It may have been a rematch of the national final, but Friday (Sept. 23) hinted at a wide gulf between two Ontario University Athletics women’s rivals. The No. 1-ranked McMaster Marauders rode 25 second-half points to 32-0 shutout of the No. 4 Queen’s Gaels at Ron Joyce Stadium, sending a strong statement to the country’s rugby programs in the process.
Selena Seguin led the Marauders with a pair of tries in the win, while Saffara Whiteley-Hoffelner, Sara Svoboda and Katie Svoboda each chipped in one and Steph Black added seven points with a pair of converts and a penalty goal.
Putting her trademark speed on full display in the 16th minute, Whiteley-Hoffelner found an opening in the Queen’s line and carried the ball half the length of the field to cross under the posts for the game’s opening try. Black made good on the convert to give Mac an early 7-0 lead.
That would be the only scoring of a tightly-fought first 40 minutes, as the Marauders saw a golden opportunity to extend their advantage slip away when a knock on just feet from the try line snuffed out a drive in the dying moments of the half.
But rather than be discouraged by that stroke of misfortune, McMaster emerged from the break with a renewed sense of purpose, and dominated the second half from the opening whistle.
Mac was applying relentless pressure with Queen’s backed up against their own try line, when Sara Svoboda jumped a passing lane and snatched the ball, coasting across the line for the Marauders second try in the 45th minute. Another favourable spot saw Black make good on her second convert, and the Marauders lead grew to 14-0.
Minutes later, Black struck again with a successful penalty goal, officially opening the floodgates for the home side.
Seguin demonstrated her skill in the open field to shift to her left and sneak over the try line for her first score of the game, before an inspired run from Whiteley-Hoffelner saw her shed a pair of Queen’s tacklers and spot Katie Svoboda for a try of her own to swell the lead to 27-0.
Catching the Gaels with a similar play for the second time, Seguin completed the scoring with her second try of the game in the 69th minute, and McMaster comfortably held Queen’s at bay to complete the shutout.
On tap for the Marauders is a to Peterborough to take on the Trent Excalibur Saturday, Oct. 1.