Sept. 23 Brock report: MacDonald, Agyemang earn weekly honours
Softball third baseman Emilly MacDonald and Jared Agyemang of the men’s soccer team were named Brock University’s athletes of the week for the week ending Sept. 22.
MacDonald, a fourth-year third baseman from St. Catharines who is studying kinesiology, was a force at the plate and on defence in four games for the softball team over the weekend. MacDonald went 9-for-14 at the plate to help the Badgers go undefeated during the weekend and clinch a playoff spot. She blasted a home run against Windsor and added four runs and two RBIs. In the next series, she registered two runs and an RBI against Western.
Agyemang, a fourth-year striker from Brampton who is studying psychology, scored twice during a 3-2 loss in Windsor on Sunday to take over the OUA scoring lead with seven goals in seven games. Saturday, Agyemang scored the game-winning goal to lift the Badgers to 1-0 win over Western in London. In two games, Agyemang registered nine shots. He also leads the OUA with three game-winning goal.
The second annual Hometown Baseball game drew a crowd of more than 400 fans, including families, alumni and longtime supporters at George Taylor Field Sunday.
The Badgers defeated the Ontario Blue Jays 13-7.
“We want to show the community that we’re there for them,” head coach Marc LePage said. “This kind of crowd gives our players a lot of energy. With all the kids cheering them on, it makes for a pretty special day for us. It’s a good vibe.”
Former Badgers and Toronto Blue Jay prospect Shaun Valeriote and current Jays prospect Alex Nolan threw out the ceremonial first pitch to the joy of fans, who also took part in a barbecue, face painting and family zone with games for children.
After the game, youngsters had the opportunity to run the bases as players dished out high fives and photo opportunities with Boomer the mascot.
“This game means a lot to Brock because we’re reaching out to the community,” Brock Sports Associate Director Emily Allan said. “Watching those kids run the bases sums it all up. It’s just so heartwarming to see the guys lining the field and cheering on the kids.”
The Badgers filled the scoreboard early with 12 runs in the first two innings before the Blue Jays scored their first run in the fifth and added four runs in the seventh.
Starting pitcher Brandon Underhill struck out six batters and allowed just only one hit over three innings.
Tyler Giancos blasted two hits for three RBIs batting at the top of the order. He also contributed two runs.
Bryan Sanford tallied two RBIs and Ryan Bench, Alex Emerson and Matt Casburn each drove in a run. David Polson notched two hits and Matt Foster and Nate Laird each registered a hit.
Yuto Abukawa struck out five Blue Jays and Ben Tiw, Jacob Underwood and Duncan Payne combined for five strikeouts.
The baseball team is now 6-5 and travel to New York to face Genesee Community College Saturday and Canisius College in Buffalo Sunday.
Men’s field lacrosse
Sam Leclair scored the game-winning goal with less than five minutes remaining as the Badgers defeated the Guelph Gryphons 12-11on the road Sunday.
Guelph led 6-5 at halftime after scoring four consecutive goals.
However, first-year Badgers attack Jake McNabb filled the net with five goals to spark the Brock offence.
Connor Brown and Nate Braniff each tallied two goals and Kurtis Woodland and Jeff Wittig added a goal and an assist.
Netminder Simon Bellamy faced 17 shots.
The Badgers (2-0) play host to Guelph in their home opener Friday at Brock Alumni Field at 8 p.m.
Four Badgers selected in NLL draft
Four Badgers were selected in the 34th annual National Lacrosse League Entry Draft in Philadelphia Sept. 17.
Alex Pace (Philadelphia), McNabb (Colorado), Jordan Gillis (Georgia) and Brad Fannell (Halifax) were the picks.
“We’re very happy for our four players,” head coach Tim Luey said. “They’re all great lacrosse players and great team players. I’m excited for them to get an opportunity to compete at the highest level.”
Pace, a fourth-year midfielder from Halifax who is studying medical sciences, was drafted in the second round (20th overall) by the draft hosts, Philadelphia Wings.
McNabb joins new Badger teammate Jeffery Wittig in Colorado after the Mammoth took him in the second round (31st overall).
Gillis, a third-year midfielder from Stoney Creek, was taken by the Georgia Swarm in fifth round. The Stoney Creek native is studying kinesiology. In the sixth round, Fannell was scooped up by the Halifax Thunderbirds. The St. Catharines-born defenceman is taking child and youth studies.
Senior striker Agyemang scored two goals to take command of the OUA scoring leaders Sunday.
Agyemang tallied two goals during a 3-2 road loss to the Windsor Lancers and leads the league in scoring with seven goals.
“Jared is such a warrior for us,” head coach Lucio Ianiero said. “He was very aggressive in going to the net today.”
He has already surpassed his 2018 goal total of five markers in just seven matches.
“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.”
Brock spotted Windsor two goals within the first 11 minutes of the match.
“Despite our dreadful start, we came back and played our men played the best soccer I’ve ever seen them play,” Ianiero said.
Agyemang tied it up before halftime with two goals just 20 minutes apart.
Windsor’s Skyler Grey scored at the 77th minute for the game winner. The Lancers outshot the Badgers 6-2, while Brock won the corner kicks 4-1.
“I think the atmosphere has changed around me and my teammates this year,” Agyemang said. “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.”
Goalkeeper Alex May made six saves as the Badgers blanked the Western Mustangs 1-0 in London.
Agyemang scored the game-winning goal and recorded seven shots.
“We had three juicy scoring chances to put some goals in late in the game,” Ianiero said. “However, turns out all we needed was one and Jared shelved it top corner.”
Western outshot Brock 14-9
Michael Fernandez and Lucas Mastromattei each recorded a shot for Brock.
Up next, the Badgers (3-2-2) travel north to play the Algoma Thunderbirds in back-to-back weekend games from.
Arnelle Douglas netted her first career OUA goal to lift the women’s team to a 2-1 victory over the Windsor Lancers Sunday.
Douglas scored late in the game, at 71:31, on a pass from Adrianna Belfer-Marin, who threaded the ball through Windsor’s left back and centre back.
“I used my speed to get past them and took the ball down the line,” said Douglas, a defender who has been playing midfield lately. “I intended to cross the ball to my teammate Sydney Sica, but I was surprised when it went into the bottom left corner of the net.”
Midfielder Melanie Schouten opened the scoring for Brock at 18:15 with her first goal of the season.
The Badgers battled in the first half by limiting the Lancers’ chances and didn’t allow a shot.
Forward Samantha Bayer was key in controlling the game, said Ianiero, who is acting as interim coach. “Samantha Bayer was outstanding for us today. Her work rate was amazing and she held the ball for us very well.”
Windsor’s Sophia Ferrazzo tied it up in the 57th minute before Douglas’ winner.
Brock and Windsor tied in shots 3-3 as goalkeeper Marilena Spagnolo increased her save percentage to .902, which is good for third in the OUA.
Up next, the Badgers (2-2-3) wrap up their road trip against the Algoma Thunderbirds (1-6) from Saturday and Sunday.
The Badgers suffered their first loss of the season to the Laurier Golden Hawks in the homecoming game Saturday.
Laurier led all game en route to a 24-5 win before a large crowd at Alumni Field.
“Tough first loss of the season, but Laurier is a strong team,” head coach Phil Sullivan said. “They came in 0-2, but we knew they weren’t what their record was. We didn’t execute the way we wanted to.”
Brock wing Liam Boeyenga punched in a try with 10 minutes remaining to break the Golden Hawks’ shutout.
“It’s an intense season and these are the games you need to win,” Sullivan added. “It’s a new team from last year, so they need to take some time to think about the things we need to do to learn from today to benefit us later in the season.”
Up next, the Badgers (2-1) travel to Kingston to face off against the RMC Paladins at Navy Bay Saturday 3 p.m.
The women’s rugby team celebrated the small in-game victories they achieved during a 82-7 loss to the No. 1-ranked Queen’s Golden Gaels at Alumni Field Saturday.
The Badgers’ sideline maintained positive cheers and they celebrated as if they won the national title when winger Loramhel Mateo scored a try late in the second half.
“The mindset going into today’s match was to establish a few small goals,” assistant coach Ian Fitzgerald said. “We accomplished that by halftime, offensively and defensively.”
In the first half, the Badgers held territory on the Gaels and kept speed with the No. 1-ranked squad in the country.
“I think it gave our girls a real eye-opener where they’re at individually and it gave them a lot of confidence knowing they can hang in Tier 1,” Fitzgerald said. “We haven’t had a test like that until now.”
The Golden Gaels led 26-0 at halftime.
Brock scored when 8-Man Miia Sorra delivered a pick from the back of the scrum and quickly offloaded to Mateo.
Taylor Knezevich recorded the convert.
The Badgers connected well as a team defensively and put on a lot of pressure on the Gaels. One defensive standout was first-year centre Caitlin Mahaffy, who caught the eye of the coaching staff.
“This is the best game I’ve ever seen her play,” said assistant coach Amanda Andres, who has known Mahaffy since she was 16. “Offensively and defensively, she stood out. She played a full 80 minutes as a rookie for the first time.”
Up next, the Badgers (1-2) host the Guelph Gryphons (2-1) Saturday at 1 p.m.
The cross country team opened off the season in the competitive Bill Salter Western International meet in London.
Runners were met with humid conditions paired with a hilly and winding course.
In the women’s six-kilometre race, Sarah Cranmer-Byng was the first to cross the line in her Badger debut with a time of 24:23, which was good for 30th overall.
Captain Paulina Sergnese was next with a time of 24:28 (35th overall). Rookie Mackenzie Damiano performed well in her debut finishing 94th overall.
In the men’s eight-kilometre race, the Badgers took 13th overall as team.
Leading the Badgers was second-year runner Joseph Dick (84th) and captain Jeremy Mol (85th), who finished with times of 28:37 and 28:38, respectively.
Next across the line was Duncan Steyn (118th, 29:52) followed by rookies Nicholas Reimer (121st, 30:01) and Nikhil Lew (124th, 30:08), who were impressive in their collegiate debut.
The rest of team was composed of Luke Patrick (131st, 30:18), Jarryd Ling (133rd, 30:21), Jacques Tiessen and Christian Ligtenberg.
Next up, the Badgers will head to Waterloo to compete in the Don Mills Open on Oct. 5.