November 2, 2012, EDMONTON – UBC’s Gagandeep Dosanjh has been named Canada West men’s soccer Player of the Year. The Abbotsford, B.C. native led the Canada West in goals (12), assists, (9), and points (21), while leading the Thunderbirds to an undefeated regular season (11-0-3) and first place in the conference.
The 3rd year student returned to the form of his rookie campaign in which he scored nine goals on route to being named a First Team Canada West All-Star and helping UBC to a second place finish at the CIS National Championships.
“Gagan has had a terrific season to date and I’m really happy to see him rewarded with this prestigious honor as MVP,” commented UBC head coach Mike Mosher. “Gagan is a real pleasure to coach. On top of his skill and ability on the ball, he is often one of the hardest working players on the game field and practice field. His work rate and competitiveness are second to none and set a great example and standard for his teammates.”
Alberta Golden Bears defender Niko Saler has been chosen Rookie of the Year.
Saler, who is originally from Lethbridge, finished the 2012-13 season with one goal and three assists, as well as with 12 shots on goal, but it is his intangibles, not his stats, that won him the award according to 28-year Alberta head coach Len Vickery.
“Niko is a player that stands-out on the soccer field,” said Vickery. “He has tremendous composure on the ball and is equally adept at defending as well as keeping his team in possession. He has a fantastic left-foot that can switch the ball or deliver a dangerous ball into the penalty area from free kicks and corners. The Golden Bears are extremely happy to have him in our line-up.”
This was the year that Coach of the Year, Trinity Western Spartans Pat Rohla, finally had “his” team.
After taking over as the Spartans head coach in 2009, this was the first year in which Rohla himself had recruited and built the bulk of Trinity Western’s starting lineup. And despite losing nine players to graduation last year, including six starters, Rohla’s squad, with his distinct stamp on it, put together a 9-1-4 record this year – the Spartans best under his direction – and climbed as high as No. 5 in the CIS Top 10. This year, the Spartans, who had two rookies on the back line and a goalie in his first year as the starter, allowed just 12 goals in 14 games. After missing the playoffs just two years ago following a 5-5-4 record, Rohla has brought the Spartans back into both Canada West and CIS contention.
“What a great honour for Pat, to be selected by his peers for this prestigious award,” said Spartans athletic director Murray Hall. “Pat is a humble person, going about his work with a blue-collar approach – getting the job done, day in and day out, as part of our Complete Champion Approach™. He has built a great staff around him, recruited top student-athletes who fit the high performance and high character culture he is instilling in the program. Pat’s team knows the game of soccer, but it is also always learning more and more about what it takes to be contributing and serving citizens on both a local and global scale, as our men’s soccer players are true leaders in community outreach.”
Following is a list of 2012 Canada West men’s soccer Awards & All-Stars:
- Player of the Year: Gagandeep Dosanjh, UBC
- Rookie of the Year: Niko Saler, Alberta
- Coach of the Year: Pat Rohla, Trinity Western
- Fair Play Award: Victoria
ALL-STARS (alphabetical by position)
First Team / Second Team
Jay Vetsch, Alberta / Mark Village, Fraser Valley
Paul Clerc, UBC / Gavin Barrett, Victoria
Will Hyde, UBC / Scott Gilroy, Alberta
Andrew Ravenhill, Victoria / Jeff Marsden, Calgary
Niko Saler, Alberta / Brayden Volkenant, Trinity Western
Brayden Gant, Trinity Western / Brandon Bonifacio, UBC
Brett Levis, Saskatchewan / Cam Hundal, Victoria
Navid Mashinchi, UBC / Zenon Markevych, Alberta
Marco Visintin, UBC / Cameron Schmidt, Alberta
Gagandeep Dosanjh, UBC / Jarvis Ambaka, Trinity Western
Marcus Johnstone, Alberta / Izak Lawrence, Calgary