Sept. 9 Brock Report: Rugby players sweep honours
A pair of rugby players tackled this week’s Brock University athletes of the week awards.
Earning female honours was Sara Shaw, a second-year fullback from Oshawa. The physical education major was a powerhouse on defence and scored a pair of tries as Brock thumped the Western Mustangs 55-0.
“There was definitely a lot of big breaks and tackles from our entire team through 80 minutes,” Shaw said. “We didn’t let up and earned the shutout. On my tries, I hit the gaps and forced my way past the defence with good looks from my scrum-half Loramhel Mateo and fly-half Taylor Knezevich.”
Brock built a 22-0 halftime lead and had a nervous start according to head coach Mark Smerdon.
“Even though we had a halftime score of 22-0, our goals we set out were not being met.”
That changed in the second half.
“Those goals that we worked on during the week started to transfer into our gameplay,” he said. “Three of our rookies, Daniella Michaud, Kiara Stecko and Ruby Moffat, stood out today.”
Fifth-year Senior Holly Murphy recorded the first two tries of her Brock career and Mateo also recorded a pair of tries. Michaud, Caitlin Mahaffy and Alexis Gigliotti each had one try.
Brock (1-0) is at McMaster (0-2) Saturday.
Earning the male athlete of the week award was Steven Commerford.
The third-year flyhalf from Peterborough had 19 points as Brock opened its season with a 34-19 victory against Western.
The teacher education student recorded two tries, three converts and a penalty kick to account for 55 per cent of Brock’s points. Commerford missed last season with an injury.
“Steve bouncing back from injury was encouraging for us to see, and the way he took control of the game today was a pleasant surprise,” Brock head coach Phil Sullivan said.
“We also had a lot of new players emerge such as Jack Cheshire, Adam Melia and Daniel Challice. They fit right in.”
Melia, Cheshire and Zach Zorbas each scored a try for Brock and the Badgers’ defensive play held the Mustangs scoreless in the first half.
“We definitely had a mission to accomplish and the guys were focused,” Sullivan said. “Our first half was excellent and we started to get a little sloppy near the end with penalties, but it was a good, solid game that we’re happy with.”
Before last weekend’s win, the last time Brock came close to defeating Western was a 17-17 tie in the bronze-medal game in 2014.
“I don’t think we’ve beaten Western in 10 years,” Sullivan said. “They’ve always been a strong team and a tough matchup for us.”
Brock is at McMaster (1-0) Saturday.
STEEL BLADE CLASSIC FRIDAY
The 21st Annual Steel Blade Classic between the Brock Badgers men’s hockey team and the Guelph Gryphons will be played Friday at 7 p.m. at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines.
The event usually sells out and last year more than 5,000 fans watched the contest.
“The Steel Blade hockey game is an electric event and should not be missed,” said Emily Allan, Brock’s associate director of sports. “Our fans continue to show why they are the most dedicated fans in Canada, arriving to the arena decked out in amazing Brock spirit.
“For our student-athletes, playing in front of a home crowd like this is an experience they’ll never forget. We owe it to our coaches, athletes, staff and fans for helping to create such an amazing show.”
The Brock men are looking forward to another strong season powered by leading scorers Ryan Burton and Ayden MacDonald, talented sophomore Tyler Rollo and all-star defenceman Connor Walters.
“The atmosphere with the students is incredible,” Brock head coach Marty Williamson said. “It’s the loudest I’ve ever heard the Meridian Centre. It feels like a playoff game with that kind of crowd, which is great for the players and also good for the coaches to evaluate their players.”
General admission tickets are $25 and are on sale at ticketmaster.ca.
Keeper Alex May stopped eight of 11 shots and senior striker Jared Agyemang scored his third goal in three games to help the Brock men’s soccer team record a 1-1 tie on the road against Guelph.
Guelph, which outshot Brock 11-3, tied the game up late on a penalty kick by Alex Zis.
“Jared scored a stellar goal and the men played extremely disciplined tonight,” Brock head coach Lucio Ianiero said. “(We were) very cohesive. I’m really happy with how they carried out our game plan.”
Brock (1-0-2) hosts McMaster Saturday at 3:15 p.m. at Brock Alumni Field.
Second-year forward Samantha Bayer scored her first goal of the season, but it wasn’t enough as the Brock women’s soccer team fell 2-1 on the road to Guelph.
Erica D’Alesio picked up an assist on the goal.
“Sam scored an incredible goal,” interim head coach Lucio Ianiero said. “It was a great team build up that lead to Sam being in the right spot for Erica to find her for a clean shot into the net.”
Guelph, which outshot Brock 6-2, netted the game-winning goal in the 68th minute.
“I thought it was quite even. We introduced some new things to the girls and we thought they executed well,” Ianiero said. “They’re adapting to the changes we’ve made and we think they will be able to string wins together real soon.”
Brock (0-1-2) hosts McMaster Marauders Saturday at 1 p.m.
Brock’s women’s softball team started the Ontario Intercollegiate Women’s Fastpitch Association season with four straight victories, outscoring York and Queens by a 46-7 margin.
“It was a total team effort this weekend,” Brock head coach Mark Hall said. “Everyone contributed in some way to help the team win. I’m very happy with our start to the season.”
Junior pitcher Katie-Ann Oberle had nine strikeouts in four innings to propel the Badgers to a 11-1 win over York in Game 1 Saturday. In the second game, pitcher Haleigh Wilson recorded six strikeouts.
Rookie outfielders Holly Hanchiruk and Grace Blamauer shone at the plate. Hanchiruk collected four RBIs on three hits and Blamauer tallied three hits. Senior shortstop Madi Clinton added three RBIs.
On Sunday, Brock crowned Queen’s 12-5 and 10-1.
Catcher Chanelle Church drove in three runs in the first game and shortstop Haley Taylor led the way with three RBIs in the second contest.
Brock hosts the Carleton Ravens Saturday for a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m.