TORONTO (CIS) – Brittany Seidler, a fourth-year forward from the University of Guelph, was named CIS player of the year in women’s field hockey, Wednesday night.
The native of Oliver, Ont., became only the second player in Gryphon history to claim the Liz Hoffman Award. Former Guelph great Brienne Stairs was honoured in both 2009 and 2010.
Other winners announced at the All-Canadian Awards Banquet held at the Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel in Toronto were UBC’s Hannah Haughn, who captured the Joyce Slipp Award as CIS rookie of the year; Calgary’s Carolina Romeo, who merited the Gail Wilson Award as outstanding contributor; Western’s Jeff Pacheco, who received the Marina van der Merwe Award as coach of the year; and Denise Pelletier, who referees in the OUA conference and was named umpire of the year for the second straight season.
The 2012 Field Hockey Canada – CIS championship gets under way on Thursday at the University of Toronto’s Varsity Centre and culminates Sunday at 1 p.m. with the gold-medal final. All 12 matches from the five-team tournament will be webcast live on CIS-SIC.tv.
Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/fh/index
Seidler had another stellar campaign for the Gryphons as she repeated as OUA player of the year and earned her third straight selections as a conference all-star and first-team all-Canadian. The 5-foot-6 senior led the OUA in the regular season with a whopping 19 goals – including five penalty strokes – in 12 contests, seven more than any other player in the league.
This year, the Gryphons have also utilized Seidler from the midfield position to take advantage of her outstanding play-making abilities. She guided Guelph to a second-place finish in conference play with an 8-3-1 record and an OUA silver medal.
“Her technically advanced ball skills and explosiveness have made a huge impact on our forward line and make her entertaining to watch,” said Guelph head coach Michelle Turley. “She is the most dynamic player that I have ever had the opportunity to coach.”
Saint Mary’s midfielder Mandy Avery and UBC forward Kate Gillis were the other nominees for CIS MVP honours.
Haughn is the fourth Thunderbird in history to receive the Joyce Slipp Award, following Natalie Sourisseau (2010), Abigail Raye (2009) and Laura Dowling (2003).
The midfielder from North Vancouver, B.C. had a spectacular debut season in Canada West scoring seven goals in eight games, tied for the league lead with teammate and conference MVP Kate Gillis. Her goal-scoring prowess and strong two-way play helped UBC to a first-place finish with a perfect 8-0 record.
Haughn stands just 5-foot-3 tall but possesses incredible speed, fitness and stick stills. She has been playing with the Canadian senior national team since the age of 16 and represented Canada at the 2011 Pan American Games. A multi-talented athlete, she has previously been selected to train to represent Australia internationally in gymnastics.
“This diminutive midfield attacking player possesses a comprehensive skill set and knowledge of the game that is well beyond her age,” said UBC head coach Hash Kanjee. “Hannah is a coach’s dream because she understands how the game is meant to be played and is able to apply the tactics requested of her both in offence and defense. Her excellent work ethic and her attacking skills have been instrumental in helping UBC score 34 goals this season together with numerous set play opportunities.”
UPEI defender Katherine Koughan and Guelph forward Ally Chute were also in the running for the top freshman award.
Romeo, now 20 years old, claims the Gail Wilson Award five years after beginning her career as the youngest female student-athlete in CIS history. She is the second Dino in as many years to bring home the award, following former teammate Lindsay Koch in 2011.
With a near-perfect GPA in Mechanical Engineering with a biomedical specialization, Romeo was named one of Canada’s Top 20 under 20 and has gained valuable skills in public speaking and communication as a result. Through biomedical engineering, the three-time Academic All-Canadian has been involved in a number of projects, including knee replacement research and cement line in osteonal cortical bone research.
The Calgary native is the co-Founder of Play With a Dino, a camp for underprivileged kids who normally cannot afford to play organized sports, allowing them to learn directly from Dinos student-athletes. She enjoys working with local youth in Calgary, going to local schools to teach young kids how to play field hockey and coaching at the high school level. She has also coached ringette for many years. In the future, she also hopes to work with children in Africa.
On the field, Romeo was selected as a Canada West all-star for the fourth straight season this year. And after recognition as a second-team all-Canadian in both 2009 and 2010, she was selected to the first team for the first time in her career in 2012.
“I don’t know that there will ever be anybody else like Carolina,” said Dinos head coach Jenn Swagar. “She is a good leader, she’s a great role model, and just a phenomenal young woman. She knows what she wants in life, and I think that’s a fantastic person to have on your team.”
StFX’s Sara Walsh and Queen’s Allison Wallis were also nominated for the Gail Wilson Award.
Pacheco is the third Western sideline boss to be honoured by his CIS peers after Brenyn Hodge (2007) and Jennifer Symmes (2002).
In his fourth season at the helm, Pacheco guided the Mustangs to a fourth-place finish in the OUA conference thanks to a 7-4-1 regular season record, a significant improvement from the team’s 3-5-4 mark in 2011. Western will compete at the CIS championship this week for only the second time in program history.
Pacheco has been coaching since he was 18 years old, when he got his start in Adelaide, Australia. At the North East Club in Adelaide, he coached under-13 boys and Premier Ladies. He earned his FIH coaching Levels 1 and 2 in Australia. In the last few years, he picked up coaching again, starting part-time with Western and with the Ontario provincial women’s team. He has also been helping with the senior national team at ID camps.
As a player, Pacheco started his field hockey career at the age of 12. He competed at three Ontario Summer Games (1992, 1994, 1996) and made it all the way to the national team, including competitions in Austria, Argentina (Junior Pan Americans), Chile (World Cup Qualifier) and Scotland (Indoor World Cup). He also played professionally in Adelaide, for Club North East, for two seasons.
“Jeff has been an excellent addition to our staff over the past few years,” said Therese Quigley, Director of Sport and Recreation Services at Western. “He’s brought experience from his own international career to help coach and train our student-athletes, leading them to the OUA championship during each of his four seasons at Western. Congratulations to Jeff on this well-deserved honour.”
StFX’s Stephen Goosen and Calgary’s Jenn Swagar were the other nominees for the Marina van der Merwe Award.
UMPIRE OF THE YEAR: Denise Pelletier, OUA
Pelletier started umpiring with the Waterloo Women’s Field Hockey Club seven 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 five campaigns, has quickly 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 been chosen every year since. She has also umpired at the CIS tournament for the past two years. She is a Canadian rated umpire and is quickly rising to be one of the top game officials in Canada.
Mario DeMello (Maritimes) and Tyler Klenk (Canada West) were also in the running for the award.
The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Wednesday, with reigning national champion UBC and Canada West rival Calgary leading the way with four selections apiece.
The nine standouts joining Seidler and Romeo on the first CIS team were league MVPs Kate Gillis of UBC and Mandy Avery of Saint Mary’s, as well as York’s Adriana Fernandes, Saint Mary’s Paige Johnson, Victoria’s Kyla Kirby and Toronto’s Kaelan Watson on defence, UBC’s Natalie Sourisseau and Toronto’s Amanda Woodcroft at midfield, and Calgary’s Keara Chicquen at forward.
Seidler was named to the top squad for the third straight season, while Avery and Watson both received the honour for the fourth consecutive year. Watson was also voted to the second team as a rookie in 2008.
In addition to Haughn, the second all-Canadian unit for 2012 is comprised of Waterloo teammates Courtney Bisch and Winnie Huynh, the UPEI duo of Ellen Dixon and Marina MacAulay, Calgary teammates Courtney Duggan and Sydney Hamm, UBC’s Miranda Mann, Victoria’s Carly Krestanovich, Western’s Katelynn Roganowicz, and Toronto’s Tegan Stairs.
2012 CIS WOMEN’S FIELD HOCKEY AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS
Liz Hoffman award (player of the year): Brittany Seidler, Guelph
Joyce Slipp award (rookie of the year): Hannah Haughn, UBC
Gail Wilson award (outstanding contributor): Carolina Romeo, Calgary
Marina van der Merwe award (coach of the year): Jeff Pacheco, Western
Umpire of the year: Denise Pelletier, OUA
M Mandy Avery Saint Mary’s 5 Halifax, N.S. Arts
F Keara Chicquen Calgary 4 North Vancouver, B.C. Haskayne Business
M/D Adriana Fernandes York 5 Mississauga, Ont. Health Studies
F Katherine Gillis UBC 3 Toronto, Ont. Arts
D Paige Johnson Saint Mary’s 3 Burlington, Ont. Arts
D Kyla Kirby Victoria 4 Victoria, B.C. Social Sciences
D Carolina Romeo Calgary 5 Calgary, Alta. Engineering
F Brittany Seidler Guelph 4 Oliver, Ont. Arts
M Natalie Sourisseau UBC 3 Kelowna, B.C. Kinesiology
D Kaelan Watson Toronto 5 Richmond, B.C. Physical Education
M Amanda Woodcroft Toronto 2 Waterloo, Ont. Concurrent Education
F Courtney Bisch Waterloo 4 Wellesley, Ont. Kinesiology
D Ellen Dixon UPEI 5 Kingston, P.E.I. Unclassified
D Courtney Duggan Calgary 4 Calgary, Alta. Arts/Engineering
G Sydney Hamm Calgary 1 Rossland, B.C. Nursing
M Hannah Haughn UBC 1 West Vancouver, B.C. Kinesiology
D Winnie Huynh Waterloo 4 Mississauga, Ont. Chemical Engineering
D Carly Krestanovich Victoria 4 Surrey, B.C. Education
M Marina MacAulay UPEI 4 Vernon River, P.E.I. Nursing
D Miranda Mann UBC 4 Duncan, B.C. Kinesiology
F Katelynn Roganowicz Western 3 Burlington, Ont. Health Sciences
M/F Tegan Stairs Toronto 3 Kitchener, Ont. Arts & Science