It all ended on March 12 in the Nation’s Capital.
After an emotional and long two days of play at the University of Ottawa’s Montpetit Hall for the OUA Final Four, the Marauders got back on the bus headed to Hamilton empty handed. No gold, no silver, no bronze.
The hard work the entire season seemed to depend on the team’s ability to hold it together for two 40-minute games and that didn’t happen. The losses in both games not only ended the chance for an OUA medal, but ruined a CIS Final 8 berth.
Each regular season win was working towards something bigger than just them. Each win was preparing them to get closer to what they wanted to claim this season: an OUA banner.
And the McMaster Women’s Basketball team was given that opportunity.
During the OUA quarter-final game vs. Queen’s at Burridge a few weeks prior, the Marauders punched their ticket to the OUA Final Four alongside Ottawa, Ryerson and Windsor.
During Friday’s semi-final game, the game deciding which team would make it to the OUA gold medal game, McMaster dropped a 42-56 game to the hosts for the weekend, the Ottawa Gee-Gees.
With both teams looking to advance to the championship game the following day, Ottawa was defending homecourt while McMaster was looking to avenge the loss suffered in Burridge during Think Pink.
It was a low scoring game for both teams. McMaster was led by Danielle Boiago’s 19 points. The rest of the 23 points came from five players on the team despite a total of 11 touching the hardwood. The numbers did not look too good for McMaster and as the 40 minute game elapsed, the game fell in favour of the Ottawa Gee-Gees.
The team had to shake off the losing feeling rather quickly as they were set to play the Windsor Lancers the following day for bronze.
There was much more production from the Marauders this game with Boiago leading the scoreboard with 19 points for the night. Clare Kenney also added 17 points for the team.
Unfortunately, the team was not able to end the game with a win and lost to the Lancers 58-68. Windsor claimed bronze.
As the team lined up to shake the hands of the bronze medalists, you could see the emotion on their faces and through their body language. Whether it was players thinking about what they could have done differently or the reality of the season ending was starting to hit them, the emotion was felt.
While the team travelled back home with results they did not intend for, the season was still an impressive one. The Marauders finished 16-7 this season.
With two graduating players leaving, Rachael Holmes and Siobhan Manning, the Marauders will use the offseason to improve and prepare for the following season of play. The team improved to play in the OUA Final Four this year and if they continue to push, a spot at nationals next year does not seem so out of reach.
Photo Credit: Greg Mason