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Volume 91, Issue 23
Wednesday, October 8, 1997
Mustangs tar and feather Golden Gaels
ANYONE HAVE TO GO TO THE WASHROOM? The women's rugby team stuck together like glue over the weekend, scrumming to a hard-fought victory over Queen's.
By Darryl Rose
Western's women ruggers saved their best performance of the season for the right time, blanking visiting Queen's 24-0 on Saturday afternoon. The teams entered the game in a dogfight for the last playoff spot with identical 2-2 records, but the Mustangs, perhaps inspired by Homecoming festivities, dominated play throughout, taking a long stride towards securing the coveted playoff berth.
Especially gratifying for the squad was the shut out against the Golden Gaels, a testament to a week of practice dedicated to becoming more aggressive in the defensive end.
"That was our game plan," said Western head coach Natascha Wesch. "We worked very hard to cut our points allowed and we executed that today. Even when [Queen's] had possession they really weren't able to move on us."
Co-captain Meagan Haney agreed. "We spent so much time analyzing our team and working at our game plan. Having that rewarded with a win was important for our confidence.
"Everyone had been feeling a little down because we were playing well, but not seeing the results. For this game we were all very intense and the win is going to really propel us forward."
The teams engaged in a territorial battle for much of the first half, as neither team was able mount a prolonged march. It wasn't until Tamara Curtis made a dazzling 30-yard rush that Western threatened to score. Although originally stopped short, Curtis regained possession and lunged in from a yard out for the game's first points. Energized, the Mustangs added to their lead shortly after with a gritty effort from Kristy Clouthier, who was playing just the third game of her career. Co-captain Jodie Miller added a conversion to make the half-time score 12-0.
"Those late scores were very important for us," Wesch said. "We had been plugging real hard the entire first half and to have it pay off was rewarding. The girls were really fired up for the second half."
The game took on much of the same tone throughout the second half, with long mid-field struggles consuming most of the clock. However, the Mustangs took advantage of two Queen's miscues to score their final tries. First came a rush by fullback Vicky Peacey from near mid-field that, after another Miller convert, made the score 19-0. Haney finished up the scoring when she intercepted a pass and raced to pay-dirt from 25 yards out.
"I'm very pleased with how we played, especially considering we had six first-year players in the lineup," Wesch said "The girls can take a lot of pride from this game. They really showed their mental and physical toughness out there."
Western will visit Waterloo tomorrow attempting to extend their winning streak to three games.
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