The Concordia Stingers overcame a late equalizer from the Victoria Vikes on Saturday afternoon to pick up a 29-20 victory in overtime and reserve a spot in the consolation final against McMaster on Sunday.
Post-game, Concordia head coach Graeme McGravie was happy with the way that his team bounced back from a disappointing first half.
“We are good at what we do, and we got caught up trying to play like UVic instead of playing like Concordia,” said McGravie. “That was always going to be recipe for disaster for us. We just had to remind the team what got us here and win or lose we may as well play the best that we are capable of playing.”
The Stingers, who finished fourth at last year’s CIS tournament, will have a chance to register their third top-five finish in the last five years on Sunday. The host Vikes, on the other hand, end their season one game earlier than they did when they finished fifth in 2015.
“It was a great year, a real rollercoaster of a season, we had some very high highs and some of our lowest lows,” said Vikes head coach Brittany Waters. “We still have an inexperienced group who, when it comes down to hard game decisions and making some tactical calls during a game, we don’t really have the experienced players to make those decisions.”
The Vikes were first on the board on Saturday, getting a penalty goal from Jess Neilson before Chelsey Minter responded to a Concordia try from Frederique Rajotte with five points of her own. Neilson kicked home the convert to the delight of the home fans, who showed up to cheer on the Vikes despite the rainy weather.
In the second half it was Concordia who looked like the better team, and they cashed in with a try from Jenna Thompson and a convert from Laura Reid. Reid would add a penalty goal in the 56th minute to give Concoardia a 15-10 lead.
Gabrielle Senft cashed in on extended pressure from the Vikes late in regulation to flip the switch on the momentum, and Concordia picked up a yellow card early in overtime to go a player down. All of a sudden it seemed like the Vikes might live another day.
But the Stingers kept plugging away, registering a pair of tries from Jenna Thompson and Emily Hickson and two converts from Reid to walk away with the win.
“We showed a lot of character in overtime and I’m happy with how we played,” said McGravie. “We didn’t play the way were supposed to play in the first half but we knew we were still in it at halftime. We made some adjustments and I thought we were the better team in the second half. UVic is a good team and they were able to put points up.”
Waters was happy with the character her team showed despite the loss.
“I think we proved that we are a relentless team—we fought for the whole game but once again far too many errors let us down,” said Waters. “You can’t make errors in championship games. The team that makes the most errors is the team that loses and unfortunately that was us today. ”
VIC: 10-5 // 0-5: 15
CON: 5-10 // 14-0: 29
51′ CON Try – Jenna Thompson (Laura Read convert) – 10-12
56′ CON PG – Laura Read – 10-15
70′ UVIC Try – Gabrielle Senft (convert missed) 15-15
73′ CON Try – Jenna Thompson (Laura Read convert) – 15-22
79′ CON Try – Emily Hickson (Laura Read convert) – 15-29
81′ UVic Try – Jamie Beck (convert missed) 20–29
50′ UVIC #12 Ciel Arbour-Boehme (Yellow)
70′ CON #18 Danielle Leonard (Yellow)
Players of the Game
VIC #10 – Jess Neilson
CON #9 – Lia Hoyte
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (All times Pacific Time)
Thursday, Nov. 3
12:00 Quarter-final 1: No. 3 Calgary (42) vs. No. 6 Acadia (10)
14:00 Quarter-final 2: No. 2 Ottawa (25) vs. No. 7 McMaster (19)
17:00 Quarter-final 3: No. 4 StFX (24) vs. No. 5 Concordia (17)
19:00 Quarter-final 4: No. 1 Guelph (33) vs. No. 8 Victoria (27)
Friday, Nov. 4
17:00 Semifinal 1: Calgary (7) vs. Ottawa (5)
19:00 Semifinal 2: StFX (38) vs. Guelph (24)
Saturday, Nov. 5
12:00 Consolation 1: Acadia (5) vs. McMaster (24)
14:00 Consolation 2: Concordia (29) vs. Victoria (20)
Sunday, Nov. 6
11:00 McMaster vs Concordia
13:00 Calgary vs. Guelph
15:00 Ottawa vs. StFX