-5 on Saturday evening.
McGill raced to a 4-1 lead in the first quarter, with goals coming from senior midfielder Anders Bjella, junior midfielder Emile Sassone-Lawless and senior attackman Jake Gutman. McGill would continue with a dominating scoreboard lead until the fourth quarter—they entered the fourth leading 6-2.
“We were really proud of how our offence played today,” Head Coach Tim Murdoch said. “We were able to use multiple players in the same position [….] We are not always counting on the same players to win the game for us. That is one of the hallmarks of our game this year—lots of depth.”
McGill, however, did not replicate their offensive proficiency in the second half.
“We really struggled with our shooting in the second half,” Murdoch said. “Our players were not shooting where we told them to shoot and consequently their goalie was making a couple of saves.”
Brock made a late surge in the fourth quarter, scoring three goals in quick succession. McGill’s standout goalkeeper William Waesche was very active and pulled out some stunning saves to help maintain McGill’s lead.
“Luckily for us our goalie had an outstanding game,” Murdoch explained. “He made some outstanding stops at the end of the game to preserve the win for us.”
Murdoch was impressed by Brock’s tenacity.
“This is a very talented Brock team […] this will be a very dangerous team in the future,” Murdoch said, “But I just think that our maturity and our poise and preparedness paid off. We took a nice lead […] and they fought back well gave us a bit of a scare [at the end].”
Despite the victory, there will be no celebrating tonight for McGill.
“Our goal is to win the national championship, not the national semifinals,” Murdoch said. “We are looking forward to playing Western in the National Championship.”
The Redmen take on the Western Mustangs at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 7 in a rematch of the 2012 CUFLA National Championship. In that game, McGill emerged victorious in overtime to lift its first ever Baggataway Cup. Some Redmen such as Bjella and Gutman, who were freshmen on that championship winning team, will be looking to bring back some of that magic.