November 7, 2012, QUEBEC CITY (CIS) – Samuel Georget, a fifth-year midfielder from Laval University, was named CIS player of the year in men’s soccer, Wednesday evening.

The native of Segré, France, became the second Rouge et Or player to capture the Joe Johnson Memorial Trophy. Teammate Julien Priol was honoured in 2010.

Other CIS award winners announced during the All-Canadian Banquet held at Loews Le Concorde Hotel in downtown Quebec City were Alberta defender Niko Saler, who was named rookie of the year and received the Lou Bilek Award; Mount Allison defender Chris Vizena, who claimed the Student-Athlete Community Service Award; as well as UNB’s Miles Pinsent, who earned coach-of-the-year honours.

The 2012 CIS championship, hosted by Laval University, kicks off Thursday and concludes Sunday at 2 p.m. with the gold-medal final. All 11 matches from the eight-team tournament will be webcast live on

Official championship website: 

JOE JOHNSON MEMORIAL TROPHY (player of the year): Samuel Georget, Laval

Georget was named an all-Canadian for the third time in 2012, adding to a first-team selection a year ago and a second-team nod in 2010. Voted MVP of the Quebec conference for the second consecutive year, he had earned RSEQ rookie-of-the-year honours back in 2008, when he was also named to the league’s second all-star squad. In 2009, he was part of the Rouge et Or team that claimed the first – and only – CIS banner in program history.

This season, Georget finished first in Quebec in goals (6), assists (6) and points (12) in 12 league matches. Chosen his team’s game MVP on three occasions, he was always in the middle of the action for Laval as he handles most of the corners, free kicks and penalties. He greatly contributed to his side’s remarkable campaign as the Rouge et Or took first place in the RSEQ standings with a 9-0-3 mark and was one of only three undefeated teams in the country in conference play.

Georget started playing organized soccer in his native France at age four. From 14 to 17, he suited up for ES Segré, a team that competed in regional and national competitions. He then joined Voltigeurs de Châteaubriant (2005 to 2007), a competitive senior club, before crossing the Atlantic in 2008.

Georget, a Master’s student, also excels in the classroom and last year maintained a perfect 4.33 grade point average in his psycho-pedagogy program. In 2011, he was nominated for the prestigious Jean-Marie De Koninck academic award at the annual Rouge et Or gala.

“When Samuel Georget has a good game, the team has a good game,” said Laval head coach Samir Ghrib. “He is an exceptional person, student and athlete. His work ethic is remarkable and he is a stellar student with a perfect GPA. On the pitch, he’s an amazing player at both ends of the field. I can’t thank him enough for all he’s done for the Rouge et Or program.”

The other nominees for the Joe Johnson Trophy were Saint Mary’s midfielder Derek Gaudet, York striker Adrian Pena and UBC striker Gagandeep Dosanjh.

LOU BILEK AWARD (rookie of the year): Niko Saler, Alberta

Saler is the second member of the Golden Bears program to win the Lou Bilek Award since its inception in 1999. Current teammate Marcus Johnstone won it in 2010.

The 5-foot-10 physical education and recreation student joined Alberta with a solid pedigree. A member of the Vancouver Whitecaps residency program (2012) and of FC Edmonton (2010-12), he won a national championship with the Calgary Foothills Soccer Club in 2009, a silver medal at the Canada Games in 2008 and bronze at the BMO national championships, also in 2008.

Saler, who hails from Lethbridge, Alta., finished his first CIS season with one goal, three assists and 12 shots on net, while helping the Bears to a first-place finish in the Canada West Prairie division with a 9-2-4 mark. It is his intangibles however, 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. Considering that he has already played within the Vancouver Whitecaps residency program, as well as with FC Edmonton, the Golden Bears are extremely happy to have him in our line-up and to continue his development as a soccer player.”

Acadia defender Andrew Snyder, Laval midfielder Lawrence Hone-Blanchet and York midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye were also in the running for the top-freshman award.


Vizena becomes the second Mount Allison recipient of the student-athlete community service award in as many years, joining Stuart McAdam.

On the pitch, the 6-foot right back has played every game since he joined the Mounties in the fall of 2009.

A senior in biology and biochemistry, the native of Osgoode, Ont., is completing his Bachelor of Science degree while majoring in global health and minoring in psychology. With a cumulative grade point average over 3.7, Vizena unbelievably still finds time in his busy schedule to play soccer, serve generously for world health, do research, tutor, volunteer, coach, teach, and give back to his community.

An Academic All-Canadian every year he’s been at Mount Allison, Vizena has served his team, university and community in so many ways over his four seasons in Sackville, N.B. Heavily involved with the world’s largest student-led global health organization, Global Brigades, his “to do” list is a long one. This past year alone he was chairman of the University Athletic Affairs Committee, executive member with both the Psychology Society and Mounties in Motion, coach of a U-14 boys soccer team, a tutor for countless students, labs and classes, a mentor and friend to international students, hospital-bound seniors, disadvantaged youth, and middle-school kids. He also found time to be a research assistant, a campus tour guide and an active participant in numerous charity and leadership events such as Relay for Life, Shinerama, and Leadership Mount Allison.

“With a big heart, Chris works hard through it all, and as a generous contributor he quietly provides selfless service to our team and community every day he plays, learns and works here,” said Mount Allison head coach Roy Chineh.

The other nominees were Laval’s Vincent Cournoyer and Ryerson’s Peter Haastrup.


Pinsent is the second UNB coach to be honoured by his CIS peers after Gary Brown, who claimed the award back in 1980. Before this year, Pinsent had already been honoured at the AUS level twice, including in 1995 in women’s soccer and in 2003, when he was co-recipient of the men’s trophy.

In his 10th campaign at the helm of UNB’s men’s team, Pinsent led his troops to a rebound season this fall after the Varsity Reds missed the playoffs a year ago for the first time during his tenure. The V-Reds improved from their 3-6-4 record in 2011 to finish first in the Atlantic conference with a 9-3-1 league mark. They kept the second best defensive record in the AUS with only nine goals allowed in 13 games and ended the regular schedule with eight straight shutout victories to edge Saint Mary’s by a single point in the standings.

Pinsent, who graduated from UNB with a Bachelor of Physical Education and also a Bachelor of Education, led the V-Reds to the AUS banner in 2006 and now has a career regular season record of 62-34-31.

“Miles has done such an outstanding job with our program,” said UNB Director of Athletics John Richard. “After missing the playoffs last season for the first time in his career, and getting off to a 1-3-1 start this fall, he stayed true to what he believed in and has got his student-athletes focused and believing at the right time. He is so passionate and dedicated to his student-athletes, his soccer team and our V-Reds program.”

UQTR’s Pierre Clermont, Queen’s Chris Gencarelli and Trinity Western’s Pat Rohla were the other finalists for the CIS coach-of-the-year award.


The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Wednesday.

Joining Georget on the first unit were conference MVPs Gaudet, Pena and Dosanjh, as well as Alberta goalkeeper Jay Vetsch, defenders Nafi Dicko-Raynauld of Laval, Branko Majstorovic of York and Alexis Pradié of McGill, Cape Breton’s Jason Massie at midfield, and forwards Andrew Latty of Carleton and Marcus Johnstone of Alberta.

Like Georget, Pena became a three-time CIS all-star, including a pair of first-team nods. Pradié was also a first-team member a year ago.

The second all-Canadian squad for 2012 is comprised of Saint Mary’s keeper Adam Miller, defenders William Hyde of UBC, Andrew Pastoric of McMaster, Kerry Weymann of Dalhousie and Markus Molder of Ryerson, midfielders Benjamin Law of UNB, Brayden Gant of Trinity Western and Charlie Trafford of York, as well as strikers Brett Levis of Saskatchewan, Andrew Bryan of Concordia and Jimmie Mayaleh of UPEI.


  • Joe Johnson Memorial Trophy (player of the year): Samuel Georget, Laval
  • Lou Bilek Award (rookie of the year): Niko Saler, Alberta
  • Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Chris Vizena, Mount Allison
  • Coach of the year: Miles Pinsent, UNB