November 5, 2016
OAKVILLE, Ont -- The Humber Hawks women's rugby sevens team made history by becoming the first program to win the OCAA Rugby Sevens Championship.
After winning the regular season title with a 14-2 record, the Hawks entered the playoffs as the favourites and did not disappoint. In their semifinal matchup with the host Sheridan Bruins (3-13, 4th OCAA), the Hawks showed they came to play and would not settle for anything less than a gold medal.
The Hawks finished 4-0 against the Bruins in the regular season, and that dominance carried into their semi-final game. Second-year back Christina Branch (Oshawa) put Humber on the board in the first minute, scoring her first try of the tournament. Right before the half, Charli Mocon (Mississauga) scored her second try of the game, giving Humber a 19-0 lead.
The Hawks, who proved lethal at the breakdowns and attack, cruised to a 52-0 victory after two second-half tries from Branch. Cheyenne De Luca (Etobicoke), Daniella Grant (Stouffville), and Kareece McGregor (Whitby) all scored a try for Humber in the win as well.
The gold medal game was the rubber match every rugby fan wanted to see. After beating the Seneca Sting (8-8, 3rd OCAA) 17-12 in the semifinals, the Conestoga Condors (12-4, 2nd OCAA) advanced to the championship final. During the regular season, Humber's two losses were to Conestoga, and the teams split the series 2-2.
Similar to the semi-finals, Humber opened the game with a quick score when McGregor went for her second try of the tournament in the second minute of the final. Humber continued with their impressive attack and in the sixth minute second-year back Zaynab Alimoglu (Mississauga) scored her first try of the tournament. Grant capped off the half with a try of her own and once again the Hawks were leading 19-0 after the first ten minutes.
Seconds into the second half, Branch showed off her incredible speed by breaking free for a 70 yard try untouched. Determined to preserve the shutout, Humber rarely let Conestoga cross half and in to their end of the field.
Two more tries from Mocon and a try from McGregor sealed the Hawks 50-0 victory, making Humber the first-ever OCAA rugby sevens champions.
Humber showed they were easily the best team in the province by outscoring their opponents 102-0 in their two games. Mocon and Branch finished with four tries each, while Grant and McGregor had two of their own.