The season may be over but the Lords soccer teams are still enjoying success.
The 48th Annual Durham College Athletics Banquet came to Oshawa on Tuesday, with Bruce Cullen and Bailey Colangelo being honoured as the male and female athletes of the year.
Cullen, a fifth-year Office Administration student, scored five goals in eight games this year, leading the Lords men’s soccer team to its first OCAA Championship since 1997. He was named a provincial all-star and national all-Canadian, the first Durham College player to do so in nearly 12 years.
However, Cullen says the award was not just a nice surprise, but rather something he had his eyes on all along.
“I think for any athlete, your goal would be to win athlete of the year,” Cullen said. “Everyone works hard to better themselves…and everyone should be recognized for that.”
Colangelo, meanwhile, became the first freshman in school history to ever take home athlete of the year honours. The first-year Pre-Health student helped the Lords cut their goals against totals in half this year, leading to her recognition as the East Region defensive player of the year as well as a regional all-star and the OCAA rookie of the year.
Unlike Cullen, she says she was caught off guard by her selection, but is happy to be rewarded for her efforts this season.
“It wasn’t really a goal of mine, I just wanted to give 110 per cent every game,” Colangelo said. “To get an award like this, just for working hard, is always an honour.”
The two were also awarded the inaugural Vaso Vujanovic bursaries, which will be given to the male and female soccer MVPs over the next five years in honour of the former Lords and UOIT Ridgebacks coach.
While Colangelo is set to return to Durham College for her sophomore year next year, saying she wants to “become a leader for her new teammates,” Cullen will instead look to continue his path on and off the field.
“I’m hoping to continue my soccer career. I’ll be playing [League1 Ontario] this summer and from there hopefully the CPL (Canadian Premier League) will be an option,” Cullen said. “Off the field, I’ll be getting my real estate license, and then we’ll see from there.”
As for the rest of the banquet, the night began with a tribute to the recent tragedy involving the Humboldt Broncos, and also included food, music, and games for the hundreds of students and staff in attendance.
Among the other winners were Connor May of the men’s baseball team and Emily Glendinning of the women’s softball and basketball teams who took home the freshman of the year awards, while the men’s soccer program was named the team of the year.
The full list of winners from Tuesday’s banquet can be found on the Durham Lords website.