McGill Lacrosse (2-0) kicked off its season on Saturday, facing off against the Trent Excalibur (0-1) in the season opener for both teams. The Excalibur were put in a tough position from the opening whistle, given that they were facing down the defending champions of the Bagattaway Cup.
Trent’s relatively young roster was no match for the Redmen as the visitors began the game with their signature aggressiveness. McGill got on the scoreboard first despite physical play from the Excaliburs, and managed to maintain the lead for the entirety of the game to finish on top, 13-8. However, Trent stayed resilient, keeping the match close for the entirety of the clock.
Credit for the win goes primarily to McGill’s spectacular depth at midfield and outstanding net-minder Riley McGillis, who lived up to his status as 2011 Goalie of the Year.
The Redmen followed up their win against Trent with a trip to Kingston, Ontario to face the Queen’s Gaels (1-1). Holding a .500 record last year, the Gaels looked to start off the season on a strong note after rebooting the roster with a number of new faces.
However, the defending champion Redmen would not make that an easy task as they jumped to a lopsided lead over Queen’s, scoring eight consecutive points before the Gaels mounted a surprising 5-0 run in the third quarter. However, McGill managed to hold onto the lead and surge back, regaining their composure in the final quarter to close out the game 14-6.
The Redmen will play their home opener against the Carleton Ravens this Saturday, Sept. 14 at Molson Stadium.
Martlets, Redmen topple Sherbrooke to open RSEQ Regular Season
The McGill Martlets (1-0-0) travelled east to Sherbrooke (0-0-1) and dominated an overmatched Vert et Or squad to the tune of a 41- 12 victory. The blowout was a complete reversal of the Martlets’ previous game against St. Francis Xavier (1-0-1) in which the red-and-white were shut out 29-0. Junior, Emily Barber was chosen as McGill’s Game MVP after tallying two tries to lead the Martlets in scoring. Reigning RSEQ Player of the Year, Brianna Miller had three conversions while five others scored tries to round out the scoring.
The Martlets look to continue their attempt to top the RSEQ on Sept. 15 with a tilt against the Montreal Carabins(1-0-1).
On the same day the men’s squad eked out a victory against the hosts to begin their quest for an eighth straight RSEQ Championship, it was a homecoming for rookie Jordan Nimat, who provided McGill’s lone try in the outing. Last season’s team MVP, Cameron Perrin converted the kick after Nimat’s try, providing the difference in an otherwise tight affair.
The shaky performance sends a message that there are weaknesses to be exploited when playing against the Redmen. The aura of invincibility that once surrounded the program is fading as the rest of the province appears to be catching up. McGill has the chance to regain its dominance as they face the Montreal Carabins (0-0-1) on Sept. 15.