The women’s rugby team are set for a playoff rematch against St. Lawrence College with a 19-17 loss to the Vikings on Sunday, Oct. 23 at Twin Elm Rugby Park.

The loss left the Thunder in third place at the end of the regular season.

They will be hoping to carry the momentum that they finished the game with into next weekend’s semi-final in Kingston.

“In training, it’s about showing up,” said Maureen Foran, Algonquin’s captain. “We move forward and we’ll work on fixing the areas that we want to improve on.”

The Thunder played a strong second half of the game after trailing the Vikings 19-0 deep into the first 40 minutes. Tries scored by Foran and Logan MacGregor and a conversion by Emily Spence brought the home team within seven.

Algonquin continued to put the pressure on in the final 10 minutes. With the Thunder putting together a number of phases five yards from the try line, a Viking player made a heroic effort to get her leg under the ball to hold it up and prevent it from being touched to the ground for a try.

It took another two possessions for Algonquin to break through and score their third try, courtesy of Taylor Wildenbeest.

“We had a better mindset in the second half,” said vice-captain Daniella Ellis. “We told each other to push ourselves, and to communicate more and just do better.”

“Once they started to get a little bit more intense, the confidence started to come because the results would come,” added head coach Dan Gauthier.

Wildenbeest’s try made it a two-point game, and a couple of missed converts into extremely strong winds came back to haunt the Thunder by the end of the game.

“This weather shows who the smart teams are,” said Gauthier. “We had to adapt as the game went on.”

The loss leaves Algonquin’s season record at 2-4 in a four-team league. Both wins came against Loyalist College, the most recent on Oct. 15 after the Lancers withdrew their team from the OCAA, citing safety and risk management concerns.

The defaulted result gave the Thunder an extra week off, which provided the opportunity for players to get some rest and recover from injuries they were carrying, as well as focus on their school work. There are cons to an off-week as well though.

“You lose that game and that experience,” said Gauthier. “In practice, you can only recreate so much. In the game, you get that level of intensity.”

Algonquin will travel to Kingston this weekend to face the Vikings in an all-or-nothing semi-final match.