Ask any Carleton University student about the University of Ottawa (U of O) and they will gladly bad mouth their cross town rivals.
The Panda Game and the MBNA Capital Hoops Classic are often marketed as major rivalry games between the two schools.
“The Panda Game, the Capital Hoops Classic—and we are about to build up the Colonel By Classic—it brings out a lot of school pride, and alumni, they will be wearing the school colours, get painted up to cheer on Carleton Ravens,” said Jennifer Brenning, Carleton’s director of recreation and athletics.
But these aren’t the only sports at Carleton that have big rivalry games against the U of O Gee-Gees.
The Carleton Ravens men’s baseball team defeated the Gee-Gees by a score of 10-1 in the fourth and final game of the O-Train Series on Sept. 28.
Meanwhile, the Carleton Ravens men’s lacrosse team beat the Gee-Gees by a score of 8-6 in the second game of the Capital Lacrosse Clash on Sept. 30.
“Going up against our rivals, [U of O], it feels really good to come out of it with a [win],” said Emeric MacDonald, a first-year lacrosse player. “Even though we aren’t doing the best this year due to injuries . . . we beat them and now we hold the belt over them till next year.”
While the Carleton Ravens women’s rugby team doesn’t have a special name for their game against U of O, they fell to the Gee-Gees by a score of 48-7 on Sept. 28.
“Just like the other sports it’s always a big rivalry when you’re playing your cross town rival, so there’s always a bit more in the game in terms of competitiveness and playing with a bit more of an edge, a bit more on the line and we like that,” said Ravens women’s rugby head coach Patrick Thompson. “It’s good for our sport and good for every sport.”
While some of these rivalries have received less attention, the Panda Game and MBNA Capital Hoops Classic continue to gain attention and improve.
The Panda Game broke the record for attendance again this year, this time with 23,329 fans, and was broadcasted nationally on City as part of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport “Game of the Week.”
Meanwhile, the MBNA Capital Hoops Classic eclipsed 10,000 fans for the third time last season.
Thompson said women’s rugby is a new program, but hopefully its rivalry series will gain momentum.
“Women’s rugby is generally new as the varsity program just started up five years ago so they don’t have the history, but every year the games are getting more intense, the rivalry is certainly heating up and are looking to see what will happen in the next few years,” Thompson said.
Brenning said she hopes the Rivalry Series will grow over time, and would like to add other sports, such as soccer and women’s hockey as well.
“I think it is important to promote all the rivalry games against [U of O], not only lacrosse—but soccer, football and others,” MacDonald said. “I don’t think there should be an event for everything but I think there should at least be some emphasis on it.”