The Gee-Gees women's rugby team won the 2015 RSEQ Championship by defeating Concordia 25-17 on October 31 at Matt Anthony Field in Ottawa. The win capped a second straight undefeated season in the RSEQ and was the second consecutive time that the two teams met in the conference final.
The Gee-Gees went on to win the CIS bronze medal at the national championship at Queen's. It was the first medal for the program at the national championship, and also came in a victory over Concordia.
The 2015 Gee-Gees had three members named to All-Canadian teams: Simone Savary (prop), Irene Patrinos (full back), and Erin Van Gulik (scrum half). Patrinos led the RSEQ in points with 116 on seven tries, 33 converts, and 5 penalties in six regular season games. Simone Savary was second in the conference with 10 tries in her seven regular season games. In addition, Emily Babcock, Courtney Mastine, and Brianna Miller were named RSEQ All-Stars.
Ottawa outscored its competition 421-48 in the regular season, setting team records for both categories. As of 2020, the points for record still stands and will likely remain the record as the league structure has changed to include an upper and lower tier, while the record for points against now stands at 45, set in 2017.
RECAP : Gee-Gees are golden for a second time
The uOttawa women's rugby team has made program history again, winning back-to-back RSEQ championships. The Gee-Gees took the 2015 title over Concordia by a score of 25-17. This was a classic rivalry game with hard hits on the field, boisterous fans in the stands and even a few "Boyd for President" signs.
It was a fight for the Gee-Gees to contain their nervous energy in the first fifteen minutes of the game. A slightly more composed Concordia took an early lead with two tries scored by by third-year Frederique Rajotte. "We were in shambles, we needed to reconnect, line-speed more, communicate more," explained Irene Patrinos, who finished the game with a team-high fifteen points. "After the second try it was a wakeup call, so we all took a breath and re-focussed."
A setback is merely an opportunity for a comeback. The Gee-Gees showed their character by clawing back into the game in the first half with a try from fourth-year Danielle Erdelyi and two tries plus a long conversion from fifth-year Irene Patrinos to make it 17-10 for uOttawa at the half.
"We're a second half team, our fitness is really good," said Jen Boyd of her squad. "The girls have faith in their fitness and in what we do here."
The Gee-Gees drove the ball into Concordia's end to start the second frame, giving Patrinos an easy kick for three points. The Stingers answered with a try from centre Danielle Leonard and a tough kick for the conversion made by Alexandra Tessier. Gee-Gees 20, Concordia 17.
The pressure was on in the dying minutes, until Patricia "Miami" Mandon chased down a Brianna Miller kick in the corner of the try-zone to make it 25-17 for the Gee-Gees.
"It's amazing every time," said Patrinos of the championship win. "The fifteenth one will feel just as good as the first. It's unbelievable how far this program and these girls have come."
Defensive efforts are often overlooked, but hustle on the defensive end did not go unnoticed by Jen Boyd tonight. "Ashley Strike played her best CIS rugby game in five years. She was unrelenting on defence." One highlight for Strike came in the first half when she blocked a Concordia clearing kick attempt in the try zone. The Ottawa native was named MVP of the match.
Coach Boyd captured her second RSEQ Coach of the Year award after leading the Gee-Gees to a perfect season and a second consecutive CIS National Championship tournament. "I think that my teams always work harder than every other team," Boyd said of her coaching philosophy. "I've had great mentorship at Ashbury, Andy Sparks taught me a lot about how to win, and he set the bar really high for me 17 years ago. Ironically, I followed him here. I've had really great mentors who have taught me the importance of team and hard work."
uOttawa and Concordia will both appear at the CIS rugby national championships next week, hosted at Queen's University in Kingston.
"Everyone knows their job, we've got depth, the time is right," concluded Boyd.