Recognized for greatness

The Ontario University Athletics (OUA) recently announced the women’s rugby all-stars, rewarding students for their hard work throughout the season.

Wilfrid Laurier University had only one representative in the all-star game, and it was rookie standout Trish Shurrie.

The first-year rugby player is in her third year of university, and took an interesting path to playing OUA rugby. Shurrie started off her career at Laurier playing soccer, but switched to rugby prior to the start of this season.

“Playing soccer was great and the girls were awesome,” said Shurrie, “But I do think I helped this team out more so I decided to switch and [my rugby teammates] made it that much easier.”

However, despite her teammates helping her adapt to the big change, there were some challenges that the third-year business student was confronted with.

“Obviously, it’s a different sport entirely, and at times it was pretty interesting. Soccer is more technical while rugby is more physical, so I could just go hit somebody when- ever I wanted to,” said Shurrie.

And now that Shurrie has accomplished such an impressive feat, being an all-star in her first year of play, her focus and goals are strictly team oriented and about changing the attitude surrounding Laurier rugby.

Unfortunately, the Golden Hawks were best known this year for losing 125-0 at the hands of the Guelph Gryphons. What needs to be understood about this, however, is that it is more of an indictment on Guelph and how good their team was, than about Laurier, something Shurrie is quick to point out.

“Guelph is an amazing team. Their goal was to put up 100 points on everyone and we got a lot of flack cause we were the first team they did it to, but they did it a bunch [against many teams] and creamed everyone,” said Shurrie, irritated by the mentioning of the defeat.

“The score of our games did not always reflect the game itself and how well we did [because] we were improving.”

Improving was key. It was evident throughout the season as the young team gained more valuable experience and got more competitive with every game they played.

Laurier now has the opportunity to turn around their team as the young core looks to show just how much they improved come next season. One thing they have going for them is their best players approach.

“Now that I’ve finished my first year, it will be easier to connect with the girls and I’ll get more respect and be more than just a rookie. Now I can be more of a leader and help develop the team.”

The Golden Hawks look to be in a better situation next year as they not only have their all-star Shurrie, but have a young group that saw a lot of playing time this year and will be in a better position to win next season.

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