Cassidy Noonan of the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves likes to roam the field aggressively when playing high school rugby. And during the Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference semi-final on Monday (May 27), she certainly made her presence felt.
Sent off for 10 minutes because of a yellow card, Noonan returned and converted all three of her team’s tries as Brebeuf edged Christ the King Jaguars, 21-20, at Mohawk Sports Complex.
Cassidy Noonan (3) didn’t let a yellow card stop her from leading her team to a win at the GHAC semi-finals.
(Photo: Gerry Graham)
But it wasn’t just her kicking that stood out. Noonan also excelled defensively.
“Cassidy was a powerhouse,” Brebeuf’s coach, Sebastian Krupinski, said. “She made a lot of tackles. She was first to contact a lot of the time, even though she’s one of our forwards.”
Noonan was penalized for making a high tackle. That left her team temporarily playing one man short during the evenly-matched contest against the squad from Georgetown.
“I got one yellow card and was very close to getting a second yellow card,” Noonan said. “I’m an aggressive player. This was the first time I’ve ever been penalized for it. I tried to go low, but I guess I got up too high.”
The tries for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association champions were scored by Humna Wasim, Laura Chechalk and speedy Alize Spalding-Lawrence.
The Jaguars, who led 15-7 at the half, got two tries by Maddie Jenkins and one apiece by Rachel Lauryssen and Kennedy Watchorn.
“Cassidy has got a very good foot, too,” Krupinski said. “If it wasn’t for those three conversions, we wouldn’t have won by one point.”
Said Noonan: “When I was placing the kicks, I was praying to God, ‘please let this go in.’ I’ve been practising (kicking) for weeks on our field.”
Christ the King made a strong bid to regain the lead in the late stages but was stopped about five metres from the Brebeuf goal line as the final whistle sounded.
“We were so very close,” said Jaguars’ coach Stephanie Merrick. “It was heartbreaking.”
The Jaguar girls’ rugby program was launched six years ago. In comparison, this is only the second year for the sport at Brebeuf.
Brebeuf celebrates their semi-final win at the GHAC semi-final. (Photo: Gerry Graham)
The Braves will face the Oakville Trafalgar Red Devils Tuesday (May 28) at 2 p.m. at Mohawk Sports Complex for the GHAC title. Both teams are undefeated this season.
“Judging by the points for and points against, we’re almost the same,” Krupinski said of the comparison between the Halton and HWCCA champions. During the regular schedule, the Red Devils yielded just 25 points while scoring 318. Brebeuf, in five games, allowed 12 points and scored 176.
Oakville Trafalgar captured the Halton crown with a 48-0 victory over Oakville St. Thomas Aquinas, while Brebeuf topped Bishop Ryan Celtics, 10-0, in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic final. In Monday’s other GHAC semi-final, Oakville Trafalgar trounced Bishop Ryan, 61-5.
The Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations tournament for Triple and Quad A schools is June 3-5 in Waterloo.