Sports, Varsity Round UP

Varsity round up: What you missed in McGill sports

Men’s Lacrosse

On a chilly Friday evening, Redbirds lacrosse fans turned out for the first annual Legacy Game as McGill (4–1) faced off against Queen’s University (2–2). A boastful crowd of 580 watched the Redbirds dominate the Gaels for their third win in a row, spearheaded by first-year midfielder John Miraglia who led the team with five points. Less than two minutes into the first quarter, Miraglia opened up the scoring, giving McGill a lead that they maintained throughout the game. With 4:37 left in the first quarter, fourth-year attacker Cameron McGinnis buried a power-play goal, quickly followed up by fourth-year attacker Isaiah Cree’s first goal of the night, putting the Redbirds up 3-1. As the Gaels tried to battle back, they were silenced by McGill’s unrelenting offence and ended the first half down 6-2 to the Redbirds. McGill blew the game open in the third quarter, scoring four goals, two from Miraglia. With the score at 10-3, Cree potted his third goal of the night, and opened the door for the Redbirds to breeze into a 12-5 victory over the Gaels. 

“I was a little nervous at the beginning considering there was a lot of weight in the atmosphere and everything, but [the win] felt wonderful,” said Cree in a post-game interview. “[We’re] happy to go home with the win and looking forward to the next game as always.” 

The Redbirds dropped their second game of the weekend 8-7 to Carleton and will play next on Oct. 9 at Nipissing.

Men’s Baseball 

(Matt Garies/McGill Athletics)

After losing 3-1 in game one of a double-header against Queen’s University (8–2), ending an eight-game winning streak, the Redbirds (15–5) tried to get back into the swing of things in game two. Starting on the bump for McGill was left-handed pitcher Caden Welch, who settled in nicely after a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first. In the bottom of the inning, the Redbirds’ offence exploded, scoring seven runs with shortstop Milo Young paving the way with a single and a stolen bag. Their lead widened later in the inning when designated hitter Vincent Rizzolo knocked a two-RBI single. After a quiet second, the Gaels began to threaten the Redbirds’  seven-run lead, scoring two in the third and three in the fourth, making the score 7-5. But the McGill offence bounced back, cushioning their lead with a two-RBI double from first-baseman Brad Marelich. The Gaels did not go quietly, scoring one in the fifth and one in the seventh, but left-handed pitcher Nathaniel Factor was able to close out the game and earn himself the save. In the 9-7 victory, catcher Chris Bodine stood out offensively alongside Rizzolo and Marelich, going 3-for-3 with three singles and an RBI. 

“We came out, we played our brand of baseball in that first inning and [although] it didn’t translate to the full game, we were able to get a good clutch hit by Brad Marelich to tack on two more at the end,” said head coach Casey Auerbach. “We’re just looking to find our stride and be as consistent as we can offensively.” 

The Redbirds finished out the weekend picking up two wins in their double-header against the Ottawa Gee-Gees in a couple of tight games, winning 8-7 and 4-3. Their next game will be on Oct. 5 at Université de Montréal.

Men’s Hockey 

On Sept. 30, the Redbirds (2–1) defeated the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) (0–4) 8-3 in a landslide victory. McGill opened the scoring with two goals in the first five minutes, seizing the momentum for a fast-paced, high-scoring game. Over the 60 minutes of play, six different players found the back of the net, with the rookies leading the way—first-year defenceman Maxime Blanchard and first-year centre William Rouleau scored two goals each. With an aggressive forecheck, McGill went four for six on the power-play, scoring all four goals within the first 30 seconds of their one-man advantage. Despite moments of sloppy play, the Redbirds were able to dominate throughout the game, outshooting RMC 61 to 22. In a post-game interview with The McGill Tribune, Rouleau, who was awarded the first star of the game, expressed optimism about the upcoming season. 

“This year especially, I think we have a special group of guys [….] We’re getting really competitive this year so it’s really fun to see our potential,” said Rouleau. “So far in the preseason we have been playing great. We didn’t have the greatest game tonight, but still had a good result. The sky’s the limit for us.”

The Redbirds will play their next game on Oct. 7 against Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières at McConnell Arena.

Women’s Soccer

(Matt Garies/McGill Athletics)

A sluggish first half defined the Martlets’ soccer (4–3–2) home game against the Bishop’s Gaiters (1–4–4). The first 20 minutes saw an aggressive Gaiter midfield trying to dominate possession, while the Martlets’ defence, led by Stephanie Hill, stood up to any scoring attempts, leaving goalkeeper Sophie Guilmette with little work to do. In the first half, the Martlets’ only offensive highlight was a quick counter-attack by forwards Liliane Lefebvre and Giovanna Tiberio that was extinguished by Bishop’s goalkeeper in the 22nd minute. 

Lefebvre, who was voted McGill Athlete of the Week, applauded her team’s performance in the game. 

“I think we were comfortable defensively, but need to be better in scoring. We needed to be confident [going forward] in the final three quarters of the game.”

The second half only began to heat up in the final 10 minutes. Some great ball movement in the final third saw Lefebvre threaten the Gaiters’ defence minutes before the final whistle.

“We got past their press on several occasions but then got too rushed and lacked a bit of composure,” said head coach Jose-Luis Valdes. “The effort is there, [it] just needs to be [supplemented] by quality play.” 

Next, the Martlets play the Montreal Carabins on Oct. 7.

Men’s Basketball 

After a tough start to the pre-season for the McGill men’s basketball team (0–4), the Redbirds were presented with an opportunity to right the wrongs of their opening three games in a difficult fixture against Queen’s University (2–0). From the very first moment of the game, the Redbirds were playing catch-up, with the Gaels winning the opening tip-off and racing away with a 16-0 lead. The first quarter was filled with frustration for McGill as they attempted to kickstart a comeback. Fourth-year guard Zachary Lavoie-Toure, along with guard and graduate student Sam Jenkins, led a spirited, albeit unsuccessful, comeback attempt in the second half. Jenkins also led the team in playing time and points with 34 minutes and 14 points.  

Head coach Ryan Thorne expressed his disappointment in the team’s start, and how that played into the rest of the game. 

“They out-hustled us, they out-muscled us, they wanted it more than us,” Thorne told The McGill Tribune. “We showed some spots of fight, but that’s a good team, I think they finished fourth in Canada last year, so you can’t only show spots, you have to perform the entire time.”

Queens out-rebounded McGill by 43-32 and despite the Redbirds’ best efforts to stay in the game, even cutting the lead to single digits in the fourth quarter, they ultimately fell 71-55 to the Gaels. 

The Redbirds will play their next game on Oct. 14 against the Lethbridge Pronghorns as part of the McGill Redbirds’ Classic tournament. 

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