By: Andrew DiRienzo
Algonquin’s women’s rugby team capped a perfect regular season in which they shut out every team and outscored their opponents 387-0.
On top of that the Thunder beat S.S. Fleming Oct. 28 at home, winning 68-0. Leading the way for the team in the victory was centre Maya Williams.
“I was just determined because the last couple of games I wasn’t at my top so I’ve been practicing really hard and I just wanted to improve,” she said. “I had a mentality to do better than before.”
Head coach Jen Boyd, who wasn’t surprised by Williams’ effort, says she “gets better every game and there’s lots of room to improve.”
With the win the Thunder finished 6-0 and scored the most points of any team in the OCAA.
Now the attention turns to the playoffs where the Thunder will look to improve on their second place finish in the East last year.
“I have no idea what the west is like,” said director of athletic operations Ron Port on the Thunder’s chances in the playoffs. “Last year Humber handled us pretty easily and it was our first year, but hopefully it’s going to be a different story this year.”
With the Thunder rugby program in just its second year it’s a huge accomplishment to have this kind of success. Port isn’t surprised though, saying Boyd and assistant coach Duncan McNaughton are a big part of the success.
Another part of the success was the Thunder not allowing a point all season long, something Boyd said the team was very deserving of.
“I think it’s a real indication of how hard they’ve worked this year and it’s just really well deserved,” she said. “They really deserved having shut out the entire East all year. They’ve worked really, really hard so I’m happy for them that they were able to check that box off.”
The team has enjoyed success throughout the season which has been attributed to the team’s communication and team play. Williams once again re-iterated this after the game.
“We communicate a lot better than we used to,” she said. “We have a team mentality, it’s not just a single player’s game.”
Williams, who already received player of the week honours for the East earlier in the season, will most likely be the target of attention by many teams. She has scored numerous tries and is a physical force on the pitch. Williams, however, isn’t concerned about being the centre of attention.
“I don’t think [I’ll be targeted] because everyone holds their weight,” Williams said. “It’s not just me or a single person that does everything so I think they should target everyone because it’s not just me that holds the team out.”
Boyd, too, said she isn’t concerned with other teams targeting Williams adding she thinks they will know who she is and what position she plays.
“It’s going to be hard to hide her,” she said.