The Oct. 5 rematch between the McGill Redmen (8-1) and the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees (3-6) at Molson Stadium was only close for a brief spell in the first half. As Redmen midfielder Emile Sassone-Lawless put the finishing touches on his hat trick in the second half, McGill took control of the field and rounded out the game with a 14-5 victory.
Last year, Ottawa knocked McGill out of the postseason in the Baggataway Cup quarterfinals. However, after beating the Gee-Gees for the second time this year, the Redmen are optimistic as the playoffs approach once again.
“They ruined our season last year, so it was really nice to beat them down today,” Senior Redmen attack Cyrus Wickersham said.
McGill came out with strong momentum in the first half: The team quickly established itself on offence and won the first quarter 2-1. The game slowed in the second quarter as the Gee-Gees struggled to out-maneuver the Redmen’s strong defence.
“We have the best defence in the league,” Redmen assistant coach Nicholas Soubry said. “We just make minor mistakes sometimes, and I think we need to improve on that. I think today we did improve on a lot of things that I’ve been talking about.”
The last competitive clash occurred at the end of the second quarter, when some on-field fouls and a penalty on the Redmen opened up an opportunity for the Gee-Gees. After a brief back-and-forth, McGill came out on top with a 6-4 lead at the end of the half and went on to score another eight goals in the second half to Ottawa’s one.
“Defensively, I think we played really well,” Freshman Redmen long-stick midfielder Matt Keresteci said. “We were tight on our slides [and] tight on our recovery [….] Offensively, we stuck to our basics and played a great game.”
The Redmen have three games left in the regular season, with their last home game on Oct. 18 against the Bishop’s University Gaiters. Bishop’s took a narrow victory against McGill earlier in the season, but the Redmen are confident that they can hold onto the top seat in their conference.
“What’s boding well is that we’re 8-1, we’re first in the [CUFLA] East,” Redmen Head Coach Tim Murdoch said. “We’re playing Queen’s University next weekend, they’re a really athletic team. That should be a big test, but as long as we keep winning we’ll stay atop the East, [so] it looks pretty good right now. ”
Moment of the Game
In the second minute of play, the ball ricocheted off the Ottawa goal post and into the stick of McGill midfielder Emile Sassone-Lawless, who took a swift behind-the-back shot for the first goal of the game.
"We forgot about [the 2016 Baggataway Cup] quarterfinals.That was last year’s team. This is this year’s team." – Redmen Head Coach Tim Murdoch on moving on from last year’s defeat against Ottawa.
The Redmen scored four unanswered goals in the third quarter in a surge that marked the end of the game for the Gee-Gees.