Oct. 7: Brock roundup
The Brock men’s hockey team ran into a hot goalie during its home opener at the Seymour-Hannah Sports Complex Friday.
Windsor goaltender Jonathan Reinhart made 46 saves as the Lancers prevailed 6-3.
“We outshot them, but we didn’t execute,” head coach Marty Williamson said. “We need to cut down on the scoring chances we gave up.”
Adam Berg notched a goal and an assist for Brock, while goalie Mario Cavaliere made 28 saves in the loss.
Alex Friesen opened the scoring at 15:23 for Windsor before first-year forward Mitchell Mendonca quickly replied with his first OUA goal to tie the game up before first intermission.
The Lancers cashed in three unanswered goals — Ethan Skinner scored twice and Anthony Salinitri netted a short-handed marker — in the second period despite the Badgers outshooting them 24-12.
In the third, Johnny Schaefer and Berg scored to pull within two goals before Ian Parker fired in an empty-net goal to close the game out.
Cole Thiessen and Justin Brack each finished the game with an assist.
Up next in OUA action, the Badgers (0-1) host the Toronto Varsity Blues on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 7:15 p.m. This weekend, the Badgers will play a pair of exhibition road games against NCAA opponents RPI (Oct. 5) and Quinnipiac (Oct. 6).
Before the game, Welland native Connor Walters was named team captain.
Athletes of the week
Women’s rugby player Niamh Haughey and men’s lacrosse midfielder Aidan Buis were named Brock’s athletes of the week for the week ending on Oct. 6.
Haughey, a senior outside from Scarborough who is studying physical education, scored a game-breaking try to begin a comeback which would upset the undefeated York Lions 19-15 during the OUA quarter-finals at Brock Alumni Field on Oct. 4. Haughey, who broke a tackle and ran the try in from the midfield point, also contributed on shutting down the Lions’ attack and was a positive leader when the game originally wasn’t going the Badgers’ way.
Buis, a second-year midfielder from Niagara-on-the-Lake who is studying oenology and viticulture, scored a pair of goals and never lost a face-off during a dominating 23-2 victory over Laurentian on Oct. 6. He played well offensively and defensively and recovered a lot of ground balls to help the Badgers control possession of the ball. He also added an assist during an 11-3 win over Laurier in Waterloo on Oct. 5.
Midfielder Aidan Buis scored twice and controlled the game in a dominating 23-2 victory over the visiting Laurentian Voyageurs at Alumni Field on Sunday.
The Badgers fired in nine goals in the first quarter and led 17-0 at halftime.
Buis went 100 per cent on faceoffs.
“Aidan recovered a lot of ground balls for us and played well offensively and defensively,” head coach Tim Luey said. “He really made an impact all over the field this weekend.”
Sam Leclair collected a hat trick and added five assists while Campbell Parker scored a goal and registered seven helpers. Rex Josh notched three goals and an assist and Connor Brown posted three goals.
Cree Blakely, Kurtis Woodland, Grayson Houghton, Nate Braniff and William McNabb each tallied two goals. Peter Hrynuik secured a goal as Mitchell Zulian chipped in two assists. Luca Romano also dished out an assist. Goalie Simon Bellamy earned the win in between the pipes.
Up next, the Badgers (5-0) will host the other top team in their division, the Western Mustangs, on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m.
The No. 3-ranked York Lions blanked the Brock Badgers 5-0 at Alumni Field on Saturday.
“They make teams pay for their mistakes and that’s why they’re a nationally ranked squad,” head coach Lucio Ianiero said. “The work rate is there in our team. The guys never dropped their heads and they continued playing while they trusted and believed in each other.”
Brock outshot York 16-15, but couldn’t solve goalkeeper Mike Argyrides, who made seven saves including a penalty kick save versus Badgers striker Jared Agyemang early in the first half.
“There’s a lot of positives to be taken from this game,” Ianiero said. “We can’t let the score line be an indication to how we played. An indication of how things are going is listening to how an opponent argues with themselves when our guys are dominating possession of the ball. It speaks volumes to our play.”
Up next, the Badgers (4-2-3) will host the division-leading Guelph Gryphons on Friday, Oct. 11 at 3:15 p.m.
The York Lions scored with less than 10 minutes remaining to defeat the Badgers 2-1 in women’s soccer action at Alumni Field on Saturday afternoon.
York’s Haley Walsh scored the game-winning during a goalmouth scramble in the 82nd minute. The Lions haven’t lost a match since their season opener against Guelph.
“We know that we’re not going to get a floodgate of opportunities handed to us in games, so we need to do a better job of capitalizing on our chances,” head coach Lucio Ianiero said.
York outshot Brock 21-9 as Badgers goalkeeper Marilena Spagnolo made 10 saves.
After a scoreless first half, Lions midfielder Kalifornia Mitchell opened the scoring early in the second.
Brock replied when Sydney Sica drove to the net and scored by banging home a rebound.
“Syd has been doing a tremendous job for us as the lone striker in this formation,” Ianiero said. “She holds up the ball very well. As an experienced player, we rely on her soccer knowledge and experience. She’s a great target person for us, so we look for her feet. Sydney makes a lot of smart runs, even without the ball, which penetrates teams’ defences.”
Up next, the Badgers (4-3-3) host the Guelph Gryphons on Friday, Oct. 11 at 1 p.m.
The women’s rugby team rallied to overcome the undefeated York Lions in the OUA quarter-finals 19-15 at Brock Alumni Field on Friday night.
The Badgers knocked the Lions out of the first round of the postseason for a second consecutive year.
“The positive tone around this team since Day 1 has been overwhelming,” head coach Mark Smerdon said. “Our leaders step up when things aren’t going perfectly well.”
York kept Brock pinned in their zone for most of the first half and led 5-0 at halftime.
Despite being down to 14 players with 10 minutes remaining in the first, the Badgers repeatedly stunned York at the goal line to deny any tries.
“The composure was incredible and they played some amazing defence,” said Smerdon. “That itself was a moral victory going into halftime, so when we got the player back then it was ‘okay here we go’. The spirits were up even though we were down.”
Senior outside Niamh Haughey opened the second half by scorching the field for a game-breaking try to put the Badgers in the lead as Daniella Michaud registered the convert.
It was Haughey’s first try since returning from injury.
“Niamh is a great leader who knows the game and you won’t find a stronger athlete,” Smerdon said. “She’s confident and nothing seems to phase her. She’s good at getting the girls up again and keeping that positive tone on the pitch.”
Loramhel Mateo and Miia Sorra registered back-to-back tries to seal the deal for Brock. Michaud added another convert.
Up next, the Badgers will travel to Kingston to meet the No. 1-ranked team in the country, the Queen’s Golden Gaels, on Saturday, Oct. 12.
The Brock men’s rugby team attempted a comeback late in the game, however the Waterloo Warriors prevailed 35-20 at Brock Alumni Field on Friday.
The Warriors led 21-5 at the half as Adam Melia scored the Badgers’ lone try.
Brock’s offence turned up the heat in the autumn air during the second half.
“We dug ourselves a hole and we had to respond,” head coach Phil Sullivan said. “It took us a little long to respond to how tough it was going to be.”
Melia found the end zone again in the second, including Mitch Wilson and Steven Commerford.
Melia, a 6-foot-3 international student from Ireland, was the player of the match, according to Sullivan.
“Adam was the best player on the field for both teams,” Sullivan said. “He’s an excellent player who is always in the thick of the action. This sport is in his DNA. It’s as if a hockey player from Canada went over to play in the United Kingdom.”
Sophomore Mitch Santilli, who played Rugby Sevens for Canada, also suited up in his first game after coming back from serious injury. Santilli served a player-coach during his recovery time.
“Mitch looked fantastic, but it’s always tough coming back from injury so we’ve put together a process for him to return in the right way,” said Sullivan. “He played 30 minutes today and had a long run at the end that was almost a try. He’s a great asset to have on the field.”
Up next, the Badgers (3-2) travel to Guelph to face the division-leading Gryphons on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. to wrap up the regular season.
Striker player of the month
Fifth-year Brock striker Jared Agyemang was named U SPORTS Athlete of the Month.
Agyemang has taken a commanding lead on the U SPORTS scoring lead during the month of September.
Agyemang, a psychology student from Brampton, has a new outlook on the game this year as he’s already eclipsed his total of five goals last season.
“My focus has come a lot from being in my last season,” Agyemang said. “I have personal goals and team goals I want to accomplish. I just want to be a leader on the field, leave my mark on the league, and have an impact on my teammates.”
The Badgers are 4-3-3 as they look to reach the playoffs for the first time in more than 10 years.
“Jared is such a warrior for us,” Brock men’s soccer head coach Lucio Ianiero said. “He’s very aggressive in going to the net and it’s paying off.”
He also leads the league in game-winning goals, which have helped Brock pull off upset victories over McMaster when they were the No. 8-ranked team in the country, Windsor and Western.
Agyemang scored 10 goals in 10 games, which leads all OUA scorers and is tied for first in the country with Dan Hayfield of StFX.
“I think the atmosphere has changed around me and my teammates this year,” said Agyemang. “We know we are a good team and I think we go into every game believing we can play with anyone we’re up against. Now, it’s just about proving it every time we step on the field.”
New curling coach
John Sawchuk is the new head coach of the men’s and women’s curling teams. Sawchuk takes the reins from longtime coach Murray Etherington, who retired during the offseason after 10 years of coaching the Badgers.
“We are thrilled to have John at the helm of our team,” Brock sports associate director Emily Allan said. “John brings a wealth of experience, especially at the U18 level, and comes highly recommended. When Murray retired, he left the team in a great situation to progress even further than last year, and we’re excited to see where John can take the team.”
Sawchuk has curled for more than 20 years in Niagara and plays out of the Welland and Niagara Falls Curling Clubs.
As a coach, Sawchuk has consistently guided teams to finish Top 3 in the province on the Junior Curling Circuit at the U18 and U21 levels. He’s also coached two teams that have Ontario Curling Association provincial banners, which hang in the Niagara Falls club.
“I do everything possible to prepare my athletes to be successful,” Sawchuk said. “Curling is a sport where the athletes need to make 95 per cent of the decisions in a game on their own. It is the time we spend in practice and team strategy meetings that pays off on the ice. My teams tend to be less aggressive and play by the percentages until the moment is right to switch gears and become aggressive.”
The curling team will hold tryouts from Oct. 7-9 at the Niagara Falls Curling Club. Each session runs in the evening from 9-10:30 p.m.
Coach of the year
Brock softball head coach Mark Hall was named the Ontario Intercollegiate Women’s Fastpitch Association’s Coach of the Year prior to the playoffs hosted by McMaster University in Hamilton on Friday.
“I was absolutely surprised to be voted coach of the year,” Hall said. “There are so many good coaches within our league that it’s an honour to receive such an award.”
The Badgers opened the playoffs with 8-3 win over McMaster on Saturday morning. Pitcher Rachel Seguin struck out four batters over seven innings. She finished the game with a 0.86 WHIP.
Madi Clinton registered two RBI and Chanelle Church added a single. Grace Blamauer recorded three hits and Emilly MacDonald added two.
Brock fell out of the playoffs later that day with back-to-back losses against Western, 1-0, and Laurier by a score of 7-1.
“We may not have had the outcome we wanted this weekend, but we are always very proud of our players,” Hall said. “We will be back to practicing this week in preparation for the national tournament this weekend in Kitchener, host by Laurier.”
Brock deployed 19 runners to tackle the eight-kilometre course as the Badgers made a solid showing three weeks away from the OUA cross country championships on Oct. 26.
With the men’s race toeing the line at 9:45, second-year runner Jacques Tiessen was the first Badger across the finish line with a time of 27:31, placing 21st overall. Tiessen’s finish was followed in rapid succession by Brock’s men’s captain Jeremy Mol five seconds later with Joseph Dick finishing 28th. Brock’s seven male rookie runners performed well this weekend, with freshman Nicholas Reimer being the first across the line among this group with a time of 28:59, following up his stellar performance at the Bill Salter Western Invitational two weeks ago.
The women’s race featured Brock’s highest-placing runner as women’s captain Paulina Sergnese captured sixth overall with an electrifying performance, dashing across the finish with a time of 31:18. Sergnese’s two-place advancement on her 2018 achievement was followed by rookie runner and fellow St. Catharines native Mackenzie Damiano placing 16th with a final time of 33:51, the top placing first year Badger this weekend. Rounding off the women’s race with strong finishes were rookies Isabel Tesolin and Robyn Adamo, showing perseverance and grit over all four two-kilometre laps.
The Brock cross country team will travel to Hamilton for the Marauder Bayfront Open hosted by McMaster University on Friday, Oct. 11.