UBC’s Abigail Raye, Niall Cousens selected 1st Stars of the Week


November 5, 2013, EDMONTON (ISN) – CIS Tournament MVP Abigail Raye led the UBC Thunderbirds to their 15th McCrae Cup national women’s field hockey championship on Sunday, while men’s soccer forward Niall Cousens scored four goals in one half of the Canada West gold medal final in a T-Birds victory.

Women’s 2nd Star, Chelsea Guthrie, was named CIS Tournament MVP as the University of Alberta Pandas claimed their sixth all-time women’s rugby banner and first since 2003.


1st STAR: #15 Abigail Raye, UBC (field hockey)

Home: Kelowna, BC

Height: 5-6

Year: 4th

Academic: Kinesiology

Abigail Raye was named the Most Valuable Player of the CIS women’s field hockey championship in Victoria after leading her UBC Thunderbirds to a record-setting third straight national title on Sunday.

UBC defeated the host Victoria Vikes 4-1 in the final. It marked the 15th McCrae Cup triumph for UBC, with seven of those coming at the expense of the Vikes. The Thunderbirds became the first time ever to claim the CIS banner three years in a row.

Raye, a fourth-year Kinesiology student who is also a member of Canada’s National Team, led UBC on defence and in the midfield, helping control the flow of play. She also chipped in two goals as her team finished with a plus-22 goal differential.

2nd STAR: Chelsea Guthrie, Alberta (rugby)

Edmonton-born Chelsea Guthrie of the CIS champion University of Alberta Pandas was the Canada West MVP in 2012 and helped lead the Pandas to their CIS record sixth Monilex trophy as queens of Canadian women’s university rugby.

Guthrie scored three tries in the CIS tournament, including one in the title clinching game, and she was named the championship MVP and a tournament all-star for her efforts.

It caps off a stellar year for Guthrie as she was crowned a conference and national champion, a championship MVP, a CIS all-Canadian and earlier this summer she helped Canada to a bronze medal at the Summer University Games in Russia.

3rd STAR: #13 Dalyce Emmerson, Saskatchewan (basketball)

Third-year University of Saskatchewan forward Dalyce Emmerson scored a combined 39 points on 16-of-23 shooting while grabbing 20 rebounds as the Huskies opened the season 2-0.

Emmerson opened Canada West conference play with a double-double on Friday night in a 76-54 win over Thompson Rivers. The Prince Albert, SK native scored 18 points while shooting 80% on the evening and added a game-high 11 rebounds. Emmerson also blocked four shots in the contest.

The 6-3 forward came just one rebound shy of her second straight double-double on Saturday against the UBCO Heat while recording game-highs in both points with 21 and rebounds with nine. Emmerson would add four steals, three assists and three blocks in the 94-50 win.

The No. 5 ranked Huskies sit 2-0 after opening weekend and return home this weekend to take on the Brandon Bobcats.


1st STAR: #17 Niall Cousens, UBC (soccer)

Home: Vancouver, BC

Height: 6-4

Year: 3rd

Academic: Kinesiology

Niall Cousens delivered a dominant performance for his UBC Thunderbirds in the Canada West men’s soccer championship game on Nov. 3.

Playing in front of a hometown crowd, the Vancouver native scored four times in the first 22 minutes for UBC, which eventually won the game 6-1 over the Saskatchewan Huskies to clinch the school’s 15th Canada West title.

It took the third-year Kinesiology student exactly 21 minutes and 44 seconds to tally all his goals. Cousens set the league record for most goals in a half and the fastest four goals by a single player in a game.

The talent of the 6-foot-4 forward was on full display on Sunday. The Canada West First Team All-Star was first to get to a loose ball off a rebound to score the opening goal. He headed in crosses on the second and fourth markers, while his great footwork skills dazzled on the hat trick tally.

In the 28th minute, Cousens took a pass from Harry Lakhan at the top of the penalty area. In one motion with his back to the goal, he flicked the ball with backspin past the defender, then spun around him on the other side to regain possession and slot the ball past the Huskies goalkeeper.

Cousens’ four goals equalled his entire output during the regular season.

His UBC team will open defence of their CIS men’s soccer championship on Thursday in Fredericton, N.B., with a quarter-final game on Thursday against the Montreal Carabins.

2nd STAR: #12 Nate Speijer, UBC Okanagan (volleyball)

The UBC Okanagan Heat men’s volleyball team notched their first win of the 2013-14 season on Sunday thanks in large part to the efforts of fifth year outside hitter Nate Speijer.

After falling to Mount Royal in five sets (25-15, 25-9, 21-25, 23-25, 15-10) on Saturday the Heat would rally to a straight sets (25-14, 25-20, 25-22) victory over their Calgary foes on Sunday in Kelowna.

Speijer was a monster in the five set loss, which was nearly a spectacular comeback after dropping sets one and two 25-15, 25-9. He tallied 25 kills, 11 digs and 26.5 points, but it was not quite enough to push his team to victory.

On Sunday, with the Cougar defense keying on Speijer from the opening serve trying everything to stop the Heat’s top offensive player, he was still able to generate 23 points on offense. He had 20 kills at a 35-percent rate, 11 digs and two service aces to complete the impressive stat line – in just three sets.

After two weekends of play the Penticton, BC native is tops in the nation in kills per set (5.87), points per set (6.3) and third in total kills with 88, even with 10 less sets played than total kills leader Ray Szeto from York University.

3rd STAR: #13 Brent Watkins, Lethbridge (basketball)

Junior College transfer Brent Watkins had an impressive conference debut this past weekend, combining for 30 points and 26 rebounds in the Lethbridge Pronghorns road split to open the Canada West conference schedule.

Friday in the ‘Horns conference opening loss to the Fraser Valley Cascades, Watkins record scored nine points and hauled in 16 rebounds.

The next night in the ‘Horns road win over the Trinity Western Spartans, the Temple City, California native recorded his first career CIS double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while only missing two shots from the field. Watkins was 9 of 11 from the field and a perfect three-for-three from the free throw line.

After his first weekend of CIS basketball, Watkins is tied for the conference lead in rebounding, averaging 13.0 boards per game.

Next 3 Stars of the Week: Tuesday, November 12

Canada West Online Publication: www.azbycx1928.com/cw78hjfdbje/