ottawa GGs

November  7, 2012, VICTORIA (CIS) – Gillian Baggott, a fifth-year defender from the University of Ottawa, was named CIS player of the year in women’s soccer, Wednesday night.

The Ottawa native became the second Gee-Gees player to claim the Chantal Navert Memorial Award since the inception of the trophy in 1995. She joins Noel Trepanier, who was honoured in 2000.

Other CIS award winners announced during the All-Canadian Banquet held at the Harbour Towers Hotel were York striker Nour Ghoneim, who was named rookie of the year; Acadia fullback Alana Fairfax, who received the Student-Athlete Community Service Award; as well as Cape Breton’s Stephen Timmons, who merited the coach-of-the-year award.

The 2012 CIS championship, hosted by the University of Victoria, gets underway Thursday and culminates Sunday at 2 p.m. Pacific Time with the national final. All 11 games from the eight-team tournament will be webcast live on

Official championship website: 

CHANTAL NAVERT MEMORIAL AWARD (player of the year): Gillian Baggott, Ottawa

Baggott will wrap up her stellar university career at this week’s CIS championship. She played one season at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla., in 2007 before transferring to uOttawa and suiting up for the Gee-Gees for the past four campaigns.

In 2012, Baggott was the leader of a stingy defensive unit which allowed only one goal in 16 regular season matches, seven less than any other team in the 18-squad OUA conference. Making fearless tackles, corralling loose balls and dribbling around would-be attackers, the 5-foot-10 senior can be an impassable wall on defence. She also has an impact offensively, sometimes jumping up to start a rush and often finishing set plays in the box with her height and ability to out-manoeuvre opponents. She tallied six goals in league play, good for third on the team.

A three-time OUA East first-team all-star, Baggott was voted to the first all-Canadian unit for the first time this fall, after earning a second-team nod a year ago. In 2011, she competed at the Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China, helping Canada to a fifth-place finish by contributing two goals in her first international tournament. This past summer, she captured a W-League championship with the Ottawa Fury. She will complete her degree in Communications this year.

“In a season of stand-out performances, Gill was the centrepiece of our team,” said uOttawa head coach Steve Johnson. “She is a player that recognized a turning point in her career last year when she attended the FISU Games – since then she became better in every way. She has embraced the opportunity to have her best year as a fifth-year player. She works hard and she cares deeply about the success of this team. On the field, her poise under pressure is what sets her apart.”

Dalhousie midfielder Rieka Santilli, Montreal forward Éva Thouvenot-Hébert and UBC striker Janine Frazao were the other nominees for the Chantal Navert Award.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Nour Ghoneim, York

Ghoneim is the second Lions’ player to earn CIS rookie-of-the-year honours, five years after Stefania Morra.

The Toronto native was dominant in her university debut as she finished third in the OUA scoring race with 13 goals despite playing in only 10 league games, six less than Laurier’s Emily Brown, who led the conference with 15 markers. The liberal arts and professional studies student registered two natural hat tricks during the regular season, in back-to-back contests against Brock and McMaster, and at one point scored nine goals during a four-game stretch. Her efforts were rewarded with a place on the OUA West first all-star team.

Thanks in large part to their super freshman, the Lions were the second-highest scoring team in the OUA West with 32 goals in 16 matches and finished league play with a solid 8-2-6 record.

“Nour is a tremendous player who made an immediate impact on our team this season,” said head coach Carmine Isacco. “We had a slow start to the season offensively, but once she stepped on the field we created significantly more scoring opportunities, both for herself and the players around her, and she contributed nearly half of our team’s goals while playing in only two thirds of the season. I believe her skill as a striker is unmatched in the OUA, and I look forward to seeing what she can accomplish in the future.”

Strikers Chelsea Currie of Cape Breton, Marie-Ève Jacques of Sherbrooke and Krista Gommeringer of Trinity Western were also in the running for the top-freshman award.


Fairfax is the second member of the Axewomen in as many years to receive the student-athlete community service award, after Cathleen Bleakney.

The team captain started 12 games at fullback or centre midfield in her third season with Acadia, contributing one goal and two assists in league play while controlling the back line and keeping the opponent in check.

Fairfax, who hails from Somerset, N.S., has achieved Academic All-Canadian status each of her first two years at Acadia and with a 3.71 grade point average in biology, is on pace to earn the honour again in 2012-13.

A dedicated community leader, her most recent major volunteer effort was this past summer with the Acadia Global Medical Brigade, which involved a 10-day mission to Honduras. She has now taken on the medical chair executive position with the student-led group and is responsible for contacting physicians, pharmacies and medical companies to obtain medical supplies for another expedition to Honduras planned for May 2013. The list of activities and events she is involved with is nothing short of impressive, including S.M.I.L.E., Relay for Life, CIBC run for the cure, Hannah Miller Memorial hockey tournament, WITS anti-bullying program, Acadia Players Association, Wolfville Nursing Home, and Valley United u14 soccer.

“Alana’s list of activities speaks for itself,” said Acadia head coach Amit Batra. “She is a role model for our other athletes, young people in the community, and other students at Acadia in general. All the while, she remains the fittest player on the team, with the best training habits and commitment to off-season training. She achieved Academic All-Canadian status in her first two years and is poised to continue while studying for her degree in biology with a view to entering Medical School in the future.”

The other nominees for the award were Sherbrooke’s Émilie Duquette, Western’s Jennifer Spinozzi and Trinity Western’s Kristen Funk.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Stephen Timmons, Cape Breton

Stephen “Ness” Timmons is a five-time AUS coach of the year and was previously honoured by his CIS peers in 2000.

This season, his Capers took first place in the AUS standings for the first time since 2008 thanks to a stellar 10-0-3 mark and were one of only two teams across the country to finish conference play with an undefeated record, along with the top-ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees (14-0-2). Cape Breton was the best defensive team in the AUS during the regular season with only eight goals allowed in 13 contests and the second-highest scoring squad with 24 goals.

Timmons has been the only coach of the Cape Breton program since 1996 when the Capers first joined the Atlantic conference and in 17 years he has compiled a career regular season record of 125-56-40. He has qualified his team for the last 13 AUS championships, winning the banner six times over the last decade, and in 2007 guided the Capers to their lone CIS title on home turf in Sydney, N.S.

“We are fortunate to have a national-calibre coach like Ness who has helped build such a highly successful women’s soccer program at CBU,” said John Ryan, Cape Breton’s Director of Athletics. “His numerous coach of the year awards are a testament to both his ability as a coach and the quality of student-athletes he recruits into his program.”

Concordia’s Jorge Sanchez, Ottawa’s Steve Johnson and Regina’s Robert Maltman were the other nominees.


The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Wednesday.

Joining Baggott on the first unit were conference MVPs Santilli, Thouvenot-Hébert and Frazao, as well as Trinity Western goalkeeper Kristen Funk, defenders Bahar Sansar of McGill, Robbyn McNeill of Cape Breton and Colleen Webber of Trinity Western, midfielder Andréanne Gagné of Sherbrooke, and strikers Emily Brown of Laurier and Krista Gommeringer of Trinity Western.

Thouvenot-Hébert was voted to the first squad for the third straight year, while Funk, Santilli and Frazao were honoured for the second consecutive campaign. Gagné became a four-time CIS all-star, including three straight second-team nods from 2008 to 2010.

The second all-Canadian group for 2012 includes York keeper Sarah Fiorini, defenders Kelly Cook of UBC, Élyse Turcotte of Sherbrooke and Kelsey Tikka of Laurier, midfielders Michelle Yates of Saint Mary’s, Christine Hardie of Ottawa, Hannah Rivkin of McGill and Natalie Boyd of Trinity Western, as well as strikers Jackie Tessier of Queen’s, Chelsea Currie of Cape Breton and Emma Landry of Dalhousie.


  • Chantal Navert Memorial Award (player of the year): Gillian Baggott, Ottawa
  • Rookie of the year: Nour Ghoneim, York
  • Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Alana Fairfax, Acadia
  • Coach of the year: Stephen Timmons, Cape Breton