a, Sports

Fall Sports Report Card

A-: Redmen Lacrosse

The McGill Redmen lacrosse team had high expectations for this season, considering that they managed to recruit freshman Alex Rohrbach and faceoff wizard J.J. Miller, to strengthen an already good core. The team didn’t disappoint, as they went on to finish the season with a 9-0-1 record while outscoring their opponents 120-64 in the process. The team’s only loss, in overtime, came against their archrivals and eventual CUFLA champions, the Bishop’s Gaiters. Despite their nearly flawless record, the Redmen fell in the semifinals of the Baggataway Cup to Brock, winners of 18 of the last 26 championships, in an extremely closely-fought game.

Though it was a disappointing elimination, the Redmen have a lot to look forward to next season. The team will be fielding a roster very similar to their current one, and although they’re losing a few important players, the Redmen now know what to expect from the CUFLA West’s best teams and will be entering the season hungrier than ever for their first Baggataway cup. 

A-: Martlet Soccer

The Martlets (8-3-3) began the season on a high note, finishing in the CIS Top 10 in each of the first four weeks, before hitting a significant roadblock that saw them disappear from the Top 10 until the last week of the season, when they were ranked number 10. Yet the Martlets’ ticket for the CIS championship was punched before the season began because McGill played host to the annual tournament. Going into the tournament with the lowest seed, the Martlets saw themselves pitted against Canada’s number two-ranked team, the Trinity Western Spartans (12-1-1). An extremely tight game ended with an incredible upset victory by the Martlets. Unfortunately, McGill’s momentum was stopped short, as they lost to the Montreal Carabins (12-0-2) in the semifinal and then the Ottawa Gee-Gees (12-3-1) in the bronze medal match to finish fourth overall in Canada. Though the team staggered in their last two games of the CIS championships, the fact that the Martlets beat one of Canada’s top teams bodes extremely well for the future of this young group.

C+: McGill Rowing

The 2011 season was a transition year for the McGill Rowing Team. McGill was at a disadvantage in terms of experience, whereas most other teams were filled with much more practiced rowers. Despite this inexperience, McGill remained competitive in many races. Both the men’s and women’s teams improved throughout the year, gaining valuable racing experience while becoming a greater threat to the rest of the boats out on the water. Notable finishes at the OUA conference meet were Men’s Heavyweight Double finishing sixth of 15, Women’s Heavyweight Four finishing seventh of 12, and Men’s Heavyweight Four finishing sixth of 12. The Novice teams also placed well throughout the year. At OUAs, one of the Men’s Novice Teams finished first of 12, and another Women’s Novice Team placed second of 12. With a large number of rowers returning and the continued development of their novice teams, next year is sure to be a strong one for McGill’s rowing crew. 

C-: Redmen Football

Another season without a win rightfully put a damper on the Redmen’s campaign. Their winless streak now runs 21 games, and most distressingly, McGill is losing a number of big name players entering the 2012 campaign. Kicker, and winner of the RSEQ Community Involvement Award, Austin Anderson and back-to-back Defensive All-Star Ben Thompson are graduating, in addition to offensive threats Bobby Mikelberg and Michael Chitayat.  

However, despite the losses and graduating leaders, the 2011 season saw three encouraging improvements that could bode well for upcoming years. The Redmen remained fairly competitive in all of their contests, avoiding the 60-point drubbings that plagued them in years past. Secondly, injured star quarterback Jonathan Collin took some snaps this season, which means he may be back to his starting role in 2012. And finally, recently promoted Head Coach Clint Uttley will have his first full year at the helm in 2012, and a new coach may be just what the Redmen need to inject some life into a sputtering program.

B+: Redmen Soccer

McGill came charging back to prominence this season, with an impressive second-place finish in the RSEQ and a thrilling fifth place finish at Nationals, thanks to a pair of goals by George Banks in the consolation finals, after losing to eventual silver medallists, Saint Mary’s, in the quarter-finals. They finished the season with a 10-5-2 record—including post-season play.

Awards abounded this year for McGill with several players earning all-star honours. Fifth-year defenceman and captain Thomas Lucas earned RSEQ first team honours, while midfielder Yohann Capolungo and forward George Banks both secured second team all-star awards. Finally, Head Coach David Simon was named RSEQ Coach of the Year. 

McGill will unquestionably miss the defensive prowess of Lucas next year, but a number of exciting young players give the Redmen a high chance at achieving success in 2012. Look for sophomore Alexander King, who was McGill’s leading scorer, to have another big campaign next year. 

McGill Rugby

Men: A+, Women: B

The Redmen rugby team had another incredible season in 2011, culminating in their sixth straight RSEQ championship. McGill achieved an even more impressive accomplishment—dominating AUS champion University of New Brunswick 36-0, to claim the Eastern University Canadian title. For their strong efforts, the team also reined in several individual awards. Six Redmen earned RSEQ all-star honours, including Captain Alexander Sunell and fifth-year wing Gideon Balloch. Balloch was particularly outstanding this season, and won the conference’s scoring title with 41 total points. The individual awards spread to the coaching staff, as Head Coach Craig Beemer was voted RSEQ coach of the year. With only six seniors graduating, the Redmen look poised to continue their rugby dynasty in 2012. On the women’s side, the Martlets once again lost in the Quebec semifinal and will seek redemption next year.

McGill Cross-Country  

Women: A, Men: C+

In CIS cross country, the Martlets capped off a successful season with a fifth place finish at the CIS national meet in Quebec City. The team qualified for the national meet with a first place finish at the RSEQ in Chicoutimi. Veteran Charléne Puel led the team with a 25th place finish, closely followed by rookie Jessica Porfilio in 27th, who was voted RSEQ rookie of the year. Veteran Sarah McCuaig took home RSEQ MVP, despite running with an injured foot all season.

The Redmen weren’t able to mirror the success of the Martlets, as the team was plagued by injury and illness most of the season, only running a full team at two of five meets. Despite this, the team finished third in the RSEQ provincial meet, beating out the Concordia Stingers by eight points. The Redmen experienced a big turnover in the last two years, and has a young squad.

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