Mountaineers go out on a high despite rugby loss

MohawkThe Mohawk Mountaineers dropped a 24-17 decision to Sheridan in their final women’s rugby game of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association season Wednesday (Oct. 30) at Mohawk Sports Park.

Mohawk coach John Guilfoyle called it the game of the season for his side, saying they did everything but win. It was Mohawk’s highest score of the season, the lowest by an opponent and the lowest point spread as well.

After a back and forth first half, the Mountaineers, who have been a second half team all season, went out with a mission in the second 40 minutes. The coach said he’s never seen so many stolen balls in a rugby game. Sheridan, however, took advantage of a confusing stoppage, with a heads up play for a try. The Bruins then scored again, before the Mountaineers struck back.

“Having been camped in their red zone for ages, our leading try scorer, Tabitha Fair, added to her tally with our first try,” said Guilfoyle. “After the conversion by Rachel Trabucco, we again camped in their red zone and after a series of attacks, our captain, and last year’s MVP, Steph Draper, playing out of position as scrum half, sneaked over the line for our second score.”

Sheridan scored with a 10-metre penalty to increase its lead. The Mountaineers lost one of their impact players, Reyanna “Rocky” Sangestino in trying to prevent this score, but the team lifted its game and after two 40-metre runs by Shannon Doll, Savanna Beauvais broke through the centre for a 30-metre sprint, to score under the post for her first try for the college.

The Mountaineers finished with an 0-6 record, while the Bruins wound up 2-4.

Guilfoyle said although his team will play two more exhibition games, it was a great end to the OCAA season for the Mountaineers. “Although the standings are disappointing, there are many positives to take from this season: most tries scored, most points scored, highest number of rookies recruited and a really positive team spirit has built by these players. They have been a pleasure to coach. And most of them are returning next season.”

Meanwhile, the men’s rugby match between Mohawk and Sheridan, which had been postponed from the weekend to tonight (Thursday Oct. 31) has been washed out for the second time. No decision has been made whether it will be rescheduled.