Ravens 7, Stingers 0: Concordia bows down in hard fought quarter final matchup
Some stingy defense and harsh cold were the stories of the night
On a frigid evening at Concordia stadium, the Concordia Stingers women’s rugby team were hosting a playoff game against the Carleton Ravens on Friday. There were some flashes of brilliance by offensive players Lauryn Walker from Carleton and Mahalia Robinson of Concordia but the game was largely dominated by the midfield play and defense of both teams. In heartbreaking fashion, the Stingers were handed a 7-0 defeat in heartbreaking fashion by the Ravens.
“It’s a really hard game to play without passion,” said Stingers head coach Jocelyn Barrieau. “It’s painful, and the rewards don’t come often. Today the other team was just a bit better than us.”
A penalty kick opportunity just one minute into the game for the maroon and gold gave them the opportunity to get the scoring started early, but they could not capitalize.
Moments later, Carleton’s Walker broke off a blistering run and got all the way to the one meter line of Concordia’s half. They gave up possession when they fell forward illegally.
The playoff intensity was evident, neither team was giving an inch. The first half continued to be played predominantly in the midfield, and it ended the same way it started. It was a scoreless match at halftime.
“It was a very hard fought game,” said Stingers captain Ambre Mah Fifi. “You can tell that we worked the whole time, and we fought til the very end. It’s not the result we wanted, but I'm very proud of the team and the effort they put in.”
The stalemate continued up until the 47th minute of the game where superstar Lauryn Walker found an opening and ran in a try to give the Ravens a 5-0 lead which would be all they needed to move on to the semi-finals. After the successful convert by Roberta Drummond, the lead was extended to 7-0.
Carleton was controlling possession for the better part of the second half, not allowing Concordia to get back into the game.
With about five minutes to go, the panic button was pressed for the maroon and gold and they were threatening to score. On the doorstep multiple times, they were held up and just could not find the try zone. A chant broke out with four minutes remaining rallying the home team, but it could simply not get them over the hump.
It looked as though the Stingers had one final opportunity in stoppage time when the Ravens missed a penalty kick and gave Concordia a free run with space up ahead. The play started too early, and a re-kick was issued. This time, it was not wide enough to allow a free run and the play being whistled down deflated the maroon and gold.
The Stingers’ motto is “we keep lifting each other up, and don’t tear each other down.” That’s been the message all season long for this gritty group of rugby players.
“We put in so much work, we’ve been going since August, four days a week,” said fourth-year player Shawna Brayton who competed for the final time in Stingers jersey last night. “I think the team did amazing, and I’m super proud of them.”
The season comes to an end for a team that played for one another and wore the Stingers logo proudly on their chests. Congratulations to the entire Concordia Stingers women’s rugby roster, coaches, and staff on a great season; and to the players not returning next year, congratulations on a great Concordia rugby career.