|Left: Sabrina Henry, Right: Kailen Murphy at 2011 Seneca Sting Athletics and Recreation Banquet in Apr 2011.|
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
By: Breanna Sutherland, Seneca Student Sports Reporter
“Pain is weakness leaving the body,” said Seneca Sting soccer sensation, Sabrina Henry, after the Varsity Women’s and Men’s Soccer teams hosted the Durham Lords last Wednesday night.
Heading into the matches, both teams had started their seasons strongly with identical 1-0 early regular season records. Both teams had exceptionally good seasons in 2010-2011 with the men’s soccer team winning the OCAA (Ontario Colleges Athletic Association) bronze medal and finishing undefeated with a 6-0-2 record in the regular season. The Senecan women, meanwhile, finished second in the OCAA’s Eastern Division.
Fifth-year veteran and Early Childhood Education student Sabrina Henry, last year’s recipient of the CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association) All-Canadian, Seneca’s 2010-2011 MVP and 2009 OCAA Defensive Player of the Year Awards, expressed that this year the women’s soccer team is working hard to accomplish their ultimate goal, which is to finish first after placing second in the OCAA’s Eastern Division and fourth overall last year.
“Our team’s ultimate achievement this year will be to obviously win first in our division and to win a medal, fourth place wins no medals, and to make it to the Final,” said Henry, whose leadership, smile and laughter are well-known to her Sting team-mates.
Sabrina also expressed some of the challenges that the team faces this year.
“The biggest challenge we face as a team is coming together, because we are a new team, we try to be as close as possible, there are a lot of new players on the team with only a few players from last year returning.”
Although finding time to gel will be a challenge for the team, Sabrina also explained that this may be their key to success.
“We’ve got a few new people and they definitely add to the strength of the team, once we mesh, I think we will definitely be able to accomplish our goals.”
When asked how the best players on the team lead by example, Henry was quick to share the spotlight with her team-mates.
“We’re all the best players on the team, so we’ve all just got to do our part and step up to the plate.”
Even though the team consists of new and veteran players, they all are viewed equally by coaches and fellow players alike and are treated the same. Henry explained that the most important trait the new players will learn from the veteran players is discipline.
Last Wednesday, The Sting Women earned a 1-1 tie against the Durham Lords on home field, ending the match in second in the OCAA’s Eastern Division. The Seneca Sting Women’s Soccer team play their next home game at Seneca’s Newnham Field on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. vs. the Algonquin Thunder.
After Wednesday’s Women’s Varsity match, it was time for The Sting Men to face Durham at Newnham Field. The result was a rather one-sided 5-0 victory for the home-side.
Fifth-year veteran and Pre-Service Fire Fighting student, Kailen Murphy, OCAA Men's Soccer Player of the Year last season, said one of his teams keys to success in 2011-2012 is team chemistry.
“A big key to our success [this season] is coming together as a team. Chemistry is a big deal when playing soccer. If the guys on the team click with each other, you are more likely to play a better game,” said the lanky, understated Murphy.
“When we go on road trips, we all go out to dinner together. Occasionally, on the weekends, some of the guys will hang out to try to get to know everyone.”
And just like the Women’s team, the Men’s Soccer team also faces the challenge of having to integrate new players.
“Every year, the biggest challenge is the chemistry amongst players on the team, because it’s a whole new set of guys. So finding a way to get them together, to gel together, is the most difficult part and one of the ways we overcome that is having the veteran guys lead by example, by doing the best we can.”
This team of passionate young players certainly has a clear goal for itself this season that can be answered with one word: Nationals.
While every team sets its goals and objectives each season, it is admirable that for The Sting Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams, while victory is No. 1, camaraderie and team-building are not far behind.
After the dominant victory at Newnham Field over Durham, The Sting Men have a lot of momentum going into their next home game on Saturday, October 15 at 3pm vs. The Algonquin Thunder. Prizes and giveaways are available for those in attendance at the games.
|Matt Raguseo in action for The Sting in 2010-2011.|
By: Michael Katz, Seneca Student Sports Reporter
The Seneca Sting Men’s Rugby squad headed into last Thursday’s game against Mohawk very confident and looking for their third win in as many attempts. In their opening two games of the season, The Sting outscored their opponents by a total of 87-6, becoming early threats for an OCAA (Ontario Colleges Athletic Association) championship.
Leading the way is Matt Raguseo, a Business-Marketing student and a very promising second-year member of The Sting. The leadership and experience he brings to the club is evident from the pre-game scrum to the post-game huddle. But this should be expected – after all, he was a member of Team Canada’s under-seventeen men’s rugby team prior to joining Seneca. According to Bob McArthur, Sting head coach of 13 years, “Matt is the first Senecan rugby player ever to play for Team Canada.”
Perhaps the most admirable trait about Matt is his humble approach to the game, and his willingness to help his team-mates succeed.
Fellow Sting player Jesse Lofthouse (Fire Protection) described Matt and his leadership-style in glowing terms.
“Matt always encourages the team to be better and brings the best out of everyone.”
Raguseo’s accomplishments have not gone unnoticed by his team-mates and coaching staff, who successfully nominated and earned him the award for OCAA’s Player of the Week last week. Raguseo registered three tries, five converts and two penalty kicks in a 53-0 win over Conestoga on September 29 at Markham Campus Field.
Raguseo was thrilled with the award, saying “it was unexpected, I didn’t know the team did that until I got some emails and texts, but it’s a huge honour.”
An OCAA All-Star last season, Raguseo deflected all the credit to his team-mates, stating that “rugby requires 15 players to play well.”
The Sting sophomore attributed the award not to how he played but rather to how the team performed on the field.
“He played well last week, his team-mates gave him the opportunity, and he took advantage of it,” said Coach McArthur of Raguseo’s recent on-field contributions.
Despite the success and high praise, Raguseo refuses to let his own personal accomplishments get to his head. His ultimate goal is to win a championship, and he believes this year’s team is on the right path to doing so.
In comparing last year’s 3-3 team that won OCAA bronze to the current roster, he believes the 2011 squad has more depth, a better work ethic and is gelling much better as a unit.
McArthur adds that “the quality of players is significantly better, as a lot of talented experienced players joined the club this season.”
Outside of school, Raguseo and most rugby players in the province take part in various recreational rugby men’s leagues to keep in game-ready shape.
Seneca’s most recent match was yet another positive outing for the team, as they stung Mohawk early and often en route to a 48-10 victory. In case you were wondering, Raguseo managed only four converts for eight points, but that’s the least of Raguseo’s concerns.
“The team played fairly well but made some mistakes that need to be corrected,” said the full-back, always in search of ways to improve his team’s game.
It’s been said that the best players are never satisfied, and with a player like Raguseo, it’s evident that he’s using this philosophy to lead his swarm of bees in the right direction.
The Sting Men's Rugby team plays their final matches of the season at the Humber Hawks (3-0) on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 4:30 p.m. and the
Fleming Knights (0-3) on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
By: Michael Katz, Seneca Student Sports Reporter
A humble but determined Seneca Sting Varsity Women’s Fastball squad took to the field on Tuesday night for a doubleheader with their division rival Durham Lords.
The home team came into the game with a 3-1 record on the season, riding the momentum of one of their own, Amanda Boismier, being named OCAA (Ontario Colleges Athletic Association) Athlete of the Week. The second-year pitcher and Human Resources student, was phenomenal in the team’s opening game of the season striking-out 15 and earning the win in a 4-1 opening day victory.
When Boismier was asked about her performance, she humbly deflected all of the attention onto her catcher and battery-mate, Natalie Chiarotto (a second year, Therapeutic Recreation student). The pitcher raved about Natalie’s pitch selection and target spots, which were key to her success in Game 1.
Meanwhile, Chiarotto, her catching counterpart said Tuesday, ”despite it being a team effort between pitcher and catcher, Amanda’s performance was pretty awesome.”
“She was locating all her pitches throughout the game,” added Chiarotto.
Fourth-year outfielder and Fire Engineering Technology student Michelle “Mouse” Davies, was not shy in giving praise to both her pitcher and catcher; referring to Boismier, Davies called her command “excellent,” while Chiarotto’s pitch-calling was “equally impressive.”
Lost in all of the praise was Boismier’s 15 strikeouts, which sat two-off the OCAA Women’s Fastball strikeout record. Head coach Rick Finlay was around for the record-holding 17 strikeout performances, which is a record held by a former Senecans Debbie Wadsworth and Rebecca Cunningham.
Finlay said that Boismier has all the ability in the world to reach that record-breaking number one day, as long as she continues to “see the glove and hit the glove.” When asked about her 15 strikeouts, Boismier added, “it’s pretty amazing,” but did not give any credit to herself, preferring instead to praise her team-mates.
Perhaps that’s the key to the success of this Seneca team, which finished in fourth place in the entire OCAA last season. Finlay is entering his 26th season with Seneca, and is coming-off winning the OCAA East Coach of the Year Award. He prides himself on his teams’ players behaving similar to Boismier. Athletes who are proud of the feats they accomplish, but able to maintain a level-head going forward.
Meanwhile, on the field Tuesday night, the Sting had a less than stellar evening, as the club fell in both games, 11-1 and 6-0, to a more polished and experienced Durham College club. However, you wouldn’t know it from the Seneca bench - every player was full of enthusiasm, encouraging one another at the plate, in the field and on the mound throughout the evening.
Finlay says the first thing he tells his clubs at the start of the season is “if you don’t come out here to have fun, there’s no point in coming out.”
And this year’s Seneca Sting Women’s Fastball team is definitely having fun, no matter the highs and lows that come their way.
The Sting play their next home games at Newnham Campus Field (behind the Sports Centre, Building G) on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. in a doubleheader vs. the Conestoga Condors. Prizes and giveaways are available for those wearing red in attendance at the games.
By: Breanna Sutherland, Seneca Student Sports Reporter
“The will to win has to come from within,” said Ken Forsyth, head coach of Seneca’s varsity women’s rugby team, on Friday night after a tough home loss against the rival Humber Hawks, 49-0 at Seneca’s Markham Campus Field.
Without a doubt this was a game that The Sting wanted to win, after losing the gold medal to Humber last year in the OCAA (Ontario Colleges Athletic Association) Championship game, Friday’s game was about addressing some unfinished business.
When “Coach Ken”, who has been coaching rugby for more than a decade, was asked how this team plans on winning future games after the difficult loss, he expressed frustration that the Senecan community hasn’t yet risen to the challenge of replenishing his roster with new players.
“Seneca is one of the smallest teams in league, [and] we need as many live bodies as we can get our hands on,” said Forsyth after the loss.
Because his is such a small team, they struggle when facing larger opponents like Humber. In order for the team to be successful and win games, they will have to rely on their speed and athleticism.
Women’s Rugby is a fairly new sport to Seneca (in its second year of varsity competition), and The Sting roster, which mainly consists of rookies, some of them having little to no experience playing rugby are very much like pioneers in their sport. New sport, new team, a new frontier for varsity athletics at the college.
Despite the loss, there is still a significant chance that this team will make it very far in the league this season. With an experienced coaching staff, one that was able to bring a first-year women’s rugby team to the championship game, and with players, though lacking in size, that possess big hearts and determination, giving their all until the very last whistle of a blow-out loss, this team is hoping to make it to the last game of the season for the second year in a row.
The team is eager to add a few more players to its roster; driven student-athletes that are: hard working, determined and those in search of a once-in-a-life-time experience. Coach Ken sells it best as not only an activity that will keep someone physically in shape but will also allow them to be part of a sisterhood.
The team offers the chance to participate in a lot of fun functions, team-building activities, which will help them work together as a cohesive unit, activities such as: Prom Rugby (where the players play rugby in their prom dresses), Hallowe’en Rugby (rugby in costumes) and they’re also planning a trip to Ireland in February, where the team will play three exhibition rugby matches. But not in costume.
If you think you have what it takes; heart, determination, the will to win, dreams of traveling abroad and a desire to become a part of something bigger than yourself, a sporting family, then I urge you to try out for Seneca’s women’s rugby team. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain.
The Seneca Sting Women’s Rugby team plays their next home game at Seneca’s Markham Field on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 4 p.m. vs. the Mohawk Mountaineers. Prizes and giveaways are available for those wearing red in attendance at the match.
Those interested in joining The Seneca Sting Varsity Women’s Rugby team are encouraged to contact Sport Coordinator, Chris Sousa, email@example.com, 416.491.5050 x7250.