You won’t hear clunking helmets or shoulder pad collisions, but you will hear fans roar, coaches cheer, and pigskins thrown above a field occupied by the University of Toronto Varsity Blues powderpuff flag football team as they battle it out against other universities in this year’s annual Wilfred Laurier University tournament.
This team has had an incredible season; they hosted their annual tournament on January 16 to 17, where they played seven games and won all of them, taking home the championship trophy. The women had their second tournament on January 30 at McMaster and once again they played seven games, winning all but one game to the hands of the Mac women. The losing effort turned out to be a blessing in disguise; discouraged that they lost by a field goal, the women took a couple of hours’ break to regroup and get back into the spirit to play McMaster again in the championship game. Coming together and learning from their mistakes, the women were able to defeat Mac on their home turf and take the championship trophy yet again.
It was the first time in U of T women’s flag football history that the team won not only the McMaster tournament, but the first time they won the Laurier tournament, a feat they achieved just last weekend in Waterloo. It has been their goal since the beginning of the season to come into these games with a competitive mindset and strive for victory. Ultimately, the OUA PPF championship at Laurier solidifies them as the most dominant team in Ontario.
“We came together as one of the best teams this program has ever seen and we proved that. I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing season,” says head coach Kevin Collins.
Molly Woudenberg, UTM student and rookie captain of the squad, reflected on the team’s winning ways through her positive outlook and sentiments regarding her team’s performance in the recent games.
“It’s been great; I’m the rookie captain, so I try to lead by example and show the first-year powderpuff players that they can contribute just as much as the veterans and that their role is important,” Woudenberg says. “We lift each other up well and everyone is supportive. Whether it’s a good play or not, there’s always someone right there to cheer them on.”
The win at Wilfrid Laurier University is the team’s third consecutive tournament this season.