By the Numbers: Student-athletes shining bright on both sides of the ball early on

Photo by Jojo Quian
Photo by Jojo Quian

84 – The reigning OUA and U SPORTS champions started their quest for back-to-back titles on Saturday with a divisional clash. Going head-to-head with fellow contenders Ontario Tech in the OUA Marquee Matchup, the Gee-Gees and Ridgebacks were closely contested from start to finish. In fact, for the majority of the season opener, the game appeared destined for goose eggs. But with under 10 minutes to play, Soumaya Bouak was brought down in the box, leading to a penalty kick from fifth-year defender Théa Nour in the 84th minute. And Nour made no mistake, helping the Gee-Gees gallop off with the win.

82 – The special teams play across the OUA has been something to talk about through the opening two weeks of the season, with Alex Daley representing the latest to get involved. The York receiver had the Lions’ play of the game on Monday when he returned a punt 82 yards for the touchdown. The elusive play included Daley evading multiple tackles and all-but running sideline-to-sideline before scampering to the end zone for the major. Daley finished the day with 133 punt return yards and is among the conference leaders in the category, as well as kick return yards, for the season.

12 – It is well documented that Levondre Gordon is the Golden Hawks’ workhorse in the backfield and he showed why once again on Labour Day. In Laurier’s tilt with York on Monday, Gordon was tasked with leading the offence in more ways than one after the team fell victim to multiple injuries among their receivers. The fifth-year back stepped up in a big way, amassing 165 all-purpose yards in the game (nearly half of the team’s 382 total yards), picking up his 12th career 100-yard rushing game in the process.

11 – In an offensive masterclass, the Queen’s women’s rugby team were able to spread the wealth on the pitch against the Western Mustangs. En route to setting a team record in points, the Gaels saw 11 different players hit the scoreboard, including a total of five tries from Taylor Black and 10 conversions from Sophie de Goede, which is already far and away more than the three from the reigning Player of the Year in 2018.

6 – The interceptions came fast and furious for the Marauders in their home opener against the Gee-Gees. The defensive pressure was in full force from start to finish, with the secondary scoping out the ball on several occasions in their win. In fact, led by a pair of picks from rookie Josh Cumber – who now has three interceptions in his first two games – McMaster piled on six interceptions against Ottawa. Also getting their hands on Gee-Gees passes were Nate Edwards, Eric Blake, Lucas Bill, and Noah Hallett, the latter of whom wreaked havoc in more ways than one on Sunday (4 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception).

5 – The Paladins leading scorer from a season ago got right back into the swing of things in RMC’s first weekend of soccer. In tough against the nationally ranked Ryerson Rams, Liam Chambers, who missed half of the Paladins’ games last year due to injury, scored his team’s lone goal of the game, while recording three shots in the loss. He would add another pair of shots in RMC’s follow up outing on Sunday, bringing his total to five over the weekend. The aggressive start suggests that the third-year midfielder is looking to pace the club offensively once again in 2019.

3 – The Varsity Blues offence was been one of the best in the business through the first two weeks on the gridiron, and they can once again thank the big plays for much of that scoring prowess. For a second straight week, Clay Sequeira and company showed that they are not afraid to let it fly in the passing game, as the potent pivot – who is averaging over 460 passing yards per game – connected on three majors of over 50 yards. All three touchdowns (79 yards to Nolan Lovegrove; 75 yards to Will Corby; and 52 yards to Nick Stadnyk) came in the free-flying fourth quarter to help the Blues pull away and secure their first win since 2017.

2 – The Trent Excalibur got their season off on the right foot this weekend, notching a win and a draw in their two matches. A key contributor to the team’s early success was Cherilyn Yeboah, who has made a splash on the scoreboard from the Excalibur’s back end. In the opening match, the first-year defender tallied the lone goal to secure the tie against Carleton, and in the team’s encore, she potted the insurance marker late to cap off the 2-0 win over Laurentian. Yeboah’s early season output has her tied with two of the OUA’s top offensive threats – Stephanie Roberts and Jenny Wolever – in conference scoring.

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