Durham Lords enjoy dominant Fall season

The Durham Lords took the Ontario College Athletic Association (OCAA) by storm this fall.

For the first time in Durham College (DC) history, five teams won provincial medals. The women’s rugby squad rode another undefeated season to a gold medal. Women’s softball won silver at the provincial level and added another silver at nationals. Men’s baseball, men’s rugby and women’s soccer all brought home provincial bronze.

“It has been great coming back to Durham College and seeing the teams have that much success,” said Scott Dennis, DC’s new athletic director. “We’re going to be celebrating this season 20 years down the road with some potential Hall of Famers.”

Read on for a closer look at how DC’s teams made us proud this fall.

Women’s Rugby

The Women's Rugby team hold their championship banner and smile at the camera.

For the second consecutive year, the DC women were unbeatable on the rugby pitch. In a perfect 14-0 run through the regular season, they scored 538 points and allowed only 12 for an incredible differential of +526. That dominance earned them a bye through the first round at the 2023 OCAA Women’s Rugby Sevens Championship in Belleville. In the semi-final, they defeated the host Loyalist Lancers 32-0 to advance to the finals, where they won again by a 29-12 score over the St. Lawrence Surge to bring home the gold.  

Dennis – “Perfection would be the word to describe them. They outscored their opponents in the regular season by 526 points. Once again they proved they’re the best team in Ontario.”


Men’s Rugby

The Durham Lords Men's Rugby team smile at the camera.
DC’s rugby dominance extended to the men’s side, with these Lords also registering their second consecutive undefeated regular season.

Their first taste of adversity came at the OCAA Men’s Rugby Championship, where they dropped a hard-fought semifinal match to the Humber Hawks 23-20 in overtime. But they rebounded in the bronze medal match with a 29-7 victory over the St. Lawrence Surge. By bringing home the bronze, they collected their fifth medal in as many years.

The stellar year earned John Watkins the Coach of the Year award.

Dennis – “They’ve proven to be one of the top programs in Ontario year after year. This is John’s second consecutive year winning Coach of the Year. He put together a great team.”


Women’s Softball

The Durham Lords Women's Softball team smiles at the camera.

These Lords earned not one but two silver medals this season.

A 22-2 record earned them second place in the OCAA. Wins over the Mohawk Mountaineers (7-2) and the St. Clair Saints (7-4) earned them a place in the championship. Facing St. Clair once again, they gave their all in a losing effort.

At the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Championships in Victoria, British Columbia, they defeated Western University (7-2), the University of Victoria (4-0) and UBC – Okanagan (7-0) as they marched to the final, where St. Clair edged them out for the gold (8-3).

Dennis – “They’re always in the medal hunt. They won their fourth national medal this year. Getting back on the podium at the national level was a pretty big deal for them and winning silver was a big accomplishment.”


Men’s Baseball

The Men's Baseball team smiles at the camera.

With a 15-3 regular season record, these Lords finished second in the OCAA, but their 205 runs made them the highest scoring team by far (56 ahead of first-place St. Clair). It was also their best record since joining the OCAA in 2013.

By winning the provincial bronze, they earned the fourth medal in program history and their first in four years. They also earned a measure of revenge by defeating Humber multiple times after going winless against them since 2019.

Dennis – “During the regular season they had the best offense, and they showed that in the championships as well. It was good for them to be back on the medal podium.”


Women’s Soccer

The DC Women's Soccer Team smiles at the camera.

With a bronze medal at the 2023 OCAA Women’s Soccer Championship, these Lords stepped on to the provincial podium for the first time since 2018. 

With an 8-1-1 record in the regular season, they qualified for the Championships with a 6-2 victory over the St. Lawrence Surge. A 1-0 decision over the Mohawk Mountaineers punched their ticket to the final four at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Etobicoke. Losing their first game 2-1 to the Humber Hawks, they bounced back against the St. Clair Saints in the bronze medal game with a clutch effort that ended in penalty kicks.

Dennis – “It was Bruce Cullen’s first year as head coach, so winning bronze was a great accomplishment for his first year leading the team.”


Men’s Soccer

The Men's Soccer team and DC president Don Lovisa smile at the camera.An early highlight for these Lords was defeating Ontario Tech in the Campus Cup for the first time since 2015. Vaso’s Field was packed with onlookers as the game was decided in the penalty shootout.

The OCAA’s men’s soccer division was highly competitive this season, with first-place George Brown going 10-0 and the next four teams (including DC) each notching six wins. Though tiebreakers relegated them to fifth place, the Lords were almost unmatched defensively. They allowed only five goals in ten regular season games, second only to George Brown’s four.

Their season came to an end with a 2-0 loss to the Algonquin Wolves in a Championship qualifying match.

Dennis – “They started the year off right for Durham College by winning the Campus Cup, and they had a good run to the playoffs.”



The DC Golf team smiles at the camera.

Our Lords hit the green for three invitational tournaments this season, finishing just shy of the podium in two of them. At the 2023 OCAA Golf Championship in Windsor, a competitive effort landed them in fifth place.

Dennis – “It was a very young team, but they scrapped their way through the regular season and then the Championship and just missed out on Nationals by one stroke. They’re just going to continue to grow.”

For more on the remarkable DC athletes who led the way this fall, click here.