Five For Pondering: Saskatchewan left green with envy

This is a hopefully-weekly feature we'll be bringing back recapping the most interesting games of the past week. Teams' national rankings at the time of the game are included in parentheses. This post will usually be earlier in the week; the new digs have kept me pretty swamped this week. Apologies for that; read on for the best action of last week, and come back here later today to see Rob's picks for this weekend's best games!

1. Football: UBC (NR) 31 - Saskatchewan (2) 12
3. Men's soccer: UBC (9) 3 - Trinity Western (3) 0

These two are lumped together not just because they both involve UBC, but also because Ubyssey sports editor Ian Turner wrote an interesting piece about his experience covering the soccer game and watching the crowd's reaction to updates on the football score. Neither of these games were tremendous from a perspective of on-field action, as they were both fairly lopsided, but they're both rather significant.

On the football field, UBC got it done with rushing and defence. Dave Boyd led the way on the ground with 115 yards on 24 carries, while quarterback Billy Greene was also effective in the rushing game, scrambling 12 times for 67 yards. Through the air, Greene was a respectable 15-29 for 163 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, but UBC's pass defence was even better against Saskatchewan's highly-touted Laurence Nixon (a Vancouver native). Nixon was held to 12 completions on 23 attempts for 108 yards with one interception. He was eventually replaced by Trent Peterson, who completed seven of 11 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown (with a pick) in mop-up duty, but that was too little, too late for the Huskies.

On the soccer pitch, emotions were stirred up early in what's usually a closely-contested rivalry game thanks to some physical play. There wasn't any scoring until UBC took the early lead on a Marco Visintin penalty in first-half stoppage time. The Thunderbirds added another goal early in in the second half from Matt Allard, which aided by Trinity going down to 10 men in the 53rd minute. A UBC player was sent off shortly thereafter, but the Spartans couldn't tie it up; a Trinity goal was disallowed and it wound up 3-0 after UBC capitalized on a counterattack. There were 12 yellow cards and two reds issued throughout the game, which is usually a sign of a pretty intense match.

From a results standpoint, UBC's upset of Saskatchewan knocked the Huskies from #2 all the way down to #6 this week, and paved the way for the resurgence of former #1 team Calgary (who Saskatchewan knocked off the previous week). The Dinos won this week and rose from their ranking of fifth up to fourth, back above Saskatchewan. The soccer Thunderbirds soared this week as well, rising to fourth spot from ninth, while Trinity fell from third to seventh.

2. Football: Bishop's (NR) 26 - McGill NR) 19 (2OT)

Neither of these teams was ranked heading into this clash, but that didn't make it any less important, and it turned out to be perhaps the most thrilling on-field contest of the week. Both teams have been lurking around the edges of the poll and suggesting they might be able to challenge some of the mid-tier Quebec opponents; Bishop's narrowly lost to Concordia in Week One while McGill got pummeled by Laval. The bad news for the Redmen continued with this 26-19 loss to Bishop's at home, but they didn't make it easy for the Gaiters, taking them to double overtime in the process. That was thanks to quarterback Ryne Bondy's pass to Thomas Fortin, which tied the score with just 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Bishop's eventually won on a 10-yard All-Ontario touchdown pass from Jesse Andrews (Pickering) to Quincy Van De Cruize (Etobicoke). Neither team made it into the Top 10 this week either, but they did put on a show, and they gave us perhaps the most interesting game of the week.

4. Women's soccer: Windsor (NR) 3, York (7) 0

This was a pretty disappointing showing for the women's Lions. They started the season ranked sixth nationally, but lost 1-0 to unranked Western in Week One and fell to seventh heading into this one. A 3-0 thumping in Windsor was enough to drop them out of the Top 10 entirely this week. The Lions have plenty of talent, but they're going to need to pull it together quickly if they want to contend for an Ontario or national title this year. As for the Lancers, some of their deans may not be overly impressed with scoreboards, but the women's soccer team can be proud of what they put up in lights last weekend.

5. Women's soccer: Queen's (3) 0, Ottawa (6) 1: This midweek clash of Ontario powers Wednesday saw the Gee-Gees come away with a 1-0 win on the road in Kingston. Ottawa and Queen's have always been great rivals in women's soccer, but that rivalry has been one-sided lately despite both being national powers: the Gaels handed the Gee-Gees their only losses of the regular season last yeara, winning both clashes against them. The Gee-Gees got their revenge this week with their first victory against Queen's since October 4, 2008. Pictou, Nova Scotia's Christine Hardie recorded the match's only goal for Ottawa late in the second half. Queen's fell to 4-1 with the loss, while Ottawa improved to 2-0-1. The Top-10 implications of this one haven't been felt yet, but you'd imagine it may wind up in Ottawa rising and Queen's falling depending on what happens this weekend. Ottawa's facing Laurentian and Nipissing, while Queen's has a single game against Trent.
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