It was a busy time for Humber’s varsity teams during the five-week faculty strike, winning a few medals.
But gold medals eluded them — including the once invincible women’s rugby sevens — during the labour dispute between Oct. 16 to Nov. 19.
The Humber men’s soccer team seemed to be an invincible juggernaut heading into October’s provincials with a national number one ranking with a 40-plus game undefeated streak.
An OCAA victory seemed inevitable.
Instead, Humber faded out in the semi-finals, as rival Algonquin Thunder prevailed in a brutal, hard-fought game 1-0 on penalties. Algonquin later lost the gold medal match to Durham, who captured their first title in 20 years, by a 1-0 score.
Head coach Michael Aquino said the team had to continue to keep themselves up, even though the loss was disappointing.
“Losing in penalties is tough,” Aquino says. “It’s never a great way to lose the game, it’s part of the game. We’ve been on both ends of it. I’m proud of our team and our staff and we had a fantastic season nonetheless.”
Humber ended the year with a bronze medal performance versus Niagara Knights, with midfielder Gianlucas Scorzafave with the winning goal.
That feeling of unattained expectations was shared by women’s rugby coach Dale Essue.
A number one post in the OCAA highlighted by a 25-game winning streak headed into Fleming College in Peterborough, the women’s sevens outscored their opponents by an empathic 531-68 margin during the regular season, which they finished 16-0.
After a 19-17 nail-biting win over Algonquin, Humber faced off against Seneca. The Hawks had been completely been in control in two wins over the Sting this year, with a combined 43-7 margin.
However, the roles were reversed in the gold medal match, as Seneca shut out the powerful Hawks by a stunning score of 15-0, thus securing their first championship and halting the streak.
It was not all bad news for the Hawks though, as Christina Grant and Daniella Branch earned all-tournament honours.
Essue was proud the way his team played all year.
“We showed grit, we showed hustle all year,” Essue said. “I’ve told the girls all year: we gotta keep our foot on the gas. We just didn’t show it, and they got us.”
Humber also collected silver in baseball, being shut out 10-0 in the finals by St. Clair, who captured its fifth consecutive title.
The women’s soccer team also collected silver losing to Algonquin 1-0, and the men’s cross country team finished in eighth place overall at the Nationals in Blainville, Que. This was highlighted by Aaron Venstra, who finished in 40th with a personal best time of 27:29 in the 8 km race.