Amanda Woodcroft, Toronto (left) with Liz Hoffman (right) – Credit Martin Bazyl
Oct 29, 2014
TORONTO (CIS) – Amanda Woodcroft, a fourth-year midfielder from the University of Toronto, was named CIS player of the year in women’s field hockey, Wednesday night.
The Waterloo, Ont., native became the fifth U of T winner of the Liz Hoffman Award, following in the footsteps of back-to-back recipient Cailie O’Hara (2007, 2008), as well as Philippa Kedgley (2003) and Deb Cuthbert (1998).
Other winners announced at the All-Canadian Awards Banquet held at the Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel in Toronto were UBC goalkeeper Lauren Logush, who captured the Joyce Slipp Award as rookie of the year; McGill midfielder Kylie Nabata, who merited the Gail Wilson Award for her outstanding contribution both on and off the playing field; Toronto head coach John DeSouza, who received the Marina van der Merwe Award for the second time in his career; and OUA referee Denise Pelletier, who was named official of the year for the third time in four seasons.
The 2014 CIS – Field Hockey Canada championship gets under way Thursday at the University of Toronto’s Back Campus Fields and culminates Sunday at 3 p.m. with the gold-medal final. All eight matches from the four-team tournament will be webcast live on CIS-SIC.tv.
LIZ HOFFMAN AWARD (player of the year): Amanda Woodcroft, Toronto
Woodcroft ranked sixth in the OUA scoring race this season with seven goals in 12 league games. She was exceptional in the latter half of the schedule, scoring in five of Toronto’s last six contests as the Varsity Blues kept a perfect 12-0 mark in conference action.
The former CIS rookie of the year has been voted an OUA all-star in each of her four campaigns and is now a three-time all-Canadian (2011, 2012, 2014). This season, she is joined on the Blues roster by younger sister Nicole, a freshman midfielder.
Named to the Canadian senior national team in 2013, Woodcroft competed at the Junior World Cup and the Pan Am Cup in Argentina that year before claiming gold at the 2014 Indoor Pan Am Cup.
“Amanda is the best of the best,” said Toronto head coach John DeSouza. “Her raw talent combined with her work ethic makes her the true leader of our team. She is so naturally gifted and competes at the highest level anytime she steps onto the field.”
Saint Mary’s midfielder Brittany Avery and Calgary goalkeeper Alicia Frisch were the other nominees for CIS MVP honours.
JOYCE SLIPP AWARD (rookie of the year): Lauren Logush, UBC
Logush is the fifth Thunderbird in history to receive the Joyce Slipp Award, following current teammate Hannah Haughn (2012), as well as Natalie Sourisseau (2010), Abigail Raye (2009) and Laura Dowling (2003).
In her first varsity season, Logush backstopped UBC to the Canada West championship. The Richmond Hill, Ont., native had the best record (4-1-2) of any goalkeeper in the conference during league play, anchoring a young T-Birds defensive corps that surrendered just seven goals. She also had the second-most minutes played with 489 and tied for the conference lead with two shutouts.
The 19-year-old arts student is a current member of Canada’s senior national team. She represented Canada at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. She also played for the national team at the World League 1 tournament in Mexico.
“I’m extremely pleased that Lauren’s accomplishments this season were recognized with her being named CIS rookie of the year. She has worked extremely hard, both on and off the field, to professionalize her approach to her craft,” said UBC head coach Robin D’Abreo. “Her discipline with both her physiological and technical preparation is translating to consistently excellent performances. On more than one occasion this year, she has made key saves to either maintain or swing momentum back in our favour. Her performances allow the defence in front of her to play more proactively and take risks that put our opponents under even more pressure.”
Saint Mary’s midfielder Lauren Perry and Guelph forward Olivia Lane were also in the running.
GAIL WILSON AWARD (student-athlete & community service award): Kylie Nabata, McGill
Nabata, a 20-year-old native of North Vancouver, B.C., is the first McGill recipient of the Gail Wilson Award.
She serves as captain and was voted Team MVP of the Martlets. The 5-foot-8 midfielder scored twice this season and earned OUA all-star honours for the second consecutive year. A science junior, majoring in biochemistry, she earned a grade-point average of 3.71 to merit Academic All-Canadian honours and was named to the Principal’s Student-athlete Honour Roll.
Nabata currently serves on the executive of the McGill chapter of “Right to Play”, a group that works to improve the lives of children in disadvantaged countries by using the power of sports for development, health and peace. Over the past two weeks, she was the recipient of a Dorothy Nichol Award for leadership at McGill and also won the OUA’s prestigious Gail Wilson Trophy, presented annually for exceptional human qualities, demonstrating respect, kindness and concern for others, along with dedication, commitment and loyalty, both on and off the field.
“Kylie is a role model for the youth of today,” said McGill head coach Vimal Patel. “Not only has she been the heart and soul of our team on the field, but also, she has contributed much to the community, serving the past seven years as a volunteer coach at the junior level in addition to doing volunteer work with the B.C. Cancer Society and acting as a peer tutor for students on campus.”
Danielle Dempsey of Dalhousie and Janelle Rice of Calgary were also nominated.
MARINA VAN DER MERWE AWARD (coach of the year): John DeSouza, Toronto
DeSouza, who has been a member of the Varsity Blues coaching staff since 1990, had claimed the van der Merwe Award for the first time in 2011.
This season, his ninth as head coach, he guided the Blues to a perfect 12-0 regular season record, the fifth time under his reign that Toronto has gone undefeated. He helped the Blues shut out their playoff opponents en route to U of T’s OUA-leading 30th conference title since 1971 and is in search of his third CIS banner as Toronto bench boss.
A national team player for seven years, DeSouza represented Canada at the 1995 Pan American Games and was an assistant coach on the 2007 gold-medal winning Pan American Games men’s team that represented Canada at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
“John lives and breathes the game of field hockey so it is no surprise that he is recognized for his abilities and dedication,” said Beth Ali, Director of Intercollegiate and High Performance Sport at U of T. “John has upheld a strong winning tradition at U of T during his nine seasons as head coach and I know our student-athletes respect him. Graduates from our program are better people and players because of his undying devotion to the team.”
UPEI’s Charla Currie and Victoria’s Lynne Beecroft were the other nominees.
OFFICIAL OF THE YEAR: Denise Pelletier, OUA
Pelletier was also named CIS official of the year in 2011 and 2012.
She started umpiring with the Waterloo Women’s Field Hockey Club nine years ago. For two seasons, she officiated at the high school level and was selected to umpire at the OFSAA championships. She then made the jump to umpiring in the OUA and, over the past seven campaigns, has become one of the top umpires in the league.
In just her second season umpiring at the university level, Pelletier was selected to work at the OUA championships and has since been chosen numerous times to umpire at the OUA and CIS tournaments. She is a Canadian-rated umpire and is quickly rising to be one of the top game officials in Canada.
Jamal Burgess (AUS) and Gillian Horgan (Canada West) were also in the running.
The all-Canadian team was also announced on Wednesday, with CIS championship host Toronto leading the way with three selections.
Joining Woodcroft on the 11-member all-star squad were Calgary goalkeeper Alicia Frisch, Alison Lee of Toronto, Brittany Avery of Saint Mary’s, Nikki Burge of Dalhousie, Poonam Sandhu of UBC and Stephanie Snyder of Waterloo at midfield, UBC midfielder-forward Hannah Haughn , Toronto forward-midfielder Alex Thicke, as well as forwards Allison Chute of Guelph and Amanda Kurianowicz of Victoria.
Like Woodcroft, Haughn (2012-2014) became a three-time all-Canadian, while Burge (2013, 2014) and Sandhu (2011, 2014) were both honoured for the second time.
2014 CIS WOMEN’S FIELD HOCKEY AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS
Liz Hoffman Award (player of the year): Amanda Woodcroft, Toronto
Joyce Slipp Award (rookie of the year): Lauren Logush, UBC
Gail Wilson Award (outstanding contributor): Kylie Nabata, McGill
Marina van der Merwe Award (coach of the year): John DeSouza, Toronto
Official of the year: Denise Pelletier, OUA
Pos. – Athlete – University – Year – Hometown – Academics
GK – Alicia Frisch – Calgary – 4 – Calgary, Alta. – Graduate Studies
D – Alison Lee – Toronto – 3 – Mississauga, Ont. – Concurrent Education
M – Brittany Avery – Saint Mary’s – 4 – Hammonds Plains, N.S. – Criminology
M – Nikki Burge – Dalhousie – 4 – Vancouver, B.C. – Arts
M – Poonam Sandhu – UBC – 5 – Vancouver, B.C. – Arts
M – Stephanie Snyder – Waterloo – 4 – Waterloo, Ont. – Economics
M – Amanda Woodcroft – Toronto – 4 – Waterloo, Ont. – Concurrent Education
M/F – Hannah Haughn – UBC – 3 – North Vancouver, B.C. – Kinesiology
F/M – Alex Thicke – Toronto – 5 – North Vancouver, B.C. – Kinesiology
F – Allison Chute – Guelph – 3 – Greenfield Park, Que. – Science
F – Amanda Kurianowicz – Victoria – 3 – Calgary, Alta. – Social Sciences
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