Photo by Marc Lafleur
The Carleton Ravens are about to embark on a journey they’ve only travelled once in their first nine years. On Saturday afternoon, the Ravens will walk into Stade TELUS-UL to face the Laval Rouge et Or in the RSEQ semi-final for the second time in program history. In 2018, the Ravens finished 5-2 in RSEQ play finishing third and travelling to Laval for the same semi-final matchup. Despite a valiant effort on that day, the Ravens fell 23-12. Now two years later, the Ravens will face the 2019 U SPORTS champions with redemption on their mind.
The Ravens have been on a tear since losing their home opener on September 11. The team has now won 6 straight while outscoring their opponents 265-17. As impressive as the Ravens’ offence has been, it’s their defence that has been the story. The Ravens have blanked each of their last two opponents, including recording the program’s first-ever win at Concordia in the quarter-finals.
Lauryn Walker (Brampton, Ont.) scored the lone try in the quarter-final after the Ravens were held up by the Stingers three times in the first half. The try marked Walkers eighth of the season, the second-most ever scored by a Raven in a single season. But it hasn’t been all about Walker. In true Ravens fashion, the team demonstrated a balanced attack that has seen 18 different Ravens cross the try line, including another seven from Rigaud’s Vannessa Chiappetta.
With four players scoring over 30 points in 2021 it will take everyone the Ravens have to knock off Laval. The Rouge et Or have been perfect in 2021, including 8-7 and 17-10 wins over the University of Ottawa. The defending 2019 champs don’t appear to have missed a beat returning from the pandemic canceled season and have outscored their opponents 280-23. Concordia only managed 6 points against Laval over their two meetings, scoring a penalty in each match – while the Vert et Or from Sherbrooke were shut out twice.
The Ravens will look to slow down the RSEQ powerhouse from Laval and make a little bit more history with a spot in the final, and at the U SPORTS Rugby Championship on the line. Catch all the action on when the Ravens take the field live on the Rouge et Or Facebook Page.