Donohoe named Player of the Year as T-Birds sweep Canada West field hockey awards

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October 26, 2013, EDMONTON (ISN) – When Canada West handed out its annual list of women’s field hockey awards, it amounted to a line of UBC Thunderbirds waiting to approach the podium.

Claiming annual awards are Rachel Donohoe, Sophie Jones, Bea Francisco, Miranda Mann and head coach Hash Kanjee.

Rachel Donohoe is Canada West Player of the Year and nominee for the CIS Liz Hoffman Award in only her second season of play. The North Vancouver native is a dynamic player that offers speed and tenacity in both ends of the pitch. Internationally, Donohoe helped Canada to a silver medal at the Junior Pan American Championships in 2012 while this past summer she competed at the Junior World Cup where Canada finished 14th after not appearing at the tournament since 2005. Donohoe was recently rewarded with an invitation to travel with the senior national team to Australia.

“Rachel has worked very hard at her field hockey career demonstrating great perseverance and fortitude, which to me exemplifies determination and a sense of commitment to her sport and to her teammates,” aid UBC head coach Hash Kanjee. “This year, Rachel has to take on added responsibility on the team and she did so with great success and flair. On every outing, she will give you everything she can and then some and this is a trait that you just can’t coach. That effort comes from the heart and the love of the game.”

Sophie Jones took advantage of an opportunity for playing time on the UBC roster this season and stepped up to win Rookie of the Year, also moving forward as conference nominee for the Joyce Slipp Award.

The graduate of West Vancouver, B.C.’s Rockridge Secondary School helped stabilize a patchwork UBC defence missing several players down the second-half stretch.

Kanjee said of Jones, “Sophie pays attention to detail and learns quickly. She has talent, no doubt about that but she knows the value of hard work and is willing to do the work to be the best that she can be. These traits will provide the foundation for her to improve and I see a bright field hockey future for this young woman.”

Goalkeeper of the Year Bea Francisco led Canada West in shutouts in 2013, with four. Playing as UBC’s sole goaltender, the Richmond, B.C. native gave up just five goals over the course of the season, despite a number of different lineups in front of her.

Francisco is a two-time Academic All-Canadian and a member of Canada’s Junior National Team that competed at World Cup in Germany this past July.

“Bea is athletic and has great hand-eye coordination, she is a workhorse and knows the value of hard work and embraces it. She pays attention to detail and learns quickly and provides the glue that holds teams together with her bright personality, her positive attitude and her leadership,” said Kanjee.

Miranda Mann, the conference’s Gail Wilson Award nominee, is the epitome of the CIS student-athlete. The UBC Thunderbirds defender is a two-time Canada West All-Star and two-time CIS Second Team All-Canadian. She has already won three CIS championships as a player for UBC. Her teammates describe her as the backbone of the Thunderbirds squad, a great leader who inspires and plays with respect and sportsmanship.

Off the field, the fifth-year Kinesiology student works with two autistic children in Vancouver, giving their families a break from the rigors of a challenging environment. Her passion for the sport of field hockey brings her back to her hometown of Duncan, B.C. every summer, where she runs summer coaching sessions for junior players in the area.

Head coach Hash Kanjee had high praise for Mann.

“Miranda is an exceptional human being who is kind, considerate and someone who always puts the needs of her teammates first. Both on and off the field, Miranda treats everyone she meets with respect, kindness and always gives her very best effort to ensuring that the team atmosphere is positive and inclusive and that differences are dealt with in a fair and mutually beneficial manner. Miranda has a bright personality, a very positive attitude and her leadership skills which all go towards providing the glue that holds our team together. She leads by example and is dedicated and committed to the Thunderbird team philosophy of hard work and constant improvement. She knows and understands the importance of having character, finishing what you start, always doing the best that you can, the value of a good education, treating people how you want others to treat you.”

This is the sixth Canada West Coach of the Year honour for Hash Kanjee, now in his 21st season as UBC Thunderbirds head coach. This year, the team was 4-1-3, but it wasn’t an easy task in 2013. For large parts of the season, UBC went without as many as eight regulars, who were with the Canadian national team at events such as the Pan American Cup.

He was previously honoured as the Canada West Coach of the Year in 1995, 1996, 2003, 2008 and 2011. Kanjee has also been named the CIS Coach of the Year on three occasions (1998, 2003 and 2008).

Keely Dunn of Calgary was named Umpire of the Year.

Following is a list of 2013 Canada West women’s field hockey Awards & All-Stars:

Awards

  • Player of the Year: Rachel Donohoe, UBC
  • Rookie of the Year: Sophie Jones, UBC
  • Goalkeeper of the Year: Bea Francisco, UBC
  • Gail Wilson Nominee (Outstanding Contributor): Miranda Mann, UBC
  • Coach of the Year: Hask Kanjee, UBC
  • Umpire of the Year: Keely Dunn, Calgary

All-Stars (alphabetical)

  • Keara Chicquen, Calgary
  • Rachel Donohoe, UBC
  • Caitlin Evans, UBC
  • Kate Gillis, UBC
  • Hannah Haughn, UBC
  • Shanlee Johnson, UBC
  • Kyla Kirby, Victoria
  • Amanda Kurianowicz, Victoria
  • Kathleen Leahy, Victoria
  • Sara McManus, UBC
  • Natalie Sourisseau, UBC

Previous Awards & All-Star selections:

  • Keara Chicquen: 2012 CW All-Star & 1st CIS All-Canadian
  • Bea Francisco: 2010 CW Goalkeeper of the Year
  • Kate Gillis: 2012 CIS Tournament All-Star, 2012 CW Player of the Year, 2012 CW All-Star & 1st CIS All-Canadian
  • Hannah Haughn: 2012 CIS Tournament All-Star & MVP, 2012 CW & CIS Rookie of the Year, 2012 CW All-Star & 2nd CIS All-Canadian
  • Miranda Mann: 2012 CW All-Star & 2nd CIS All-Canadian, 2011 CW All-Star & 2nd CIS All-Canadian
  • Kyla Kirby: 2012 CW All-Star & 1st CIS All-Canadian, 2010 CIS All-Tournament, 2010 CW All-Star & 2nd CIS All-Canadian, 2009 CIS All-Tournament
  • Sara McManus: 2012 CIS Tournament All-Star
  • Natalie Sourisseau: 2012 CIS Tournament All-Star, 2012 CW All-Star & 1st CIS All-Canadian, 2010 CIS All-Tournament, 2010 CW & CIS Rookie of the Year, 2010 CW All-Star & 2nd CIS All-Canadian

The Canada West champion Victoria Vikes, winners of the Donna Hunt Memorial Trophy for the first time since 2002, along with the second-place UBC Thunderbirds, have qualified for the 2013 CIS championship, October 31-November 3 at the University of Victoria.

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