UBC Thunderbirds

October 22, 2012, EDMONTON – Named Canada West field hockey Player of the Year for the first time in her career, third-year student-athlete Kate Gillis has been a consistent offensive leader for the UBC Thunderbirds.

The 5-10 forward has provided the speed and tenacity needed up front to help the Thunderbirds maintain their clean slate record of 8-0-0 and ultimately claim their 10th straight Canada West title.

A current Senior National team player, Gillis scored seven goals during the season to make her the conference’s top scorer. The Ontario native brings great two-way hockey to the UBC lineup, including a key role on both offensive and defensive penalty corners. Gillis originally competed at Boston College University, but returned to Canada and moved out West to prioritize National Team training. Gillis brings a wealth of international experience after competing in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the 2011 Champions Challenge II and the 2011 Pan American Games.

Arguably one of the most talented young players to hit the CIS field hockey scene, UBC Thunderbirds midfielder Hannah Haughn has been voted conference Rookie of the Year.

Haughn has scored seven goals in her first year. Often underestimated because of her 5-3 height, the speedy West Vancouver product has demonstrated consistently why she was selected to play for the Canadian Senior National team at the age of 16. Haughn’s speed, incredible fitness, vision and sensational stick skills mark her as one of UBC’s most threatening two-way players on the pitch. The Handsworth Secondary graduate has captained numerous teams to provincial and national titles and has competed internationally at the 2011 Pan American Games.

Sydney Hamm of the Calgary Dinos is the Goalkeeper of the Year after posting a deceiving 0-7-1 record and a 3.38 goals-against average.

Hamm, a first-year Nursing student from Rossland, B.C., played every minute for a young, overmatched Dinos squad in 2012, posting a 1-1 draw at Victoria on October 7th. The Dinos finished third in Canada West and did not qualify for the CIS Tournament.

Calgary Dinos fifth-year defender and team captain Carolina Romeo has been selected the Gail Wilson Outstanding Contributor nominee to represent Canada West at the CIS awards prior to Nationals.

With a near-perfect GPA in Mechanical Engineering with a Biomedical Specialization, the 20-year-old student-athlete and native Calgarian was a “Top 20 under 20” award winner, where she has gained valuable skills in public speaking and communication. She is the co-Founder of “Play With a Dino!”, a camp for underprivileged kids who normally cannot afford to play organized sports, allowing them to learn directly from U of C Dinos student-athletes.

Through Biomedical Engineering, Romeo has been involved in a number of projects, including Knee Replacement research and Cement Line in Osteonal Cortical Bone research.

Romeo enjoy working with local youth in Calgary, going to local schools to teach young kids how to play field hockey, coaching at the high school level and she has also coached ringette for many years. In the future, she also hopes to work with children in Africa.

On the field, Romeo has been selected a conference field hockey All-Star team for a fourth straight season and is already a three-time All-Canadian.

Jenn Swagar has won her fourth Canada West Coach of the Year award for her efforts with the 0-7-1 Calgary Dinos. Swagar, in her sixth season, previously won the award in 2007, 2009 and in 2010, when she also received CIS honours.

Swagar is familiar with the Dinos program not only as a player but in a coaching role as well. She served as an assistant to Deb Covey-Barnett from 1996-99, then co-coached the team with Anne Kromm and Karen McNeil from 1999-2001. She played for the team from 1991-96, serving as captain in her final season and stepping in as player-coach for a period in 1994. She has also played for several provincial teams.

Saskatchewan native and University of Victoria Vikes men’s field hockey player, Tyler Klenk has been named the field hockey Umpire of the Year.

The second-year student-athlete has exploded on to the island umpiring scene in the last year, earning his regional umpiring certification and umpiring at the Canadian Senior national championships, the Vancouver women’s premier league and for his first time, the Canada West. Klenk’s fitness, decision making and player experience has helped him become one of the Island’s most promising umpires.

Among the All-Stars is 2011 CIS Rookie of the Year, UBC’s Natalie Sourisseau, while fellow T-Birds Poonam Sandhu and Miranda Mann each make the squad for a second straight year and were members of the 2012 CIS Tournament XI.

Looking back further, Sourisseau was an All-Canadian in 2011, while Kyla Kirby of the UVic Vikes returns to the All-Star team after being an All-Canadian in 2010.

Following is a list of 2012 Canada West women’s field hockey awards & All-Stars:


  • Player of the Year: Kate Gillis, UBC
  • Rookie of the Year: Hannah Haughn, UBC
  • Goalkeeper of the Year: Sydney Hamm, Calgary
  • Gail Wilson Nominee (Outstanding Contributor): Carolina Romeo, Calgary
  • Coach of the Year: Jenn Swagar, Calgary
  • Umpire of the Year: Tyler Klenk, Victoria

All-Stars (alphabetical)

  • Keara Chiquen, Calgary
  • Courtney Duggan, Calgary
  • Kate Gillis, UBC
  • Sydney, Hamm, Calgary
  • Hannah Haughn, UBC
  • Kyla Kirby, Victoria
  • Carly Krestanovich, Victoria
  • Miranda Mann, UBC
  • Carolina Romeo, Calgary
  • Poonam Sandhu, UBC
  • Annie Walters-Shumka, UVic
  • Natalie Sourisseau, UBC

The Canada West champion UBC Thunderbirds, winners of the Donna Hunt Memorial Trophy, along with the second-place Victoria Vikess have qualified for the 2012 CIS championship, November 1-4 at University of Toronto.