By Taylor Renkema
It’s a feat they’ve never achieved before- the Loyalist women’s rugby team has made the OCAA playoffs.
Loyalist College has had a team for three years, but has never made it past the regular season.
Alicia Wynter, a winger on the team, said they started the season on a positive note.
“Our very first game was an game that we won, so I think that kind of set the tone for us.”
After tying their game against St. Lawrence on Oct. 27, the Lancers move on to play an away game in the first round of playoff action against the Seneca Sting in Toronto on Nov. 3. The winner will move on to face the Algonquin Thunder.
If Loyalist had won the game against St Lawrence on the 27th, they would have hosted Sheridan in a home playoff game.
In other playoff action that day, Conestoga heads to Kingston to take on the Vikings. The winner of that game goes on to play the Humber Hawks.
The team has 13 rookies and 10 veterans. Wynter said having a lot of new players has its ups and downs.
“There’s still chaos, there’s always chaos when you’re playing with new players,” she said. “But with the rookies, we get to kind of mold them to play how we want them to.”
Loyalist’s Athletic Director Jim Buck said the coaches pushed the team a little harder this year.
“Part of it was that they felt that they had more experienced girls so they could do that,” he said. “I think last year they were worried that if they made it too demanding maybe it would scare some girls off and we might not be able to finish the season.”
Wynter agreed that the coaches were more intense.
“Seeing that we had good talent on the team, and we could make it a lot further, he put a lot on us and expected a lot out of us to make it this far,” she said.