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Parkside wins at OFSAA rugby

 Snyder lifts Parkside to new milestone


   The Stampeders win their first ever game at OFSAA girls rugby,   

   with Snyder scoring twice for a 10-7 win


  May 31, 2022


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By Rob J. Ross

KITCHENER, Ont. - Logan Snyder will be the answer for a Parkside Stampeders' sports history question.

Who scored the winning try for Parkside's first ever win at OFSAA girls rugby?

Snyder had both scores as the Stampeders edged Toronto Northern, 10-7, in a consolation game, on day two of the OFSAA girls triple-A rugby championship, Tuesday, at Eastwood Collegiate.

"Our girls have worked really hard all season," Parkside co-captain Alexis Coombs said. "For that work to pay off is the best feeling I think I've ever had."

Northern led 7-5 late in the second half, before Parkside had a lineout deep in the Northern end.

With Alexis Coombs on the sidelines for the lineout throw, Parkside gained possession of the ball, formed a maul around Snyders and pushed her across the line, for a try, a five-point score.

"We were a little disorganized at first. We lined up and Alexis always makes an amazing throw. We called shopping, which is maul, because it's shopping mall. That's how we remember," Snyder said. "We threw it in and I made sure to get in there and bind on to the ball. We pushed and pushed. Aba (Coombs) and Sophia (Paurys) at the back, they definitely had all the power and that's what got us through. I put down the ball and screamed at the ref, 'look at me, the ball is down'."

A minute later, the Stampeders were celebrating a victory.

"The play we ran was a rolling maul. We have practiced that rolling maul every week all season and that is the first time we've been able to do it in a game," Parkside coach Jeremy Best said. "It's a type of play you need the right situation and right timing. The right timing happened to be the last play of our last game at OFSAA and the girls executed it perfectly."

Snyder, Coombs and fellow co-captain Kira Buck, were in Grade nine when Parkside went winless in three games at OFSAA 2019.

"I never expected to win a game at OFSAA," said Snyder. "My goal at the tournament was for the team to get one try and we ended up getting two. That was really nice."

Down 7-5 at half, the Stampeders made a few adjustments.

"We were getting beat in the rucks a bit," Best said. "Northern was very organized and very quick to the rucks and were winning the balls we should have had. We had to get stronger there and our girls responded in the second half."

Kenzie Kilmer made a couple kicks to gain Parkside yardage, none more important than the boot that placed the Stampeders deep in Northern territory.

"The nerves do kick in, but I think the adrenaline takes over the nerves, so you see the ball and you get hungry for it," Coombs said. "We were very close to that try line. I know our girls are very strong and our fitness is amazing. I called for a maul and the girls pulled through. We pushed hard and went hard to the very end and that is what gave us our win."

Parkside was shutout in their first two games, including by Caledon Mayfield, who went on to win the OFSAA championship.

"It was super hard playing against them," Ellie Daniel said. "We definitely learned a lot. We learned to communicate and learned some plays on the field, that we need to work on. We'll grow and come stronger from this.

"It's such an amazing feeling on how far we've come as a team."

Heading in to the season, the senior captains had a team with many rookies and players new to the sport.

"We did our best to teach them the game and watch them fall in love with it, support each other and work hard. It doesn't get any better and to cap it off with a win is great," Best said. "This season our priority was to get back to OFSAA if we can, to give those girls (captains) one more go at it and the young girls the experience. We played as a fantastic unit. We ran on to the field against teams with mostly running Grade 12s, with eight or 10 Grade nines in our starting line-up. They held their own and competed strong."

One of Snyder's game highlights was carrying a Northern player for about 15 yards.

"It felt great especially when she cussed at me when she couldn't get her feet on the ground," said Snyder. "She was just squirming around."

Mayfield edged Uxbridge, 13-11, in the gold medal match, while Oakville Trafalger won the bronze medal.

"They're one of the elite programs in the province," Best said. "Mayfield, Oakville Trafalger, they are some of the gold standards. We love to get there if we can. We have work to do if the girls want to get the medal round, but it's achievable."



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