Women's hockey announces four additions to 2019-20 roster
TORONTO — Ryerson’s women’s hockey team announced today their 2019-20 recruiting class, consisting of defender Abby DeCorby and forwards Emily Baxter, Mia Morano, and Alexia Ursua.
A program-best 43-point regular season campaign saw the Rams enter the playoffs seeded fifth in the OUA; Ryerson would upset the Queen’s Gaels in back-to-back games to earn their first playoff series win in program history but would eventually fall to the soon-to-be provincial and national champions, the Guelph Gryphons.
Last year’s nine-player recruiting class brought in a group of core freshman including the reigning U SPORTS Rookie of the Year, Erika Crouse. This year, the Rams have yet again shored up their roster with the additions of Baxter, DeCorby, Morano, and Ursua.
This year’s recruiting class features two local Provincial Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) players in Baxter and Morano, while Ursua and DeCorby are set to join the Rams from out west.
With only one graduating player from the team’s 2018-19 roster, the Rams have no immediate holes to fill this year. But, as head coach Lisa Haley says, the new recruits will address some specific needs on the returning team.
“Abby [DeCorby] is a right-shot defender, which we really needed as six of our returning defenders are lefties,” says Haley. “Upfront, all three of our incoming forwards bring some speed and versatility to our team.
Our young team is now a year older, with bigger expectations on their shoulders. Our four incoming recruits have played key leadership roles within their club teams, so their level of maturity is high, which will be key considering the ambitious goals we have for ourselves this season."
The full recruiting class can be found below.
2019-20 Recruiting Class (Alphabetical Order)
Emily Baxter - Forward - Oakville, Ont.
Emily Baxter is set to join the Rams after spending the last three years with the PWHL’s Burlington Barracudas. In her final season with Burlington, Baxter totaled 14 goals and 10 assists in 28 regular-season contests. She served as one of the team’s alternate captains in both 2017-18 and 2018-19.
“I can see her making an impact with our forward group right away,” says Haley. “Her hockey IQ is very high, and she has the ability to play with many different styles of players [...] She is calm under pressure and has the confidence to want to be in big moments.”
The Oakville native has seen a lot of success in the baseball world, as well; Baxter has competed at several Canadian Championship tournaments for Ontario’s U21 team, taking home a gold medal in 2017 and a bronze in 2016. She was selected to compete with Team Ontario and Team Ontario’s U21 team yet again in 2019.
Baxter graduated from Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School where she played varsity hockey, volleyball, fast pitch, and field hockey. A three-time Academic Award of Excellence recipient, Baxter was named MVP of both the ice and field hockey teams and graduated as the school’s Senior Female Athlete of the Year.
Baxter will enter Ryerson’s Biomedical Sciences program in the fall.
“I have a chance to study the program that interests me and continue to play the game that I love at an elite level,” says Baxter on why she chose Ryerson.
Abby DeCorby - Defender - Saskatoon, Sask.
Saskatoon native Abby DeCorby will suit up for the Rams in 2019-20 after wrapping up her successful minor hockey campaign with the Saskatoon Stars of the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League (SFMAAAHL). The defender racked up 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in her final year with the Stars.
“Abby will immediately bring more size and play-making ability to the right-side of our D corps,” says Haley. “Abby comes from a very successful and well-respected program in the Saskatoon Stars, so her transition to university-level hockey will happen quickly and smoothly.”
DeCorby’s Stars won the regional championship as well as the SFMAAAHL provincial championship in both 2017-18 and 2018-19. She has competed in back-to-back Esso Cups with Saskatoon, earning a silver medal with the team in 2018. DeCorby tallied two assists at this year’s national midget championships as her team finished fourth in the tournament.
“I am a big two-way defenceman who can shoot hard and make a good first pass,” says DeCorby.
A four-time honour roll student at Centennial College, DeCorby will begin working towards a degree in nursing at Ryerson this fall.
“I like the campus and the feel of it, and I feel like I could excel there,” says DeCorby on why she chose to attend Ryerson.
Mia Morano - Forward - Toronto, Ont.
Toronto’s Mia Morano is the third addition to the Rams’ 2019-20 recruiting class. Morano joins the Rams after spending last season with the Toronto Aeros of the PWHL; in 36 regular-season games, Morano contributed two goals and eight assists.
“Mia is someone we’ve had our eye on for quite a few years and we are excited to have recruited her to Ryerson,” remarks Haley. “She’s got an instinctive mind for the game, is able to anticipate the play very well and creates turnovers and scoring chances for herself in the blink of an eye.”
Before her time with the Aeros’ PWHL team, Morano suited up for the organization’s AA team (2016-2018). In 2018, Morano’s Aeros finished the regular season ranked first in the league and went on to earn a provincial bronze medal in Ontario’s AA midget championships.
A graduate of Silverthorne Collegiate Institute, Morano will begin her studies in Ryerson’s Nutrition and Food program in the fall.
“I was impressed by the openness and support of the coaching staff, and the facilities and athletic trainers at Ryerson are second to none,” says Morano. “As invested as I am in sports, academics are still very important to me, and the programs offered by Ryerson are nothing short of excellent. Ryerson offers the best of both worlds.”
Alexia Ursua - Forward - Surrey, B.C.
Alexia Ursua is the final addition to Ryerson’s 2019-20 recruiting class, set to join the Rams after serving as an alternate captain last season with the Greater Vancouver Comets. In 31 regular-season games in British Columbia’s Female Midget AAA (BCFMAAA) league, Ursua totaled 15 goals and 27 assists (42 points).
“We are very excited about what Alexia brings to our program,” says Coach Haley. “She is very crafty with the puck, with some great vision and play-making ability. Off the ice, Alexia brings the same tenacity to her academics and training. There’s no question she is capable of succeeding in a demanding BSc. program at Ryerson and will be a great student-athlete ambassador for our school.”
Last season, Ursua’s Comets were crowned league champions and went on to tally a second-place finish at Alberta and B.C’s regional championships. Prior to her time with the Comets, Ursua suited up for the Delta Hockey Academy’s midget prep team.
A graduate of Burnsview Secondary School and a three-time honour roll student, Ursua is set to enter Ryerson’s Biology program in September.
“The atmosphere of the school is like no other,” says Ursua on why she chose Ryerson. “The amount of resources the school has and it’s fast-growing innovation is something very unique to Ryerson.”