Hayley Desjardins wins OUA Player of the Year award

Photo by Eva Ou

The Wilfrid Laurier women’s rugby team’s season came to a crashing end at the hands of Western in the OUA playoffs.

But the end of the season was bittersweet for fifth year veteran Hayley Desjardins, who was recently named the OUA player of the year. 

Needless to say, Desjardins had an outstanding season, and she became the first Laurier women’s rugby player to win this prestigious award.  

With this being her final year at Laurier, this was the perfect way for Desjardins to end her Golden Hawk career. 

“I’m sad the season’s over. We expected more of an upset with Western at the end of the season there, but regardless of that this is the best season I’ve had in all my five years playing with the girls,” she said. 

“I’m happy with the amount of recognition women’s rugby is receiving this year. We’re a growing and developing program and we’ve accomplished a lot together,” she added.

Desjardins scored 25 points for the Hawks during the regular season, good for thirteenth in the conference. 

Even though Desjardins is ready to say goodbye to her university playing career, she still plans on staying involved with rugby post-graduation.

Her standout performances were one of the biggest reasons behind the Hawks success this season and her presence on the women’s rugby team will be sorely missed. 

She hasn’t just been a leader on a successful rugby team, Desjardins has also played a major role in the progression of the Laurier women’s rugby program through her consistent hard work year after year.  

When asked what advice she would give to new recruits and the young players on the team, Desjardins mentioned the importance of patience. 

“I would just say try your best. Not everyone’s going to get one of those 15 starting positions in their first couple of years but you’ll eventually get there,” she said. 

“I’ve learned a lot from some of our alumni. They’re some of the best players I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing with.” 

“This group of girls are also my best friends. I got to spend every day with them so I would just cherish being a part of the team.”

Even though Desjardins is ready to say goodbye to her university playing career, she still plans on staying involved with rugby post-graduation. 

“I’ll definitely still be playing [rugby] in the summer season, probably with the Markham Irish Rugby club and I’ll be back to cheer the girls when they have home games,” she concluded.

Desjardins is a role model for all the girls on the women’s rugby team, and it’ll be intriguing to see how the Hawks move forward without one of their best players ever. 

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