York’s Ghoneim named player of the year

Nour Ghoneim

VANCOUVER (CIS) – Nour Ghoneim, a fourth-year striker from York University, was named the CIS player of the year in women’s soccer, Wednesday night.

Ghoneim, who hails from Aurora, Ont., became the second York player to claim the Chantal Navert Memorial Award, joining 2008 recipient Stefania Morra.

Other national award winners announced during the All-Canadian Banquet held at the Coast Plaza Hotel and Suites in Vancouver were Trinity Western striker Rachel Hutchinson, who was named rookie of the year; Memorial striker Jessie Noseworthy, who received the Student-Athlete Community Service Award; and Laval head coachHelder Duarte, who was honoured by his peers for the second time in his career.

The 2015 CIS championship gets underway Thursday at the University of British Columbia’s Thunderbird Stadium and culminates Sunday with the national final at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time. All 11 games from the eight-team tournament will be webcast live on CIS-SIC.tv.


CHANTAL NAVERT MEMORIAL AWARD (player of the year): Nour Ghoneim, York

Ghoneim has been an offensive force since her Lions debut in 2012. The former CIS rookie of the year, two-time all-Canadian and three-time OUA all-star is one of the most dynamic scorers ever to suit up for York, with a career scoring average of more than one goal per game in conference play (56 in 53 contests).

This season, the fourth-year psychology student led the nation in scoring with 18 goals in 16 league games to be named the OUA West MVP for the second year in a row. She had multi-goal efforts on four occasions, led the OUA in shots (70) and game-winning goals (4), and was also a perfect 4-for-4 on penalty kicks. Her brilliant play was one of the key factors in the Lions going undefeated in the regular season with a CIS-best 15-0-1 record.

A member of the junior national program at the under-17 and under-19 levels, Ghoneim was part of the Canadian team that won the 2010 CONCACAF championship, scoring two goals against Jamaica.

“Nour has been a difference-maker for our program since she first stepped on the pitch as a rookie in 2012,” said Lions head coach Carmine Isacco. “She is a relentless competitor and has an uncanny ability to find goals from nothing, whether the ball is in the air or at her feet. She is a special player that does special things in big moments and I am so proud of everything she has accomplished at York.”


Acadia striker Meghan Earle, Sherbrooke midfielder Audrey Lagarde and Victoria striker Emma Greig were the other nominees.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Rachel Hutchinson, Trinity Western

Hutchinson is the third TWU player to be named CIS rookie of the year, following in the footsteps of Nikki Wright (2008) and Alicia Tesan (2009).

After being held off the score sheet in her first five league games, the Cloverdale, B.C. product exploded for a hat-trick in an 18-minute span on Sept. 27 in a 3-0 road win over Alberta to earn Canada West athlete of the week honours. From there, she was one of the Spartans best players and finished the regular season with 11 points (5-6-11), tied for fourth place in conference scoring. The biology student, who started 12 of 14 league contests, had points in seven of the team’s last nine, including a three-assist effort against Manitoba.   

After scoring two game-winning goals in conference play, Hutchinson added another game-winner in a 1-0 decision against Alberta in the playoffs.

“Rachel had a fantastic first year and gave us an offensive spark out wide. She has the ability to finish and the ability to cross and create lots of chances for her teammates,” said Spartans head coach Graham Roxburgh. “When she scored that hat-trick against Alberta, I think it brought her to life and since then, she has been one of our more dangerous players.”

Cape Breton midfielder Ciera Disipio, Montreal midfielder Maude Leblanc and Toronto defender Natasha Klasios were also in the running.


Noseworthy became the second Sea-Hawk to win the award, following Samantha Hansford in 2010.

In her third AUS season, the talented striker was named a first-team all-star after finishing fourth in the conference with a team-leading nine goals in 13 league games.

The St. John’s native is an exemplary student-athlete, balancing athletics, academics and extensive community involvement. The nursing student is a long-time volunteer with the Easter Seals program, teaching weekly swim lessons to children with physical and mental disabilities. She also volunteers with the Ronald McDonald House Home for Dinner Program and with Eastern Health in the palliative care unit.

A driving force behind the Street Reach Christmas Stockings drive, Noseworthy is in her second year of coordinating the initiative in which the Memorial varsity athletics community collects personal care items and small gifts to put together Christmas stockings for a local organization.

Last June, Noseworthy travelled on a four-week volunteer trip to India, spending time time in a small Tibetan refugee village and travelling to different Tibetan schools, monasteries and old age homes. Along with some of her teammates, she has also volunteered with the Association for New Canadians to coordinate and organize a food drive at home soccer games, with all food collected being donated to the annual Thanksgiving dinner.

“We are very proud of Jessie and all that she accomplishes,” said Memorial head coach Mike Power. “She is a tremendous leader in our community and on our team. Jessie’s output as a student-athlete is extremely impressive and we are thrilled she has been honoured with this award.”

The other nominees were McGill defender Julia Vetere, Guelph defender Bianca Ferlisi and Alberta midfielder Annalise Schellenberg.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Helder Duarte, Laval


Duarte, who was previously honoured in 2002, became the sixth two-time winner of the CIS coach of the year award. He joins Stephen ‘Ness’ Timmons of Cape Breton (2012, 2000), Mike Redmond of UPEI (2010, 2004), Dick Mosher of UBC (1999, 1994), Dave McDowell of Queen’s (1998, 1993) and Steve Johnson of Ottawa (2005, 1996) as multiple recipients. 

At the helm of the Laval program since its inaugural campaign in 1995, the Sept-Iles, Que. native saw his troops outscore their opponents 46-6 this fall on their way to an undefeated regular season (12-0-2). The Rouge et Or went on to repeat as RSEQ champions and enter the CIS tournament riding a 33-game overall unbeaten streak dating back to their second game of the 2014 schedule.

Last season, the five-time RSEQ coach of the year helped Laval become the first team from Quebec to capture the CIS title in women’s soccer. Heading into this week’s championship, he holds a career overall coaching record of 265-84-50 (.727). As a player, Duarte was a goalkeeper with the Université de Moncton and was named the school’s male rookie of the year in 1984.

“Helder is not only recognized regionally and provincially for his soccer knowledge, he is also an exceptional educator who cares about the overall development of his student-athletes,” said Gilles Lépine, coordinator of the Rouge et Or varsity program. “His rigor and passion are contagious. We’re proud to have him as a member of the Rouge et Or family.”

Acadia’s Amit Batra, York’s Carmine Isacco and Saskatchewan’s Jerson Barandica-Hamilton were the other nominees.


The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Wednesday.

Joigning CIS player of the year Nour Ghoneim and conference MVPs Meghan EarleAudrey Lagarde and Emma Greig on the first team were Laval goalkeeper Marie-Joëlle Vandal, defenders Mélissa Roy of Laval and Emily Nickerson of Acadia, midfielders Tamara Brown of Cape Breton, Vanessa Kovacs of Trinity Western and Sarah Wong of York, as well as Ottawa striker Pilar Khoury

Ghoneim (2014 – first team), Roy (2014 – first), Nickerson (2014 – first / 2013 – second), Kovacs (2014 – second / 2013 – first), Wong (2014 & 2013 – first) and Khoury (2014 – first) are all repeat all-Canadians.

The second unit for 2015 is made up of Trinity Western keeper Ally Wiliamson, defenders Kylie Bordeleau of UOIT, Meagan Manson of Saskatchewan and Shannon Wood of York, midfielders Hannah Rivkin of Memorial, Maude Leblanc of Montreal, Nicole Lyon of Laurier and Arielle Roy-Petitclerc of Laval, as well as strikers Marie-Ève Jacques of Sherbrooke, Keona Simmonds of Cape Breton and Jasmin Dhanda of UBC.


Williamson (2013 – second), Rivkin (2012 – second), Roy-Petitclerc (2014 & 2013 – second) and Jacques (2014 & 2013 – first) had also been honoured in previous years. Jacques was the CIS player of the year in 2013.



Chantal Navert Memorial Award (player of the year): Nour Ghoneim, York

Rookie of the year: Rachel Hutchinson, Trinity Western

Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Jessie Noseworthy, Memorial

Coach of the year: Helder Duarte, Laval

First Team
Pos.     Athlete                        University       Year    Hometown                  Academic Program   

GK       Marie-Joëlle Vandal     Laval               2          Lavaltrie, Que.             Occupational Therapy

D         Mélissa Roy                 Laval               2          Lévis, Que.                  Education

D         Emily Nickerson          Acadia             3          Coldbrook, N.S.           Kinesiology

M         Audrey Lagarde           Sherbrooke      3          Laval, Que.                  Education

M         Tamara Brown             Cape Breton     3          Whitby, Ont.                Arts

M         Vanessa Kovacs          TWU                5          North Delta, B.C.         Business

M         Sarah Wong                 York                5          Toronto, Ont.               Kin. & Health Science

S          Emma Greig                 Victoria            5          Tofino, B.C.                Science

S          Nour Ghoneim             York                4          Aurora, Ont.                Psychology

S          Meghan Earle               Acadia             3          Mount Pearl, Nfld.       Kinesiology

S          Pilar Khoury                Ottawa             5          Ottawa, Ont.                Health Sciences

Second Team

GK       Ally Williamson           TWU                4          Langley, B.C.               General Studies

D         Kylie Bordeleau           UOIT               4          Cambridge, Ont.          Health Sciences

D         Meagan Manson          Saskatchewan  4          Prince Albert, Sask.     Business

D         Shannon Wood            York                5          Brampton, Ont.            Education

M         Hannah Rivkin            Memorial         4          St. John’s, Nfld.           Biochemistry

M         Maude Leblanc            Montreal          1          St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.   Physical Ed. & Health

M         Nicole Lyon                 Laurier             2          Kitchener, Ont.            Sociology

M         Arielle Roy-Petitclerc   Laval               3          St-Nicolas, Que.           Sports Intervention

S          Marie-Ève Jacques       Sherbrooke      4          Sherbrooke, Que.         Pharmacology

S          Keona  Simmonds        Cape Breton     2          Brampton, Ont.            Arts

S          Jasmin Dhanda            UBC                3          Surrey, B.C.                 Kinesiology

Scott Harrigan
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