Ultimate Canada Magazine – October 28, 2019
Written by: Alicia Racine
The reigning championship winners from the 2018 Canadian University Ultimate Championships (CUUC), Laval Excellence, came into the weekend as the number one seed, looking to solidify their spot in the tournament. However, the women of Toronto, “Tula,” were coming off an impressive season and looking to stir up the seeding. The Queen’s Gaels were also on the hunt for gold, placing first at the Canadian Eastern University Ultimate Championships (CEUUC).
It became evident that Toronto was on a mission as they defeated Ottawa, Western, and Queen’s – with their closest game being a 12-11-universe point victory over Queen’s.
Pool play began Saturday morning with McGill vs. McMaster in the first match in Division I. Both teams were very successful in their respective seasons, and were looking to work their way into the quarterfinals. McMaster captain, Amelia Keenan, was the quarterback of the O line with seven assists for the weekend. However, McGill came out strong in the second half with Florence Dionne taking charge, resulting in a final score of 11-7.
The matchup of the tournament, with the second and third bid in Division I, was Toronto and Queen’s. With both teams looking to knock out Laval, this game did not disappoint. The teams traded point’s right up until the last 10 minutes in the match. Brittney Dos Santos, Sarah Jacobsohn, and Reve Chan lead the way with miraculous grabs and great handler movement. However, the Gaels continued to fight, with playmakers like Wynne Gee, Victoria McCann, and Andrea Moir. The Gaels fell short this time, losing on universe point, resulting in a 12-11 victory for Toronto.
The number four seed McGill upset Laval in a surprising pool play result, winning on universe point 13-12. But this did not stop the run for Laval Excellence.
With heavy fog Sunday morning, Ottawa placed themselves in a good position going into the last day of the tournament. Both Cassandra Jaffray, and rookie Emily Kavanagh led the way with eight assists in the tournament, and Abby Millar lead scoring with 11 goals for the weekend, but their heroic efforts weren’t enough to end the streak of the women from Laval. Players like Alexandra Beaulieu, Elizabeth Turcotte, Charlotte Latulippe, and Genevieve Beaudoin gained ground and were in full control of the O-line. The reigning champs did not disappoint on the VC Showcase Field, as they reached the semi-finals for the third season in a row with a 15-12 victory.
Moving on to quarterfinals the following morning, Laval found themselves facing the dynamic team, University of Ottawa.
The other quarter-final games saw McGill defeat Western 12-8, Queen’s defeat Waterloo 15-4, and Toronto defeat McMaster 14-7.
Queen’s and Toronto both won their semi-final matchups and faced off for the second time of the tournament, but this time it was for the gold.
The finals were nothing other than 100% effort demonstrated by both teams right up until the end of gameplay. Queen’s and Toronto trading points for the first 50 minutes of the game. Near the 70 minute mark, Toronto took a bit of a lead with a 10-8 score. Again, Toronto’s O line demonstrated poise and patience with the disc, with Tyama Lyall, Brittney Dos Santos, Reve Chan, and Captain and MVP Jade Huangfu. Toronto’s deep bench allowed for impeccable defensive and offensive possession to gain the victory. Credit is due to the women in yellow, with amazing shutout defensive efforts from Andrea Moir, Victoria McCann, and Angela Argeropoulos. Offensively, handlers Wynne Gee, Lana Ramic, and Karen Law kept the flow steady to keep this game close. Ultimately, Toronto triumphed with a score of 11-10 and earned the gold. Huangfu captained the team to their third championship title.
Toronto player, Brittney Dos Santos on how the team prepared for a win at nationals, “This year our team was very deep, and we all had the drive and commitment to win gold. Every practice people put in 100% and we really trusted each other and our coaches leading up to the final game. We were confident that we deserved to win.”
Laval Excellence finished strong with the bronze medal with a win against their friends from Quebec, McGill, with a score of 15-6. Coach Audrey Clothier was thrilled with the girls’ efforts. She stated, “We left the tournament proud of our performance, despite not having reached our goal of winning gold. We remained strong, despite some defeats and gave everything until the end, which earned us third place. We are also very proud to have won spirit again this year!”
In Division II, eight teams who came shy of the top seeds battled it out. Teams McMaster B, Waterloo, Western, Carleton, Brock, Ryerson, Laval B, and Regina fought to place 9th in the tournament. The Brock Badgers and Carleton Ravens both had a 4-0 record in Div II for the weekend, but the Badgers punched their way through a tiring weekend, gaining the win over Carleton 12-10.
With the constantly improving development and strength of the top three seeds in the tournament, it is not surprising to see that the semi-finals and finals that took place were highly competitive. These top three teams will continue to push for the top spots on the podium in the years to come. However, the impressive push from other teams such as McGill, McMaster, Waterloo, and Ottawa will continue to progress and work for that gold medal.