Ravens defeat unconvincing Blues 3–0

Defeat exposes men’s soccer team’s ineffective attack

Ravens defeat unconvincing Blues 3–0

The University of Toronto Varsity Blues men’s soccer team and their previous two opponents — the Carleton Ravens and the Ryerson Rams — have consolidated the top three Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East division places in each of the past two seasons. Judging from early results around the league, this three-horse race will likely remain intact for the season ahead, but the 3–0 defeat to the Ravens on September 8, one week after suffering a 3–1 loss to the Rams, means that the Blues may need to settle for third best.

The Blues made four changes to their starting lineup from their previous game, with starting striker Jack Wadden out injured and first-choice goalkeeper Stefan Dusciuc relegated to the bench in favour of first-year Sebastian Sgarbossa, who is making his first OUA start for Toronto.

Unlike their previous four games, the Blues started slowly, unwilling to commit players forward in their trademark pressing style. Instead, they found themselves sweating in the opening 40 seconds, as poor defending from the usually reliable centreback and captain Nikola Stakic forced Sgarbossa to make a key save.

Carleton, who began the game with a perfect record and who had topped the division in 2017 with 13 wins out of 16 matches, continued to dominate proceedings, sending a number of dangerous balls into the attacking third.

Their attacking play would pay off in the seventh minute, as forward Gabriel Bitar won a penalty after dribbling through the Blues’ defensive line. Bitar dispatched his spot kick straight down the middle, marking the first time this season that the Blues did not open the scoring.

Seconds after kickoff, Stakic gave away possession with a poor forward ball that Carleton quickly passed to left winger Emad Houache, who released a defense-splitting peach of a ball to the other flank. Poor positioning from the Blues allowed right winger Ricky Comba to centre to striker Jimi Aribido, who smashed the ball past Sgarbossa.

Already trailing, Toronto were still unable to move the ball forward, owing to Carleton’s incessant pressing and proficient tackling. The Ravens continued to threaten in attack, forcing the Blues to camp inside their own half. Carleton’s attacking organization repeatedly bypassed an inattentive backline, and they could easily have scored one or two more goals in the first half.

Counterattacking opportunities for the Blues were far and few between, and lone striker Jae Jin Lee, positioned at the halfway line, lacked the pace and ball control to trouble Carleton. The Blues’ best chance would come in the 40th minute as second-year midfielder Anthony Sousa found himself in a pocket of space 20 yards away from the goal and unleashed a powerful shot that rattled the crossbar.

Toronto grew into the match in the second half and operated with more attacking freedom, as Carleton stopped pressing intently, happy to sit back and absorb attacks. The Blues’ most exciting moment came in the 57th minute as Sousa displayed smart ball control and managed a neat Cruyff turn to pass the ball beyond three surrounding Ravens players, but, like most of their forays, the attack fizzled out harmlessly.

In the 71st minute, Carleton forward Dario Conte sliced the ball across the field, splitting Toronto’s defense yet again and allowing substitute Stefan Karajovanovic to easily chip the onrushing Sgarbossa and make the score 3–0. Karajovanovic almost scored again in the 77th minute after intercepting a terrible pass from fourth-year defender Kenny Lioutas, but he blazed the shot wide of the net.

This second consecutive defeat for the Blues emphasized their ineffective attack and lack of ideas against teams with strong, organized defenses.

The Blues will hope that Wadden returns from injury sooner rather than later to provide a much-needed pressing and positioning-based dimension in their attacks.

Blues women’s lacrosse earn unbeaten home weekend

Blues trounce York Lions 21–4, draw Trent Excalibur 10–10

Blues women’s lacrosse earn unbeaten home weekend

The Varsity Blues women’s lacrosse team (WLAX) played its lone homestand of the season, as Varsity Stadium played host to several Ontario University Athletics WLAX matches on September 15.

The Blues entered the weekend tied for fourth place in the OUA with a 1–1 record, after opening the season with a 14–8 loss against the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks and a 6–2 victory over the Guelph Gryphons.

Toronto easily dominated York in every area of the game to earn a commanding 21–4 victory.

Despite the early 8:30 am start time, the late summer humidity was felt from the opening faceoff.

The Blues started the match with eight unanswered goals. Attacker Sarah Morgan played a vital role in the Blues offense, coordinating attacking plays from the right wing. Brynne Yarranton and Mary Frost each scored five goals to lead Toronto.

York attacker Sonya Mwambu was the lone bright spot for the Lions, using her tremendous speed to penetrate Toronto’s defense.

The heat and humidity only got higher ahead of Toronto’s second game of the day. Players from the Queen’s Gaels and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks attempted to beat the heat and relax between matches by taking naps on the concourse, an effective barricade from the sun.

Toronto’s match against the Trent Excalibur was an intense showdown featuring two sides unable to break away from each other, ultimately ending in a 10–10 tie. Trent opened the scoring two minutes into the match and Yarranton promptly answered back for the Blues.

After a strong performance against York, Blues goalie Sierra Watkins had a rough first half as Trent mounted pressure and used cutters to create space in front of Toronto’s goal. Watkins looked more confident in the second half, as the Excalibur fired a flurry of shots toward goal.

Yarranton picked up where she left off against York, netting another five goal performance. Fellow attacker Heather McDougall added four goals for Toronto, and Frost rounded out the scoring with one goal.

Fans, including players from the Blues men’s lacrosse team, stood and cheered during the dramatic final two minutes of the match.

Trent pressed forward and Watkins stopped a shot from point blank range. After possession changed, Yarranton ran toward goal, swerving between defenders and firing a low shot into the far corner to level the score at 10–10.

The play prompted a member of the male lacrosse team to exclaim, “Why aren’t any of our games this exciting?”

Trent committed a foul near their crease, providing the Blues with a prime chance to take the lead. But Toronto’s shot from close range fell just wide of the far post.

The Blues were able to regain possession but unfortunately, as their attackers circled the Excalibur goal and fans eagerly anticipated a game-winner, time expired for the Blues.

On the come-up: Erin Kelly on taking second-year by storm

The Blues striker is focused on finding the back of the net

On the come-up:  Erin Kelly on taking second-year by storm

Amidst the bustle of a Kensington diner, second-year Varsity Blues striker Erin Kelly scans the menu intently. She hums and haws and finally settles for the huevos rancheros, at the hasty recommendation of an impatient waitress.

After placing our order, Kelly stares across at me with apprehension, her fingers interlaced tightly. She can stall no longer.

She smiles nervously and fidgets in her chair. It’s obvious that she’s not in her element. “I can just start talking?” she asks.

The same cannot be said for when she’s on the field. After outplaying even the boys’ team in her hometown of Pembroke, Ontario, Kelly began making hour-long treks to nearby Ottawa in middle school to play striker on elite club teams, where she started every game and scored in most.

A healthy dose of natural talent set her apart from her small-town crowd: clocking in at a whopping six foot two inches and boasting a naturally-athletic build, some would chalk up Kelly’s success on the field exclusively to winning the genetic lottery, but those who know her would disagree.

Erin Kelly catches a small fish. PHOTO COURTESY of ERIN KELLY

“When you make that pass up top to her, you trust that she’ll get the job done, which she always seems to do!” says Blues goalkeeper Vanna Staggolis.

“She brings all of the characteristics one would need in a striker — tall, quick feet, technical, and the courage to take shots.”

Captain and fellow striker Chelsea Cheung adds that Kelly’s “athleticism and willingness to work are two of her greatest strengths [and] now in her second year, Erin has not only her strength and work ethic, but now experience to help her play a bigger role on the team.”

Many would say that it is Kelly’s ability to ‘see’ the field in terms of plays and a team in terms of individual strengths — what her forward counterpart Natasha Klasios calls having a “soccer brain” — that makes her stand out.

This ability to predict and analyze behaviours extends into her life off of the field: Kelly intends to major in Cognitive Science or Psychology, explaining simply that she “likes to understand people.”

“Personalities can definitely play a big role, and the first thing I think of… is [with] coaching staff too, and how you get along with coaches and your relationship with coach and player.”

Teammates appreciate her ability to predict their plays as well. “She… makes everyone around her feel ten times more comfortable, which is critical in the game of soccer,” says Staggolis.

However, Kelly admits that it was this same analytical perspective that held her back in her rookie season. “In the home opener last year, I hit a crossbar. And I think that’s the closest I ever got [to scoring], because I wasn’t in my head. I wasn’t overthinking it,” she recalls.

From there, she says the pressures of starting on a varsity team as a rookie, combined with her tendency to overthink, started to get the best of her. “I think I lost sight a little bit of where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do, and got caught up in expectations for myself, imposed by myself,” she reflects.

This year, Kelly has discovered that this intrinsic pressure to prove herself, a reflexive mentality that has stayed with her from the beginning of her athletic career as a young soccer star on the boys’ team, doesn’t always have to be a source of anxiety.

“I had to prove myself just because I was a girl,” she admits. “And of course, the transition to elite soccer in Ottawa and then again to the OUA [Ontario University Athletics] with the Blues, gives me constant reminders that there’s really good women’s soccer being played out there, and to strive to improve every day.”

Kelly is intent on using her previous source of anxiety as a source of strength and motivation.

Erin Kelly stares intensely at the ball. PHOTO by MARTIN BAZYL, COURTESY of THE VARSITY BLUES

This shift in perspective is what she believes will keep her on an upwards trajectory throughout her second year of varsity sports, and toward scoring her first goal for the Blues. “I never went in with a can-do attitude and I was hoping for the best, instead of expecting the best of myself… That is different this year.”

Anyone watching closely enough would concur. With plenty of chances in the Blues home opener against Trent, Kelly seems closer than ever to her debut varsity goal. It all seems to boil down to an epic leap in confidence and an improved understanding of her place on the field.

Though with a positional counterpart like Natasha Klasios, who ranked ninth in the OUA league with nine goals in 2017 and represented Canada at the 2017 Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire (FISU) Summer Universiade in Taipei, it’s understandable why Kelly was self-conscious as a rookie.

“When I joined the program I had heard a lot about Tash,” she admits, “but she actually wasn’t there when I started because she was competing at the FISU Games.”

This ultimately worked to Kelly’s advantage because she got invaluable time on the field as a rookie, allowing her to find her footing as a striker on the Blues. This year, she intends on working on her partnership with Klasios.

“We are trying to work as a pair to create chances for each other,” says Kelly.

Klasios agrees. “We are definitely continuing to get in sync with one another… As we link up more in future games, hopefully she’ll be feeding me the ball behind the lines and also the reverse — me playing Erin in behind the lines.” Kelly is also confident that this partnership will be fruitful, saying that Klasios is “a great person to learn from.”

Despite heaps of drive and natural talent, Kelly is quick to attribute the support from her teammates and coaches for her improvements — especially the older girls on the team. For example, Kelly spoke very highly of Cheung: “She’s a great leader to the entire group, and especially because we do have a lot of younger players this year, so that’s important.”

In general, Kelly seems to be constantly seeking ways to improve her game and to become an even more powerful asset to the team. “It’s good to learn from [the older girls], so I have the foresight to see how quickly the time can pass and what I can do in that time,” she says.

By constantly improving, Kelly has high hopes for herself and for her team. When I ask if she thinks that the Blues can make it to the OUA quarterfinals this year, she smiles confidently.

“Our captains Julia, Tash, and Chelsea are all leading us in the direction we need to go to. The thing is, once you get yourself into the playoffs, anything can happen. It’s about getting there.”

And of course, there’s the ever-pressing issue of scoring her first Varsity Blues goal. “I have more confidence and I know what I’m capable of, and I’m hungrier,” says Kelly.

Fair warning to the other teams.

Starting off the season with the Varsity Blues Field Hockey Team

Blues earn 2–1 victory

Starting off the season with the Varsity Blues Field Hockey Team

Blues midfielder Emily Ziraldo attempts to strike the ball and collides with Michelle Patterson. DANIEL SAMUEL/THE VARSITY

Blues defender Katherine Obst awaits Calgary’s attackers. DANIEL SAMUEL/THE VARSITY

Blues defender Julia Costanzo chases down Kenzie McMillan-Harrington sprinting toward goal. DANIEL SAMUEL/THE VARSITY

Blues midfielder Isabella Watson battles Dinos midfielder Meghan Norlander as Courtney Andrews and Julia Costanzo watch on. DANIEL SAMUEL/THE VARSITY

 

Blues win 2–0 over downtown rivals

Klasios and Parkes score in victory

Blues win 2–0 over downtown rivals

On a warm Sunday, September 2 afternoon, the University of Toronto Varsity Blues women’s soccer team took on their crosstown rivals, the Ryerson Rams. It only took 17 minutes for the Blues to get their first goal, with striker Natasha Klasios scoring her third of the season from a tight angle.

“The girl kind of took a swing at me but missed the ball, so I got through and I was near the touch line. And then I saw no one else there, so I just started cutting it back. The goalie came out, [so I] just tried slipping it in,” commented Klasios, who notched a goal and an assist, as well as six shots in the game. “Went in. Lucky goal, but I’ll take ‘em,” she said modestly.

In stoppage time at the end of the first half, Klasios drew a penalty in the box and was awarded a penalty kick. However, the shot was saved by Ryerson goalkeeper Elisa Lapadula. Toronto defender Anna Crone also received a yellow card at the end of the half.

In the second half, the Blues were able to lock down defensively and keep Ryerson off the board. Toronto made five substitutions in the second half alone. In the 90th minute, Kristin Parkes was able to seal the game for Toronto off of a brilliant assist from Klasios.

The Blues had 15 total shots this game to Ryerson’s nine, and Toronto keeper Vanna Staggolis made five saves for the shutout victory.

The game was rather chippy, with one player from each team receiving a yellow card. Toronto had five fouls, and Ryerson had eight, seven of them coming in the second half. “We haven’t actually played [Ryerson] in a year, because last year they were our bye, so it’s always a huge game,” said Klasios about their rivals. “In our first and second years it was massive; it’s really exciting, good derby competition and we got the win so I’m happy.”

The win gave the Blues seven out of nine possible points on the season, and it kept them undefeated.

Rams run riot over Blues

10-man Ryerson brush off Toronto 3–1

Rams run riot over Blues

As well as the Varsity Blues played in their opening weekend, it was clear that their fourth game against local rivals Ryerson Rams on September 2 would provide a sterner and more realistic gauge of the team’s chances of playoffs success this season. Based on the evidence offered that hot Sunday afternoon, the Blues must improve at all levels if they are to best last year’s Ontario University Athletics (OUA) quarterfinal exit.

Undoubtedly a harbinger for what was to come, Blues striker Jack Wadden was on the receiving end of a professional foul that forced the fourth-year player to be withdrawn in the 12th minute, with the game tied 1–1. Although the extent of Wadden’s injury was unknown, he didn’t return to the field — under OUA rules, players can be substituted back in — and he left the sidelines at halftime with a sling around his arm. Wadden’s pressing and positioning was sorely missed and, in his absence, the Blues largely failed to perform. This mirrored the team’s opening fixture against Trent Excalibur when, 4–1 up at halftime, Wadden was substituted off and the Blues performed noticeably worse. Even with top scorer Jae Jin Lee replacing him, the Blues failed to add to their solitary goal as Ryerson cruised to a fourth consecutive win.

Prior to Wadden’s injury, the Blues had burst to life following kickoff, in another parallel to the Trent game. Third-year striker Michael Matic, who retained his position in the starting lineup, replacing second-year defender Nicola Russo, lifted a shot over the goalkeeper in the 27th second to put the Blues in the lead. Matic, who had been wasteful with his chances in the Blues’ opening week, took his goal well and laid down a marker of his team’s intent.

The Rams would erase Matic’s early lead with Abdallah El-Chanti scoring from the spot after Blues keeper Stefan Dusciuc conceded a penalty in the eighth minute. The Blues added two shots on target after Wadden’s injury before falling behind in the 25th minute, courtesy of an Andrew Dias goal.

As the Blues searched for an equalizer, Ryerson were content to weather the storm and counter when possible. In the final minutes of the first half, Ryerson defender Nathaniel Tambakis was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession. Despite probing, the Blues were unable to take advantage of their numerical superiority, and the half ended 2–1.

Toronto continued to press in the second half, but an organized and resilient Ryerson restricted their forward movement greatly. In the 54th minute, fourth-year defender Kenny Lioutas swung a deep corner to the far post, but Lee could only strike the bar with his headed effort.

A minute later, a quick Ryerson counterattack forced isolated third-year defender and captain Nikola Stakic to commit a foul that, on another day, might have seen him receive worse than the yellow card the referee brandished. From 20 yards out, midfielder Arya Hemati placed his free kick in the upper left corner of the goal.

The rest of the half followed a similarly worrying pattern as the Blues repeatedly tried and failed to move the ball past Ryerson’s defense. As the half progressed, the Blues pushed further and further up, with Stakic moving into an advanced midfield position. Toronto’s fruitless forays forward only exposed them to numerous counterattacks, leaving Lioutas and midfielder-turned-centreback Gabriel Milo scrambling to react.

To compound the Blues’ misery, a number of wayward passes and cheap giveaways from second-year midfielder Anthony Sousa and Milo — both of whom had performed well in previous games — prevented any semblance of attacking rhythm. Too many times, the team played it wide to the right wing, only to launch blind, directionless crosses into the box.

Blues head coach Anthony Capotosto would have been disappointed with his team’s failure to make the most of their numerical advantage and the lack of composure they demonstrated throughout the match. If Wadden remains injured, they will need to find a way to be more ruthless in front of the goal and more capable of shoring up the midfield.

Varsity Blues women’s soccer open season unbeaten

Klasios, Cheung, and Parkes score in weekend action

Varsity Blues women’s soccer open season unbeaten

Blues striker Chelsea Cheung doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. The fifth-year forward opened her final season for Toronto leading the Varsity Blues to an undefeated opening weekend, as Toronto tied the Trent Excalibur 1-1 and scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).

The Varsity Blues women’s soccer program has undergone an infusion over the offseason, especially on the team’s backline. Toronto started Anna Crone and Alessia Cusimano at centre back in both games, replacing longtime defenders Laura Krkachovski and Christine Mulligan who both graduated last year.

Blues outside back Kelly Johnson also made her first start for Toronto. Johnson was challenged early and often throughout the weekend, as opponents attempted to play the ball wide and utilize speed to get around Toronto’s backline.

The key to Toronto’s success this season will be the play of their attackers, Natasha Klasios, Erin Kelly, and Cheung, all of whom performed well this past weekend.

Klasios showcased why she’s one of the best strikers in Ontario University Athletics, as she scored against Trent, and registered a combined eight shots on goal over the course of the weekend. Against Trent, Klasios earned multiple one-on-one opportunities, routinely using her speed to beat Trent’s backline and challenge Excalibur goalkeeper Mackaylen Bickle.

Klasios found the back of the net on one of those chances, beating her defender and stepping around Bickle to curl a left-footed strike into the open goal.

Aside from her team-high 15 shots, Klasios also played a huge role in Cheung’s 82nd-minute game-winning-goal on Sunday. After Klasios’ initial shot was stopped, Cheung scored on the rebound to earn Toronto’s first victory of the season and its first win over UOIT since 2015.

While Erin Kelly was the only member of Toronto’s front three who failed to score, she provided the Blues with excellent holdup play in both matches. In the 18th minute, Kelly had a great chance to score against Trent, but was unable to outpace the final Trent defender, and her shot was blocked. With her towering height, the six-foot-two Kelly provided the Blues with an excellent aerial threat on set pieces, but was unable to find the back of the net.

The opening weekend also saw Kristin Parkes make a substantial impact in a starting role with the team. Parkes scored her first goal of the season in the 40th minute against UOIT, tipping home fourth-year defender Daniella Cipriano’s corner kick.

The Blues will need to finish more offensive chances and continue to tighten the play of their backline in their coming games. However, head coach Luciano Lombardi should be pleased with his team’s effort to start the season.

Why the Varsity Blues matter

An introduction to The Varsity 's Sports section

Why the Varsity Blues matter

There’s a simple story regarding how I first started writing for The Varsity’s Sports section.

The July before my first semester, I sat across from then-Sports Editor Emma Kikulis in the lounge at The Varsity’s office and shared my ideas with her, in an enthusiastic and nervous fashion, characteristic of an incoming university student.

Back then, I wasn’t aware that eventually succeeding her was even a possibility. I was just eager to write about sports.

A few days before I attended my first class, I sat in the press box at Varsity Stadium and watched the Blues lose a high-scoring 55–33 game to the McMaster Marauders. Blues running back Divante Smith rushed for 112 yards and scored three touchdowns, while Marauders quarterback Asher Hastings threw for a ridiculous 384 yards and five touchdowns. I couldn’t think of a more entertaining introduction to Varsity Blues athletics.

Blues quarterback Simon Nassar, who towered above my audio recorder during the postgame interview, earnestly answered my questions about Smith’s performance and how the team could rebound from the loss. He even mentioned how cool he thought it was that I was covering the football team for The Varsity and thanked me for it.

Three weeks later, I was back at Varsity Stadium to cover the Blues women’s soccer team. The Trent Excaliburs didn’t provide much of an opposing force on that Friday evening, as striker Natasha Klasios scored a hat-trick to lead the Blues to a 6–1 victory.

However, it wasn’t until I became The Varsity’s Sports Editor as a third-year student that I fully embraced Varsity Blues athletics and understood what the program stands for. That happened after I finished an internship for Vice Sports in April 2017.

At Vice, I was educated on Canada’s sports media landscape while working on a story informed by former Ontario University Athletics (OUA) president Peter Baxter on the importance of varsity-level athletics for student athletes and the need for more coverage.

After being elected Sports Editor, it wasn’t hard to guess how I wanted to spend the next year of my life. I just couldn’t have predicted how incredible the experience would be.

When you reflect on an entire year, you tend to recall the big moments first.

It was an easy decision to skip the first day of class and interview Olympic bronze medalist Kylie Masse. Sitting across from Kylie, who admits, “The most important thing for me is enjoying to swim,” she appears likely to be the happiest person in any room with her positive attitude and constant smile.

I also won’t forget the day that Kylie broke her own 50-metre backstroke Canadian and U SPORTS record in the preliminaries and then again that same night in the finals at the U SPORTS Swimming Championships. Nor will I forget the roar of the crowd that followed her in each race that she competed in over the three-day event.

There was something unique about the brisk fall weekends I spent at Back Campus covering the Varsity Blues field hockey team.

Writing about field hockey was a chance to take a break from covering football and soccer and attempt to write about a sport that I initially knew next to nothing about.

I stood next to parents who were cheering on their daughters, jotted quick notes to describe the fast-paced action, and overheard returning alumni converse about how their weekend was going. It was liberating to step outside of the somewhat isolating nature of a press box and into a setting where one didn’t exist.

During the first game I covered, a parent approached me as I sat in the bleachers and typed notes. He was curious about what I was doing. Like Simon, he thought it was great that I was writing about the game. For the length of our conversation on Blues athletics, I didn’t mind being distracted from the action in front of me.

The interviews I conducted are impossible to forget.

Julia Costanzo looks down the field against the Queen’s Gaels. PHOTO BY MARTIN BAZYL COURTESY OF THE VARSITY BLUES

It was incredible to listen to Blues women’s hockey head coach Vicky Sunohara reflect on her illustrious career and memories of winning two gold Olympic medals and hear Emily Ziraldo’s teammates, Julia Costanzo, Rachel Spogue, and Emily’s twin sister Hilary, describe the incredible person she is on and off the field.

After interviewing Blues second-year swimmers Rachel Rodé, Sarah Polley, Hannah Genich, and Sophie du Plessis, all of whom happened to be roommates and won a combined 19 medals at the 2018 OUA Championships, it was inconceivable not to dub them as the ‘Fantastic Four.’ And before speaking to Hannah, I would’ve never considered the idea of hanging medals on a bedroom curtain rod.

Then, there are the moments I experienced vicariously through the words of my section’s writers, like Kate Reeve’s engrossing narrative capturing the shared experience of novice and veterans rowers — not to mention coxswains — competing at the annual Brock Invitational Regatta from the start of their journey as they departed Toronto before sunrise.

The Sports section came full circle with Julia Costanzo’s reflection on her rookie season as a member of the Blues field hockey team. The year ended with Emily and Blues punter TJ Morton being awarded the inaugural The Varsity Athletes of the Year, as voted upon by the section’s contributors.

Julia’s personal essay, “Notes from the dark room,” in The Physical Issue of The Varsity Magazine was impossible to read without confronting how little is actually known about concussions. It’s also the type of sports writing I would have introduced to Emma as an example of why I want to write for The Varsity.

Julia’s writing speaks volumes about her own resilient spirit; her essay detailed the difficult experience she went through after suffering a concussion, but was later able to overcome — an attribute fitting for the outstanding athlete she is, but also reflective of the character displayed by her and fellow student athletes.

That’s the reason why I believe every U of T student should attend Blues games. Any writer who is passionate about sports, wants to learn more, or is maybe just interested in writing about people should take the opportunity to contribute to the The Varsity’s Sports section for the same reason.

I know it’s the most rewarding decision I’ve made so far at U of T.