Nathaniel Marksman, Sports Reporter

Like most athletes who play at a competitive collegiate level Claudia Piazza knew the college dream wouldn’t last forever but she did not expect her final season to be cut this short. 

As a senior member of the Humber Hawks women’s varsity indoor soccer team Piazza played for three consecutive years but COVID-19 robbed her of the semifinals and finals matches in her final season during the 2020 indoor season.

“It didn’t feel real at all, I’m still not sure if it does. I didn’t think I would play my last Humber game without even knowing it was my last,” said Piazza, explaining how heartbroken she was knowing it was the last time she stepped on the field as a Hawk.

Piazza started soccer at the age of three and through the years has played for Bram’s United Girls Soccer Club, Team Ontario, Oakville Soccer Club, The University of Toronto and finally joining Humber’s Varsity women’s team.

Throughout her Humber years, she won different awards including two OCAA Silver medals, two OCAA championship All-Star awards, three OCAA league All-Star awards, two OCAA indoor championships and MVP of the 2019 OCAA indoor season.

Piazza said her accomplishments and work ethic are all because of her elder sister, and a former coach, Joe Nucifora, who passed away due to cancer.

She said having supportive team and positive people in her life made soccer so important to her.

“Soccer means so much to me because it has always been a part of my life,” Piazza said. “I really identify as a soccer player, it’s what represents me.

“I think it is super important to me because it is something that I excel in and have so much pride and passion for,” she said.

Humber Hawk midfielder Claudia Piazza receives a pass from teammate Lily Campbell during a 2018 game against the Sheridan Bruins in Oakville, Ont.

It’s hard for her to recall just one soccer game with the Hawks that brings out every emotion. Her most memorable game was when her mother drove her to Sudbury.

“My mom and I drove all the way to Sudbury instead of taking the bus with the team because I had to work,” Piazza said. “It was exciting and rewarding because I was able to show the team that I wasn’t only the new girl and I actually deserved to be on their team with them.”

Piazza holds the responsibility of reminding the rookies on the team why they should look up to her. She is a prime example of a soccer player that loves to express her love for the game whenever she steps on the field. Assistant coach Jose Caro of the varsity women’s soccer team said Piazza was one of their key players that dominated the midfield .

Piazza said although she will be leaving the team, she will continue to play League One and coach on the side.

“In my heart I will always be a Hawk.”