Sports, Varsity Round UP

Varsity round up: What you missed in McGill sports from Oct. 19 to 23

Men’s Baseball

8-1 Final: Redbirds best Stingers in Quebec Baseball Championship

After dominating UdeM in last week’s semi-finals 12-4 and 15-2, the Redbirds (21–8) were the sure favourites in the Quebec Baseball Championship matchup against the Concordia Stingers (12–10) on Oct. 22. A 4-0 win in the first game of the best-of-three series set McGill up to go for the sweep in game two. 

The game started even-steven with each team recording a run in the first inning. After shutouts in the second and third innings for both teams, the game slipped away from the Stingers early in the fourth. After a leadoff single from third-baseman Matthew Rachman, right-fielder Will Bompey came up with a clutch two-RBI double, giving the team a 3-1 lead. The Redbirds sealed the deal in the top of the sixth after some wild pitching from the Stingers and a two-RBI single from centre-fielder Jett Jarvis for an 8-1 final score.

Redbirds starting pitcher Arthur “Cinch” Smith expressed how his teammates’ support helped lead the Redbirds to victory. 

“The last time I played Concordia, I gave up seven runs. Today, I went out there, after the first [inning] I just put faith in my boys behind me and just tried to stay within myself and do the best I can to get these guys a win,” said Smith. 

As the Redbirds’ roster includes 22 first years, head coach Casey Auerbach expressed his admiration at the team’s improvement since the start of the season.

 “We have really been focusing on getting better each week [this season], and we took a big step last week against [UdeM],” said Auerbach. “Our lead-off hitters did a good job getting on base today, and we put some pressure on the defence, and that was our game plan today [….] It was a good team effort.”

Women’s Hockey

2-1 Final: Martlets succumb to Gaiters in home opener

On Oct. 21, the McGill Martlets (0–2) faced off against the Bishop’s Gaiters (2–0) in the RSEQ home opener. The first period remained scoreless until the final 90 seconds of play when fourth-year forward Makenzie McCallum snapped one in, closing off the period with a one-goal lead in the Martlets’ favour. 

The second period developed in the same fashion, with fast-paced back-and-forth action between the two teams, including a double minor penalty for Bishop’s that resulted in an unsuccessful four-minute power play for McGill. After a slashing penalty called on the Martlets and 50 seconds of four-on-four play, the Gaiters scored a power play goal to even the score with less than 30 seconds left on the clock. 

An early Bishop’s goal at the top of the third sealed the deal, and despite generating a slew of offensive opportunities, McGill was unable to catch up. Even with aggressive offensive pressure all game long, the Martlets fell in a 2-1 final. 

In a post-game interview with The McGill Tribune, Martlets head coach Alyssa Cecere emphasized that the loss wasn’t a setback for the team. 

“What we’re working towards is getting better as a team every game, I thought that we did that [….] We showed up to play, kudos to them, they played very well.” 

The Martlets fell 3-1 to Concordia on Oct. 23 and will play their next game on Oct. 28 against the University of Ottawa at McConnell Arena. 

Men’s Lacrosse 

8-6 Final: McGill takes homecoming victory over Bishop’s

On Oct. 19, the Redbirds’ (6–4) face-off against Bishop’s (7–3) ended in a thrilling victory to kick off Homecoming Week and Seniors Night. Fifth-year midfielder Ethan Forgrave opened the scoring with just four minutes to go in the first half, burying his first of three goals and embarking on a meaningful four-point night for the graduating senior. The Redbirds exited the first half 3-1 and maintained momentum carrying a 6-2 lead into halftime. In the third quarter, the Gaiters quickly buried two goals to get within striking distance of an even score but were staunched by fourth-year attacker Isaiah Cree’s first goal of the night. With a 7-4 score entering the fourth quarter, Bishop’s threatened again with back-to-back goals, but Cree sealed the deal with his second goal for an 8-6 final score. 

Redbirds head coach Nicolas Soubry detailed his excitement for the team, especially the seniors, in a post-game interview with the Tribune. 

“This is a group who lost two full seasons because of COVID-19 [and] our new guys really wanted to go out and thank them for keeping watch on our team during those hard years. Personally, I can’t express how proud I am of those guys and how happy I was for them to beat our Quebec rivals Bishop’s one more time.” 

The Redbirds concluded their regular season with back-to-back losses this weekend against  Queen’s and Trent University but will look to bounce back in the CUFLA sudden-death playoff round on Oct. 28, time TBD. 

Men’s Rugby

Final 36-3: Redbirds dominate Gaiters in last regular season game

​On Oct. 23, the Redbirds (6–1) took on the Bishop’s Gaiters (4–3) in their final game of the regular season. The Redbirds took hold of the scoring early with third-year fullback Martin Laval kicking a penalty on, only to be matched by the Gaiters shortly thereafter. A minute later, first-year winger Alexandre Laurendeau opened the floodgates for the Redbirds, scoring an electric cross-field try right before halftime. 

In the second half, Laval made another penalty kick, giving McGill the boost they needed to set up a phenomenal chasedown kick block and try from third-year inside centre, Alexandre Armstrong. Laval made two more consecutive penalty kicks to make it 26-3 before Laurendeau and second-year blindside flanker, Elliot Descarreaux, each added another try to give McGill the 36-3 win.

In a post-game interview with the Tribune, Descarreaux commented on the lopsided scoring effort. 

“Our team is well balanced [….] We scored off mauls, off open play, off kicks; it shows that we are really clinical in everything we do. We worked to get that and it shows in the game.”

​The Redbirds face the Gaiters in the first round of the RSEQ playoffs next weekend at Molson Stadium, time TBD.

*Philippe Haddad is a member of the 2022-2023 varsity Rugby roster but is currently out of play due to an injury.

Men’s Soccer

0-0 Final: McGill and Concordia draw scoreless

​The McGill Redbirds (2–6–3) faced off against the Concordia Stingers (4–2–5) on Oct. 20 in their penultimate game of the regular season. After a slow start, the Redbirds’ offence began to heat up with a couple of scoring opportunities later in the first half but were unable to capitalize on any of them. With a number of starters out due to injury, including star forwards Joseph Getz and Pedro Gulli, McGill’s midfielders picked up the extra slack to keep pressure on Concordia’s defence while the Redbirds held firm in their own territory. 

​The second half remained scoreless but was marked by physicality and chippiness on both sides of the field, resulting in a total of seven yellow cards, including four to the Redbirds. A number of phenomenal saves by first-year goalkeeper Ludovyck Ciociola spearheaded a strong defensive effort to maintain the shutout. With a 0-0 final score, the match marked another draw on McGill’s record.

​In a post-game interview with the Tribune, fourth-year defenceman Julian Huster highlighted the efforts of both the midfield and younger players on the team despite being short-handed.

 “We played fearless and fluid football even though the numbers were thin on the bench with injuries. It’s a shame we didn’t come away with all three points because we deserved more than a draw.”

On Oct. 23, McGill dropped their final game of the season 3-0 to Sherbrooke, giving the Vert et Or their first win of the season. 

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