Written by Kassia Skorzewska
Photo by Marc Lafleur
OTTAWA, Ontario – On the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend, the Carleton Ravens women’s rugby team fell to the Concordia University Stingers 18-14 in the RSEQ quarterfinals on Oct. 11.
“I think we fought really, really hard, I think there’s bad blood between the two teams, and coming in, we knew what the fight was going to be, and I think we fought to the end. I’m really proud of our team,” Chloe Humber said.
Prior to the game, the Ravens honoured graduating players.
“They’ve had incredible impact on this team, a lot of our success and growth over the past couple of years has been a big result of what they’ve brought to this program, and we’re very thankful for everything that they’ve done,” Ravens head coach Patrick Thompson said.
“It would have been nice to go on a more positive note for them, but I hope they can look back on their time here and feel really proud of what they’ve done here, because I’m very proud of all of them,” he added.
One such graduating player is Humber, who has been on the team for the past five years.
“This season was big for us. It was the first time we competed in the top four, and we got to see so much progress and see the program come from literally the bottom up,” Humber said about what the team has meant to her and the veterans.
“I think this season showed how much we can fight, and how much further we have to go. It meant so much to us,” she added.
Humber also touched upon the fact about what she learned as a Raven.
“I’ve learned how much you can push yourself and how much of a family you can really have. Right from the get go you have 30 girls who love you and support you, and when you have that, you have a family, and I’ve learned how much you can really come together as a group and do amazing things,” Humber said.
Similar to Humber, Thompson also touched upon what he has learned as a coach from this year’s team.
“It’s a very different team than we’ve had in the year’s past, so, a lot of the time is spent learning who they are as people, and what they bring to the program, and I think we have an incredible group of young women on this team,” Thompson said.
What I’ve learned is when they really want something and they’re very hungry for success, and they do something and they work towards that together, than good things will happen. Today was close, but I don’t think this will be the last we hear of this group,” he added.
As six players graduate from the team, the 14 first years that became Ravens this year will get the chance to help carry the program as they move on up as second years next season.
“They’re all so amazing. So many of them came in with such great energy and such great fight that we were able to use them on the field,” Humber said.
“We had a whole bunch of them on the field with us, and the ones that came in and weren’t playing, I know there are so many great things for them going forward. They really brought the energy for us,” she added.
One of those first years is Mariah MacLeod. Who, coming from Halifax, has wanted to play for a university team since she was younger.
“It’s been an amazing experience. When I got the opportunity to come here, it was just amazing, and being on the field and looking at the fans, everyone cheering you on, it’s just the best feeling ever,” MacLeod said.
For MacLeod, in terms of next season, she’s hoping to play with more confidence.
“I learned so much this season, but going into next season, I’m going to take more confidence with me, have no fear in the next year, because I did go into it with some fear, obviously being a first year, so, just a lot more confidence.”
RAVENS PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
Defence: Alexis Groulx