It was ‘A great year’ despite winless nationals for Vikes women’s rugby

The UVic Vikes women's rugby season ended against the Concordia Stingers in overtime on Saturday, 29-20

Members of the Westshore Rugby club show their support for UVic Vikes' players from the Westshore Valkyries B.C. premier league women's rugby team

The UVic Vikes season ended in disappointment as the hosts went winless in the national championships, falling to the Concordia Stingers 29-20 in overtime at Centennial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

A win would have given the Vikes a chance to play in Sunday’s consolation final. (StFX defeated Ottawa in the national final, see story here.)

Instead, the Vikes ended the nationals 0-2 after a promising season as Canada West finalists. The Vikes lost to the 2015 national champ Guelph Gryphons 33-27 in the Thursday night opener.

Despite it all, Vikes second-year coach Brittany Waters was happy with the character her team showed.

“It was a great year, a real rollercoaster of a season, we had some very high highs and some of our lowest lows,” Waters said. “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. Then prop Chelsey Minter scored, and Neilson kicked home the convert to the delight of the home fans, who showed up to cheer on the Vikes despite the rainy weather.

Next came a Concordia try from former Westshore (Velox) player Frederique Rajotte.

Vikes No. 8 Gabby Senft tied the game with a try in the 70th minute, when she cashed in on extended pressure, to send it to extra time. But even with Concordia picking up a yellow card early in overtime, the Vikes could not capitalize. The Stingers kept plugging away, registering a pair of tries from Jenna Thompson and Emily Hickson. Both were converted.

“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.”

SCORING SUMMARY 11′ UVIC PG – Jess Neilson – 3-0 27′ CON Try – Frédérique Rajotte (convert missed) – 3-531′ UVIC Try – Chelsey Minter (Jess Neilson convert) 10-5 HALF 51′ CON Try – Jenna Thompson (Laura Read convert) – 10-1256′ CON PG – Laura Read – 10-1570′ UVIC Try – Gabrielle Senft (convert missed) 15-15 OVERTIME 73′ CON Try – Jenna Thompson (Laura Read convert) – 15-2279′ CON Try – Emily Hickson (Laura Read convert) – 15-2981′ UVic Try – Jamie Beck (convert missed) 20–29 CARDS 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

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