Sherbrooke’s Jacques named CIS women’s soccer player of the year


Photo credit Martin Bazyl

TORONTO (CIS) – Marie-Ève Jacques, a sophomorestriker from the University of Sherbrooke, was named CIS player ofthe year in women’s soccer, Wednesday night.

The Sherbrooke, Que., native became the first Vert & Orplayer to claim the Chantal Navert Memorial Award, a trophypresented since 1995 in memory of the late soccer official who wasa strong advocate of women’s soccer in the Sherbrookecommunity.

Other national award winners announced during the All-CanadianBanquet held at the Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel were Westerndefender Jenna White, who was named rookie of the year; Albertastriker Julia Ignacio, who received the Student-Athlete CommunityService Award; as well as Western’s Martin Painter, whomerited coach-of-the-year honours.

The 2013 CIS championship gets under way Thursday at theUniversity of Toronto’s Varsity Stadium and culminates Sundaywith the national final set for 4:30 p.m. All 11 games from theeight-team tournament will be webcast live on

Official championship website:

CHANTAL NAVERT MEMORIAL AWARD (player of the year):Marie-Ève Jacques, Sherbrooke

After leading the Vert & Or to their first nationalchampionship appearance in two decades as a freshman in 2012,Jacques became the most prolific striker in CIS women’ssoccer in her sophomore season.

In 14 league matches this fall, the product of CEGEP deSherbrooke scored a remarkable 21 goals, more than doubling thetotal of her closest RSEQ rivals (10), and added 11 assists to winthe conference scoring race by a comfortable 12-point margin.Behind the stellar play of the business administration student, theVert & Or took second place in the Quebec conference with a10-3-1 mark and were the highest-scoring team in the country duringthe regular schedule with an average of 3.5 goals percontest.

Named a first-team league all-star for the second straightcampaign, the 2012 RSEQ rookie of the year was voted to the firstall-Canadian squad this season, to go with her national MVPtitle.

A former member of the Quebec provincial under-16 and U18programs, Jacques has also excelled at the club level in recentyears, receiving the “Ballon d’or” in the Quebecsenior AAA league in 2011 and being named the top elite player inthe province in 2010. A sign of things to come, she was the MVP ofthe RSEQ’s indoor season last winter.

“Thanks to her physical, technical and tactical qualities,as well as her desire to push her limits, Marie-Ève is anindispensable part of our Vert & Or program,” said headcoach Louis Provencher. “She is truly an exceptional player.As well, she always has kind words for her teammates, she’s areal team player.”

Strikers Karolyne Blain of Cape Breton, Emily Brown of WilfridLaurier and Julia Ignacio of Alberta were the other nominees forthe Chantal Navert Award.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Jenna White, Western

White is the second Mustang to claim CIS rookie-of-the-yearhonours since the inception of the award in 1996. Cristina Bonasiawas the recipient in 2001.

The science student from Winnipeg started every game in herfirst university season and immediately became a key part of adefensive unit that allowed an OUA-low eight goals in 16 conferencematches and tied for the CIS lead with a 0.50 goals againstaverage. Thanks in large part to their super freshman, the Mustangsremained undefeated throughout the regular schedule (11-0-5) forthe first time in program history.

Her standout performance on defence earned White a spot on thefirst OUA West all-star team.

“Jenna has been a great addition for the squad thisyear,” head coach Martin Painter. “She plays with greatintelligence and maturity and has been a great presence for us atthe back all year. Jenna has a great balance of composure andintensity which makes her very effectively defensively. Her rangeof passing and vision also makes her very effective in moving theball, and most impressive, she has shown toughness, consistency andleadership that are outstanding.”

Acadia defender Emily Nickerson, Laval defender ArielleRoy-Petitclerc and UBC striker Jasmin Dhanda were also in therunning for the award.


Ignacio is the third member of the Pandas to claim theStudent-Athlete Community Service Award since it was first handedout in 2005. She joins Jacqueline Smith (2008) and Veronique Mayer(2009) as recipients from the U of A.

In her first season of CIS play, after transferring from theUniversity of Memphis, the education student from Edmonton helpedthe Pandas to a 9-1-2 record and second place in theultra-competitive Canada West conference with a league-best 10goals and 19 points. For her efforts, the former Team Canadaunder-17 player, who represented the country at last summer’sUniversiade in Russia, was named Canada West MVP and a first-teamall-Canadian.

In the community, her soccer contributions include being a YouthProgram instructor / coach with the soccer associations in St.Albert and Sherwood Park, the Alberta Mini Stars Program, and theArchbishop O’Leary High School Soccer Academy. She also hasvolunteered once a week over the past three years as VolunteerChildren’s Liturgy Leader as well as Volunteer Lector at St.Charles Parish. She was an assistant coach with NAIT in the CCAA in2012 and for the Team Alberta U14 team this summer.

“If you were to ask for an example of the best qualitiesof a CIS student-athlete, I would readily present JuliaIgnacio,” stated Alberta coach Liz Jepsen. “She istalented, inspirational, and conducts herself with a high degree ofdedication, grace, and humility. She has impacted the program fromthe minute she joined and will leave a legacy despite her shorttime with us. Her play on the pitch, her leadership, and, of equalimportance, the fact that she wears her heart on her sleeve, makesher a hero in our community. Julia has been an outstandingstudent-athlete in the program and I am certain she will continueto add in an exceptional nature in every endeavour in her brightfuture.”

The other nominees for the award were Acadia’s AlanaFairfax, UQTR’s Stéphany Denault and Toronto’sCaroline Murphy.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Martin Painter, Western

Painter became the third Western bench boss to be named CIScoach of the year in women’s soccer, after Mark Eys in 2001and Sheri Kitching-Fowler in 1997.

In only his second season at the helm, Painter led the Mustangsto a first-place finish in the OUA West division thanks to astellar 11-0-5 record. His troops were one of only two teams in thecountry to end league play with an undefeated mark and were rankedNo. 1 in the final national coaches’ poll of the campaign, onOct. 29. Western’s 39-8 goal differential in conferenceaction was the second best in CIS.

A former Western all-star and a member of the 1999 CISchampionship men’s squad, Painter returned to his alma materin late 2011 to take over the women’s program. He inherited ateam that went 3-10-1 in the fall of 2011 and immediately operatedan impressive turnaround, guiding the Mustangs to a 10-4-2 season ayear ago.

“Martin has brought our women’s soccer program to anew level since re-joining the Mustangs at the end of 2011,”said Thérèse Quigley, Director of Sport andRecreation Services. “In only his second season as head coachhe has made a significant impact at Western and in CIS soccer. Hisknowledge of the game, his ability to inspire young talentedstudent athletes and his competitive instincts areremarkable.”

Cape Breton’s Stephen Timmons, Montreal’s KevinMcConnell and Victoria’s Tracy David were the othernominees.


The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Wednesday.

Joining Jacques and Ignacio on the first unit were Ottawagoalkeeper Cynthia Leblanc, defenders Brigitte Greig of Victoria,Kelsey Wilson of McGill and Kristy McGregor-Bales of Dalhousie,midfielders Julia Francki of Ottawa, Vanessa Kovacs of TrinityWestern and Sarah Wong of York, as well as strikers Emily Brown ofLaurier and Karolyne Blain of Cape Breton.

The second dream squad is comprised of UBC keeper AlyssaWilliamson, defenders Diana Esteireiro of Toronto, Shalla Kadima ofAlberta and Virginie Lévesque of Montreal, midfielders LauraChénard of Montreal, Robbyn McNeill of Cape Breton, JoannaBlodgett of Dalhousie and Jaclyn Sawicki of Victoria, as well asTrinity Western forward Krista Gommeringer.

Brown (2012), Blain (2011), Kadima (2010), McNeill (2012),Sawicki (2011) and Gommeringer (2012) all became two-time CISall-stars.


Chantal Navert Memorial Award (player of theyear): Marie-Ève Jacques, Sherbrooke
Rookie of the year: Jenna White, Western
Student-Athlete Community Service Award: JuliaIgnacio, Alberta
Coach of the year: Martin Painter, Western


Pos. – Athlete – University – Year – Hometown -Faculty

G Cynthia Leblanc Ottawa 3 Granby,Que. Social Work
D Brigitte Greig Victoria 5 Parksville,B.C. Human & Social Dev.
D Kelsey Wilson McGill 4 Pincourt,Que. Arts
D Kristy McGregor-Bales Dalhousie 3 Ottawa,Ont. Recreation
M Julia Francki Ottawa 3 Orleans,Ont. Communications
M Vanessa Kovacs Trinity Western 3 NorthDelta., B.C. Business
M Sarah Wong York 3 Toronto,Ont. Kinesiology & HS
S Julia Ignacio Alberta 4 Edmonton,Alta. Education
S Emily Brown Wilfrid Laurier 3 Waterloo,Ont. Business
S Marie-ÈveJacques Sherbrooke 2 Sherbrooke, Que. BusinessAdmin.
S Karolyne Blain Cape Breton 3 CopperCliff, Ont. Science


G Alyssa Williamson UBC 3 Langley,B.C. Kinesiology
D Emily Nickerson Acadia 1 Coldbrook,N.S. Kinesiology
D Arielle Roy-Petitclerc Laval 1 QuebecCity, Que. Physical Education
D DianaEsteireiro Toronto 5 Etobicoke,Ont. English
D Shalla Kadima Alberta 5 Edmonton,Alta. Science
D Virginie Lévesque Montreal 5 Montreal,Que. Civil Engineering
M LauraChénard Montreal 3 Sainte-Luce,Que. Communications
M Robbyn McNeill Cape Breton 5 Kentville,N.S. Science
M Joanna Blodgett Dalhousie 5 Ottawa,Ont. Science
M Jaclyn Sawicki Victoria 4 Coquitlam,B.C. Education
S Krista Gommeringer Trinity Western 2 Calgary,Alta. General

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body ofuniversity sport in Canada. Every year, 11,000 student-athletes and700 coaches from 55 universities and four regional associations viefor 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS alsoprovides high performance international opportunities for Canadianstudent-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well asnumerous world university championships. For further information,visit or followus on:



Scott Harrigan
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