Kovacs named Canada West 1st Star of the Week, Jackson 2nd Star


November 12, 2013, LANGLEY, British Columbia (ISN) – After being named the MVP of the CIS women’s soccer championship, midfielder Vanessa Kovacs (North Delta, B.C.) was named Canada West 1st Star of Week while fellow Spartan Alison Jackson (Vermilion, Alta.), who won the Canada West gold medal at the CIS cross country championships, was named the 2nd Star of the Week.

Since Canada West moved to a 3 Stars of the Week format this year, this is the first time two athletes from the same university have earned 1st and 2nd star honours in the same week.

1st STAR: #13 Vanessa Kovacs, Trinity Western (soccer)

Home: North Delta, BC

Height: 5-5

Year: 3rd

Academic: Business

Kovacs played a key role in leading TWU to its second straight national title after beating Montreal 1-0 Sunday afternoon in the CIS championship gold medal game in Toronto.

Her offensive and defensive presence helped the Spartans control the centre of the park as TWU finished the tournament having outscored its opposition 5-0 and outshooting its opposition 34-14.

Kovacs was not only the MVP of the tournament, but she was also voted player of the match in two of the Spartans three contests. She was named player of the match in both the Spartans 3-0 quarter-final win over Laurier and their 1-0 win over Montreal in the final.

The championship win was Trinity Western fifth CIS women’s soccer title, tying UBC for most ever in women’s soccer. It was also the second time the Spartans have won back-to-back CIS championships. TWU now has a .850 (17-3-1) winning percentage at the national tournament and is 5-0 in championship matches.

In addition to her tournament awards, Kovacs was also named a CIS First Team All-Canadian.

2nd STAR: Alison Jackson, Trinity Western (cross country)

On the cross country trails, the fourth-year Jackson, who earned Canada West individual gold, helped the TWU women’s cross country team capture the Canada West team championship for the first time in program history Saturday at the CIS national championships at the Thames Valley Golf Course in London, Ont.

Jackson, who crossed the line 22nd overall and fifth in Canada West last year, finished the six-kilometre race in 21:25.1. For efforts in this race and throughout the season, Jackson was named Canada West Athlete of the Year. Her result also garnered her CIS First Team All-Canadian and Canada West First Team All-Star honours.

“Alison has had a phenomenal season,” said Spartans coach Laurier Primeau. “This is a girl who, in her first year at TWU, was lapped in the 3000m at the indoor Canada West championships. Now she’s one of the best runners in the nation. More than that, she is everything that Trinity Western stands for. She’s a great student. She takes her faith seriously. She gives back to the community and she simply exudes all of TWU’s values.”

3rd STAR: Rebecca Sass, Manitoba (cross country)

At the 2013 CIS Cross Country Championship at Western University in London, ON held on Saturday, November 9, both Manitoba Bisons cross country teams completed their season. The Bison women’s cross country team placed 17th overall (sixth in Canada West) and were led by rookie Rebecca Sass.

The Winnipeg native completed an impressive first season with Manitoba with numerous accolades after finishing in a dead-heat for 14th overall finish in a time of 22.19 in the 6km race on the Thames Valley Golf Course.

In the home opener, Eyer started with 15 points, three rebounds With this outstanding performance, Sass was named Canada West Women’s Rookie of the Year plus CIS Second Team All-Canadian – first Bison female All-Canadian since 2006. In addition, she was a Canada West silver medalist and Canada West First Team All-Star.

Sass will now transition into the Bison track and field season that begins on Friday, November 22 in the annual Brown & Gold & White intersquad meet at the Max Bell Fieldhouse.


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

Home: Vancouver, BC

Height: 6-4

Year: 3rd

Academic: Kinesiology

Niall Cousens scored once and assisted on two other goals at the CIS men’s soccer championship in Fredericton, leading his UBC Thunderbirds team to a second straight national title on Nov. 10.

In the CIS final, the third-year Kinesiology student from Vancouver scored the game-tying goal unassisted on a strike just underneath the crossbar in the 51st minute to give UBC life against a stout Laval squad, which had not lost since Sept. 6.

Just 11 minutes later, Cousens assisted on the championship-winning goal by Milad Mehrabi.

He earned the Player of the Game honours for UBC in the final

For the entire CIS tournament, the 6-foot-4 forward was the target of opposing defenders, who often double-teamed and fouled Cousens, but he was impressive in holding possession of the ball with both his head and his feet to give UBC opportunities on offence.

His championship MVP honour caps off a wonderful two weeks for Cousens, who was named a First Team Canada West All-Star before the start of the league’s Final Six tournament. He then scored four goals in 22 minutes to give UBC the Canada West title and earning the league’s First Star recognition.

2nd STAR: #12 Chris McLaughlin, Victoria (basketball)

The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team retained their No. 4 ranking in the CIS this week thanks to a pair of wins over Fraser Valley, Nov. 8-9. Fourth-year forward Chris McLaughlin (Oakville, Ont.) was all over the court playing 32 minutes on Friday and 34 minutes on Saturday to lead the team as a top-two scorer on both nights.

On Friday the Vikes escaped an almost come-back from the Cascades to prevail 70-65. McLaughlin led the way with 21 points, with the next highest scorer being Terrell Evans with 16. McLaughlin dominated shooting 7-for-13 from the field and going perfect from the line. McLaughlin also added nine rebounds and three assists.

On Saturday the six-foot-ten post went perfect on every attempt including being 10-for-10 from the field and nailing all three attempts from beyond the arc. McLaughlin was perfect from the line to finish with 25 points, six rebounds and two assists. The Vikes now boast the Canada West’s top scoring defence, averaging 56 points per game, while McLaughlin is now sixth in scoring in the conference with an average of 18.8 points per game. McLaughlin is also fourth in the Canada West for rebounding, averaging 9.8 rebounds per game.

The two-way forward has already shown his ability to dominate in scoring, contribute heavily in floor time for a double-header and control the boards. McLaughlin and the Vikes will now turn around for a road trip to face UBC Okanagan for a pair of games, Nov. 15-16.

3rd STAR: #8 Steven Wesley, Winnipeg (basketball)

Fifth year forward Steven Wesley was at his best in leading the Winnipeg Wesmen to a pair of road victories this past weekend against the Dinos in Calgary.

In Friday’s 86-80 win, Wesley scored a game high 24 points, on 10-16 shooting from the field. The 6-6 forward was on the court for 37 minutes.

On Saturday, Wesley was even better scoring a game high 30 points in a 79-75 victory. Once again he was on target from the field connecting on 12-of-22 shots. He also was dominant on the boards hauling down seven rebounds.

The Wesmen now sport a perfect 4-0 record and will be back on home court this weekend facing off against the Lethbridge Pronghorns at the Duckworth Centre.

Next 3 Stars of the Week: Tuesday, November 19