Sophie de Goede

Queen’s No. 8 Sophie de Goede was honoured as the U SPORTS women’s rugby Player of the Year Thursday night, as the national award winners were celebrated at the annual All-Canadian gala.

Past Award Winners

UBC bench boss Dean Murten captured the Jim Atkinson Award as Fox 40 Coach of the Year, while Victoria’s fullback Larah Wright earned Rookie of the Year honours. Toronto fullback/outside centre Ella Tetrault earned the Student-Athlete Community Service Award for her outstanding contribution both on and off the playing field.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Sophie de Goede, Queen’s

For the second time in her career, Queen’s No.8 Sophie de Goede has been named U SPORTS Player of the Year. The commerce student received a third straight nod as the OUA Shiels Division MVP adding another historic chapter to an already decorated university career.

The senior back row finished the season with 52 points, bringing her career total at Queen’s to 208 and putting her just 11 points behind the program’s all-time leader (Lauren McEwen). The 2021 campaign marked her second-highest single-season point total, trailing only the 76 she registered last season and ranked her second in conference scoring (T4th in tries with five; 1st in conversions with 17).

The multi-sport student-athlete continues to rack up the accolades with the Gaels and is doing so in a starring role on both the basketball team, and of course, the powerhouse rugby team, who will once again battle for the U SPORTS Women’s Rugby Championship this season. 

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  • CW: Savannah Bauder, UBC
  • OUA (Shiels): Sophie de Goede, Queen’s (Winner)
  • OUA (Russell): Jordyn Orlando, Western
  • RSEQ: Nele Pien, Laval
  • AUS: Danielle Franada, StFX

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Larah Wright, Victoria

Larah Wright made an immediate impact on a Vikes squad that finished the Canada West season with a silver medal. A newcomer to the Vikes’ program in 2021, Wright led the Vikes in tries and points on the season, with 3 and 15, respectively.

The Calgary, AB. product’s 15 points rank tied for ninth by all scorers in Canada West this season. The biological sciences major was also invited to be a part of Rugby Canada’s western camp in the summer of 2021. 

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  • CW: Larah Wright, Victoria (Winner)
  • OUA (Shiels): Chloe Daniels, Queen’s
  • OUA (Russell): Tristan McElrea, Toronto
  • RSEQ: Laura Guay, Laval
  • AUS: Sara Grant, Acadia


Toronto’s Ella Tetrault is the Student-Athlete Community Service award winner after spending extensive time volunteering, while also shining on the rugby pitch.

Beyond the on-field stats, which put Tetrault among the top-15 in OUA scoring with 24 points (2 tries, 7 conversions), the Montreal, Que. native has been an active member of several initiatives on campus and within the community.

Tetrault has been busy beyond the pitch, and among the many groups and organizations she is contributing to are the Growing Mentality Club, as the co-founder and co-president) which advocates for students’ mental health and well-being within the university and greater community; the Hot Potato Initiative Foundation, as the director of high school and university ambassadors across Canada to educate, engage and enlarge youth conversation about homelessness; Periods an Organization for Women’s and Everyone’s Reproductive and Sexual Rights (POWERS) Club, a non-profit organization raising awareness about period poverty; and also serves on the athletic committee, which among other things, helped build an online community to keep people active throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and engaged in outreach activities encouraging student exercise.

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  • CW: Karlee Durfey, Lethbridge
  • OUA (Russell): Ella Tetrault, Toronto (Winner)
  • OUA (Sheils): Brianna Martey, Guelph
  • RSEQ: Alexandra Ondo, Ottawa
  • AUS: Nicole Davies, UPEI

JIM ATKINSON AWARD (Fox 40 Coach of the Year): Dean Murten, UBC

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UBC Head Coach Dean Murten was selected as the Fox 40 Coach of the year in women’s rugby, bringing home the Jim Atkinson Award.

Murten, who was also named Canada West Coach of the Year for a second straight season, led the UBC Thunderbirds to an undefeated season and second consecutive Canada West title.

Murten was at the helm for UBC’s 2019 Canada West title, the first in program history.

Other UBC coaches to earn conference coach of the year recognition include current assistant Maria Gallo (2013) and Steve Tong (2004 and 2006). By earning the Jim Atkinson Award, Murten is one of three Canada West coaches win the award.

“Dean has been absolutely fantastic in his leadership of our women’s rugby program. Building on the solid foundations laid down by our previous coach, Maria Gallo, Dean’s impact on the program has been hugely significant in the areas of performance and academic excellence, recruiting, team culture and fundraising,” said UBC Director of Athletics, Robin D’Abreo. “He is demanding but fair and truly supportive of these athletes, caring about them as people and students first. He is also very clear on his vision for the program and is relentless and fearless in his pursuit of it. I’m confident that his approach, putting athletes first and valuing both excellence and sustainability will lead to continued success and a memorable student-athlete experience.”

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  • CW: Dean Murten, UBC (Winner)
  • OUA (Shiels): Dan Valley, Queen’s
  • OUA (Russell): Katherine Baer, Western
  • RSEQ: Kevin Rouet, Laval
  • AUS: Matthew Durant, Acadia


First Team

PositionFirst NameLast NameSchoolEligibilityProgramHometown
CentreEmilieMerilainenAcadia4KinesiologyOttawa, ON
FullbackDanielleFranadaStFX4BBAGrande Prairie, AB
PropMayaMontielOttawa4CommunicationsOttawa, ON
LockAmbreMah-FifiConcordia3Film AnimationCalgary, AB
FlankerNelePienLaval3EngineeringDendermonde, OV
Scrum HalfCorinneFréchetteLaval1Sports InterventionQuébec, QC
WingerAlexandraOndoOttawa5Social Sciences/ Global StudiesGatineau, QC
HookerTaylorMcKnightGuelph1BSCH.BIOMStouffville, ON
LockHannaNichollGuelph3BSES.ENVSToronto, ON
#8Sophiede GoedeQueen’s4CommerceVictoria, BC
WingerCarmenIzykQueen’s2Biology PsychologyBlackie, AB
PropMikielaNelsonUBC1ArtsNorth Vancouver, BC
FlankerChanelleEdwards-ChallengerVictoria5Social SciencesCalgary, AB
Fly HalfSavannahBauderUBC2ArtsNorth Vancouver, BC
CentreShoshanahSeumanutafaUBC4ArtsSurrey, BC

Second Team

PositionFirst NameLast NameSchoolEligibilityProgramHometown
PropTarynMcLachlanAcadia4KinesiologyBatawa, ON
LockSheaHickeyAcadia1HistorySaint John, NB
FlankerBrintenComeauUPEI3BAHalifax, NS
FlankerLauraPfleidererAcadia5Independent StudiesWilliam’s Lake, BC
HookerAnnaDodgeOttawa3Health ScienceMoncton, NB
#8MadisonGrantOttawa2CriminologyCornwall, ON
Fly HalfClaireGallagherOttawa3Health SciencesCaledon East, ON
CentreAudreyChampagneLaval2Physical and health educationQuébec, QC
PropGillianReasonQueen’s4EconomicsKingston, ON
Scrum HalfBridgetPerosQueen’s3CommerceOakville, ON
CentreMaddyKushnerQueen’s2KinesiologyOttawa, ON
WingerHannahBeaumontGuelph2Human KineticsHillsburgh, ON
LockAbigailDuguidLethbridge5B.Sc / B.EdBeaumont, AB
WingerPiperLoganUBC1ArtsCalgary, AB
FullbackLarahWrightVictoria1ScienceCalgary, AB