After combining for eight goals this past weekend, Alberta men’s soccer player Easton Ongaro and Fraser Valley women’s soccer player Brittney Zacharuk are the Canada West first stars of the week for the period ending September 23.
- Alberta Golden Bear Easton Ongaro is the CW men’s first star of the week, while Fraser Valley Cascade Brittney Zacharuk is the CW women’s first star of the week
- CW also named Calgary’s Taejah Thompson (women’s rugby) and UFV’s Gurmaan Jhaj (men’s soccer) as the conference’s athletes of the month for September
In men’s play, Ongaro lit up the scoresheet in both of Alberta’s wins over the weekend, scoring a combined five goals, while adding an assist in the Bears’ victories over Lethbridge and Saskatchewan.
Zacharuk scored a trio of goals over the weekend, while adding a pair of assists, as the UFV Cascades earned a pair of road wins in the Okanagan Valley.
Ongaro and Zacharuk now move forward as the conference nominees for the U SPORTS athletes of the week.
In addition to naming this week’s three stars, the conference also honoured its inaugural athletes of the month, as Calgary Dino rugby player Taejah Thompson was named the women’s athlete of the month, while UFV’s Gurmaan Jhaj was selected as the men’s winner.
The pair now move forward for the inaugural U SPORTS athlete of the month vote, which will be conducted on social media later this week.
WOMEN’S ATHLETE OF THE MONTH: Taejah Thompson
Thompson was the CW first star of the week for the period ending Sept. 23, and finished the first month of conference rugby play with eight tries in just four games. The second-year wing from Fruitvale, B.C. helped guide the Dinos to a convincing 4-0 start to the CW regular season.
An Arts student, Thompson leads the conference in scoring, with her 40 points 17 more than Ali Wicklum of Alberta, who is second in CW scoring with 23 total points. With eight tries, Thompson is five tries clear of teammates Berlyn Seselja, and Kasselle Menin, along with Lethbridge Pronghorn Abby Duguid, for the conference lead.
MEN’S ATHLETE OF THE MONTH: Gurmaan Jhaj
After a phenomenal September, Jhaj enters the CW stretch run tied for the conference lead in goals (10) and sits third in points (12). The fourth-year forward scored all 10 goals in the calendar month of September, including five game-winners for UFV, who went 5-1-0 during the month.
His five game-winners are already the third most all-time in a single CW season. Jhaj has also breezed past the Cascades’ team record for goals in a season, surpassing Sasa Plavsic (2012) and Spencer Schmidt’s (2007) shared record of eight
After being used primarily as a defensive midfielder during his first three seasons at UFV, Jhaj has made the most of his transition to forward, helping a UFV team selected to finish 13th in the CW pre-season poll to a record of 6-2-1 – good for second in the Pacific Division.
You can read more about Jhaj’s performance this past weekend in his third star bio below.
Game log: Saturday, Sept. 29 – two goals in 3-0 home win over Lethbridge / Sunday, Sept. 30 – three goals and an assist in 4-0 home victory vs. Saskatchewan.
Sophomore Alberta Golden Bears striker Easton Ongaro has jumped atop the Canada West points race after torching the Lethbridge Pronghorns and Saskatchewan Huskies this past weekend in Edmonton.
Ongaro recorded six points in two Golden Bears wins, highlighted by a three-goal, four-point explosion against Saskatchewan on Sunday.
Ongaro paced the Alberta attack on Saturday, netting a pair of goals to lift the Golden Bears to a 3-0 win over the Lethbridge Pronghorns. He followed that up with his first hat trick of the season in the second half against the Huskies, while also assisting on Ajeej Sarkaria’s game-winner.
With the wins, the 9-0-2 Bears have already clinched top spot in the Prairie Division of Canada West, with three regular season games remaining. After their bye next weekend, Alberta will head down to Calgary for matches against both Mount Royal and the Calgary Dinos Oct. 13-14.
Game log: Saturday, Sept. 29 – goal and an assist in 3-1 road win over UBC Okanagan / Sunday, Sept. 30 – two goals and an assist in 3-0 road win at Thompson Rivers.
Brittney Zacharuk was a dynamic offensive force for the UFV women’s soccer team on the weekend as they picked up a pair of crucial road wins.
The Cascades’ fourth-year captain from Delta, B.C. set up the go-ahead goal and notched the insurance marker herself in Saturday’s 3-1 win at UBC Okanagan. On Sunday, she racked up two goals and an assist as the UFV side wrapped up a six-point weekend with a 3-0 victory at Thompson Rivers.
Zacharuk’s big weekend moves her into a tie for third in Canada West with five goals on the season, and her eight points are tied for fourth.
The Cascades (3-3-2, fifth in the Pacific Division) tangle with their local rivals, the Trinity Western Spartans, this weekend. They visit TWU’s Langley campus on Friday (5 p.m.), and return to MRC Sports Complex in Abbotsford on Sunday (2 p.m.).
Game log: Sunday, Sept. 30 – four goals, five shots in goal in 7-0 home win over UNBC.
Kristian Yli-Hietanen exploded for an incredible four-goal effort Sunday, as the fourth-year forward was the main driving force in the Thunderbirds’ dominant 7-0 win over the UNBC Timberwolves at Thunderbird Stadium.
The Arts student from North Vancouver scored his second goal of the season in the 16th minute to give the ‘Birds an early 3-0 lead. Yli-Hietanen then scored twice within 77 seconds for his first career Canada West hat trick and a 6-0 UBC lead at the half.
His fourth goal of the match in the 76th minute put yet another exclamation mark on UBC’s biggest margin of victory in five years.
The four-goal game marked just the third time in conference history a men’s player has scored four in a game, joining fellow T-Bird Niall Cousens (2013), and Thompson Rivers’ Oriol Torres (2015) in the CW record book.
Still undefeated on the season at 10-0-2, the ‘Birds sit atop the Pacific Division. With 28 goals scored, UBC leads the conference in offence while tied with Alberta for the fewest goals allowed (5).
The T-Birds face the Victoria Vikes for a home-and-home series starting Thursday, October 4th at Thunderbird Stadium with the rematch on Vancouver Island Saturday.
Game log: Saturday, Sept. 29 – goal and three assists in 6-0 road win over Thompson Rivers / Sunday, Sept. 30 – one assist in 3-0 road win vs. UBC Okanagan.
Fifth-year forward Seina Kashima had five points including with one goal and four assists in No. 3 Trinity Western’s weekend sweep in the Okanagan Valley.
The Burnaby native scored once and had three assists in the Spartans 6-0 win over Thompson Rivers in Kamloops, B.C. on Saturday afternoon. Then on Sunday afternoon in Kelowna, B.C., Kashima added an assist on the game-winning goal in TWU’s 3-0 win over the UBC Okanagan Heat.
With her weekend performance, Kashima now sits atop the Canada West leaderboard with 12 points on the season. She also continues to extend her Canada West career record for total assists, which currently sits at 35. Her five-point weekend moves her into ninth place on the all-time Canada West points list with 50.
The Spartans sit atop the Pacific Division in Canada West with a 7-1-0 record.
TWU is back in action this weekend when they play a home-and-home series against the Fraser Valley Cascades. The first match is Friday, October 5 at TWU, with the second match going in Abbotsford on Sunday, October 7.
Game log: Friday, Sept. 28 – two goals on three shots in 5-1 home win over UBC Okanagan / Saturday, Sept. 29 – goal on three shots in 3-1 home win vs. Thompson Rivers.
Gurmaan Jhaj set a new UFV men’s soccer scoring record over the weekend as he paced the Cascades to a pair of weekend wins.
On Friday, Jhaj scored the first two goals of the game as UFV blitzed UBC Okanagan 5-1. That gave him nine goals on the season, surpassing the Cascades’ previous record of eight, held by Sasa Plavsic (2012) and Spencer Schmidt (2007).
On Saturday, Jhaj continued to build on the record, heading home his 10th of the campaign in the 53rd minute to help the UFV defeat the Thompson Rivers WolfPack 3-1. The goal stood up as the game-winner, moving the Aldergrove, B.C. product into third place on the Canada West all-time list for game-winners in a season with five.
Jhaj is tied atop the 2018 Canada West goal-scoring list with Easton Ongaro, and his 12 points are third-most in the conference.
The Cascades (6-2-1, second in the Pacific Division) tangle with their local rivals, the Trinity Western Spartans, this weekend. They visit TWU’s Langley campus on Friday (7:15 p.m.), and return to MRC Sports Complex in Abbotsford on Sunday (4 p.m.).
Game log: Saturday, Sept. 29 – goal on two shots in 4-1 road loss to Alberta / Sunday, Sept. 30 – two goals in 2-2 road draw with Mount Royal.
Second-year forward Shae-Lynn Dodds helped the Winnipeg Wesmen salvage a single point during their Alberta road swing, scoring all three of Winnipeg’s goals during their weekend road trip.
Dodds netted Winnipeg’s lone goal in a 4-1 loss to Alberta Saturday in Edmonton, before scoring both Wesmen goals Sunday in a 2-2 draw with the Mount Royal Cougars.
The Kinesiology student is the conference leader in goals heading into October, as she’s found the back of the net seven times in eight games, accounting for 70 per cent of Winnipeg’s offensive output so far this season.
The Wesmen are back in action this Thursday when they host cross-town rival Manitoba.