BURLINGTON, Ont. – Ontario University Athletics (OUA) is excited to announce the 2015 women's soccer major awards and all-stars.
Appearing in all 16 games this season for the Gee-Gees, it was another outstanding season for striker Pilar Khoury (Ottawa, Ont.) who not only was named a first-team all-star but also the division's Most Valuable Player, presented by Peel Police. This is the second consecutive season that Khoury has been recognized with the award. This year, the fifth-year health sciences student-athlete scored 11 goals, which tied her with Julia Francki (Orleans, Ont.) for the team lead and fifth overall in the conference.
The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees finished the regular season with an undefeated 13-0-3 record and as the top seed in the OUA East division will look to defend their title on home turf this weekend as they host the OUA Final Four championship. It should come as no surprise then that the Gee-Gees got to where they are this season with a roster that features five first-team all-stars.
Joining Khoury and Francki as first team all-stars following outstanding regular seasons are goalkeeper Cynthia Leblanc (Granby, Que.), and defenders Kayla Da Costa-Pacheco (Gatineau, Que.) and Hannah Landry (Elmsdale, N.S.).
It is the third straight first-team all-star appearance for Leblanc, who once again led the conference in save percentage (.940) and goals against average (0.31). Along with the strong defensive play of Da Costa-Pacheo and Landry, Leblanc, a fifth-year social work student-athlete, only allowed four goals against all season to lead the league and finished the year with four shutouts. Francki in the middle was a difficult matchup for any team this season, as in addition to her ball handling skills and playmaking abilities, the Orleans, Ont. native proved she could find the back of the net. In 15 games for the Gee-Gees, Francki tied for the team lead with 11 goals.
While the season didn't end the way UOIT had hoped, for the second consecutive season five Ridgebacks players have been named to all-star teams. Defenders Kylie Bordeleau (Cambridge, Ont.) and Katherine Koehler-Grassau (Ottawa, Ont.) have been selected to the first-team, while goalkeeper Helen Frampton (Toronto, Ont.), along with midfielders Mikaela Tierney (King City, Ont.) and Alessia Mattucci (Thornhill, Ont.) are second-team all-stars this year.
With Bordeleau and Koehler-Grassau along the backline for the Ridgebacks this season, UOIT only allowed seven goals against in 16 regular season games, which tied them with the York Lions for the conference lead. On the rare chance that an attacker managed to sneak a ball through the defence, Frampton was there. In her rookie season, the first-year nursing major, finished third in the league in both goals against average (0.45) and save percentage (.899), while leading the league with seven shutouts. In a six game stretch earlier this season, Frampton didn't allow a goal over the course of 632 minutes. Tierney, who is best known for her strong defensive play appeared in 12 games this season for the Ridgebacks, while in her first year in OUA, Mattucci finished third on the team with three goals.
It's no wonder that Queen's only lost two games all season as the Gaels have four players selected to the all-star teams this season. Midfielder Jessie de Boer (North Vancouver, B.C.) is the lone Queen's player named to the first-team, while fellow midfielder Lidia Bradau (Woodbridge, Ont.), defender Michah Vermeer (Grimsby, Ont.) and forward Jenny Wolever (Toronto, Ont.) will represent the Gaels on the second-team.
Appearing in 15 games this season for Queen's, de Boer led the Gaels with eight goals and finished tied for 10th in OUA. Another reason for Queen's success was the strong defensive play they received from Bradau and Vermeer, as the pair were key components in a Gaels defence that only allowed 10 goals against in 16 games. Wolever, a first-year kinesiology student-athlete, proved that she will be Gaels weapon for years to come as she finished tied for third on the team with 4 goals in just 8 games in her rookie campaign.
After finishing the 2013 season 6th in the East with a 6-8-2 record, the Laurentian Voyageurs bounced back in a big way this year finishing second in the division at 9-4-3. While he'd likely point to the players on the field, head coach Rob Gallo has been instrumental in helping to turn around the team and has been named OUA East division Coach of the Year for his efforts.
On the pitch, Laurentian had three second-team all-stars this season as defender Amy Fitzgerald (Mississauga, Ont.), midfielder Megan Ferguson (Kitchener, Ont.) and forward Sarah Sanford (Napanee, Ont.) have been selected to the team.
Fitzgerald, a fourth-year concurrent education student-athlete, helped solidify the backend for the Voyageurs, while chipping in a pair of goals of her own as well. In the middle, Ferguson helped facilitate the Laurentian attack as the shifty playmaker utilized her speed and awareness to her advantage. Appearing in all 16 games this season, Sanford, a second-year sports psychology major, set a new program record with 10 goals to lead the Voyageurs and finished 8th in the conference.
The Toronto Varsity Blues once again put together a strong campaign, finishing fourth in the division with a 9-6-1 regular season record.
Blues striker Natasha Klasios (Unionville, Ont.) announced her arrival into the league in a big way this season and has been named OUA East division Rookie of the Year and a first-team all-star. Klasios appeared in all 16 games this season for Toronto in her first year in the league. The life science major not only led her team in goals but finished tied with division MVP Pilar Khoury for 5th overall with 11 goals.
Joining Klasios as an East division first-team all-star is midfielder Olivia Gonsalves (Scarborough, Ont.). In her fifth and final season with Toronto, the cognitive science / linguistics student-athlete started all 16 games, scoring one goal while helping to pace the Varsity Blues attack. Defender Laura Krkachovski (Markham, Ont.) has been named a second-team all-star after the third-year equality studies major scored one goal in 16 games for Toronto.
Toronto Varsity Blues striker Brenda Murillo (Richmond, B.C.) has been acknowledged with the OUA East division Community Service Award for her efforts off the pitch. Murillo, a third-year kinesiology student-athlete, recently served as a student volunteer at the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific as well as an event coordinator with Athletes in Action. When she isn't on the pitch, the Richmond, B.C. native serves as the Blues leader of their TEAM Program (Team Educator and Athletic Mentor) which mentors 1st year student-athletes. Murillo has also served in the past as a summer camp soccer coach at the TSS Academy.
Rounding out the OUA East division all-stars are a pair of Ravens as Veronica Mazzella (Sudbury, Ont.) has been named to the first-team, while defender Melat Cherent (Ottawa, Ont.) will represent Carleton on the second-team. Mazzella, a fifth-year integrated science student-athlete, finished second on the Ravens with four goals in 16 games. Cherent was named to the second-team after a strong defensive season for the Ravens in which they allowed 13 goals in 16 games, the fourth fewest in the division.
This season, the York Lions came as close to a perfect season as you can get going 15-0-1 to finish a top the OUA West division. Other than a tie on the road against the Western Mustangs, the Lions ended the regular season on an eight game winning streak and have a lineup that features six all-stars for a second consecutive year.
Lions striker Nour Ghoneim (Aurora, Ont.) not only led the conference but also the country with 18 goals in 16 games this season and once again has been named OUA West division Most Valuable Player, presented by Peel Police, and a first-team all-star for the second year in a row. Ghoneim, who won the award after scoring 17 goals a year ago, also led the league in shots (70) and game-winning goals (4). The fourth-year psychology student-athlete was also a perfect 4-for-4 this season on penalty kicks.
Joining Ghoneim as a West division first-team all-star are defenders Shannon Wood (Brampton, Ont.) and Tomika McIntosh (Bradford, Ont.), as well as midfielders Sarah Wong (Toronto, Ont.) and Marilyn Grammenopoulos (Whitby, Ont.), while midfielder Sydney Hoareau (Brampton, Ont.) has been named to the second-team.
Wood and McIntosh formed a formidable pair on the back line for a Lions squad that allowed only seven goals against in 16 games, which tied them with the Ridgebacks for the league lead. Wong, a fifth-year kinesiology and health science student-athlete, scored three goals this season for York but it was her playmaking abilities in the middle of the field that helped drive the Lions attack. This is the second consecutive first-team all-star nod for Grammenopoulos, while Hoareau's five goals this season earned her second-team recognition.
Along with Ghoneim, Lions head coach Carmine Isacco also takes home a major award this season as he has been named OUA West division Coach of the Year, after guiding the Lions to the top of the division after finishing in third place in 2014.
The Laurier Golden Hawks finished second in the West division in as many years with a roster that features five all-stars.
Midfielder Nicole Lyon (Kitchener, Ont.) and striker Emily Brown (Waterloo, Ont.) will represent the Golden Hawks on the first-team and defenders Jacky Normandeau (Uxbridge, Ont.) and Julie Karn (Waterloo, Ont.), along with midfielder Katie Bishop (Surrey, B.C.) have been selected to the second-team.
Laurier features one of the best 1-2 punches in the league, if not the country, as Lyon and Brown combined to score 26 of the Golden Hawks 60 goals this season. The pair both scored 13 goals this season for Laurier which ranks them tied for second place in the conference behind York's Ghoneim. Not only was Normandeau a strong presence defensively for the Golden Hawks, but she showed that she has a nose for finding the back of the net as the third-year biology major, led the team's defence with five goals in 16 games. Not to be outdone, Bishop scored five goals of her own this season, while provided a strong two-way presence through the middle for the Golden Hawks. Despite playing in just nine games, Karn anchored a Laurier defence that averaged just over a goal against per game, while scoring two of her own.
In her rookie season, Laurier striker Gagan Parhar (Surrey, B.C.) established herself as a vital weapon in the Golden Hawks offence and has been named OUA West division Rookie of the Year. Parhar, a first-year kinesiology / physical education major, finished third on the Golden Hawks, behind Brown and Lyon, with seven goals in her inaugural campaign. She was a fixture in the lineup, appearing in every game and starting all but one as a freshman.
After losing just two games during the regular season for the second straight year, five OUA all-stars helped the Western Mustangs to a third place finish in the OUA West division.
Mustangs goalkeeper Tori Edgar (Oakville, Ont.) is a first-team all-star once again this year after being named to the team last season as well. Joining Edgar are defender Jenna White (Winnipeg, Man.) and midfielder Angelika Mihalopulos (London, Ont.). Striker Amanda Boyle (Vaughan, Ont.) and midfielder Jess Friend (Bowmanville, Ont.) were selected to the represent to the Mustangs on the second-team.
Edgar, a fourth-year health sciences student-athlete, played in all 16 games this season for the Mustangs and finished with a 0.65 goals against average and six shutouts. In 12 games this season, White was the Mustangs most dependable defender, leading a unit that allowed only 11 goals against in 16 games. Both Mihalopulos and Friend appeared in every game this season for Western and helped fuel the Mustang attack. Friend, a third-year social sciences major scored 4 goals, while Mihalopulos is more of a defensive minded player but still managed to find the back of the net this season. Appearing in 16 games for Western, Boyle led the Mustangs in goals with 12 and has been named second-team all-star once again after being named to the team last year as well.
Four Windsor players received all-star recognition this season: defender Laura Lecce (Tecumseh, Ont.) was the lone Lancer named to the first team, while goalkeeper Krystin Lawrence (Tecumseh, Ont.), midfielder Giulia Barile (Tecumseh, Ont.) and forward Becca Fuerth (Woodslee, Ont.) will represent the "City of Roses" on the second-team.
In her final season with the Lancers, Lecce, a human kinetics major, is an all-star for a second consecutive year after she was named to the second-team last season. In just her second year with the team, Lawrence, who also plays on the Lancers women's hockey team, started all 16 games for Windsor and finished the year with a 1.07 goals against average. Fuerth tied for the team lead in goals with 6, while Barile added a pair of goals.
Rounding out the all-star selections, the Guelph Gryphons have a pair of defenders, Stephanie Moore (Mississauga, Ont.) and Andrea Cimino (London, Ont.), who have been named second-team all-stars following outstanding seasons.
Last but definitely not least, Gryphons defender Bianca Ferlisi (Woodbridge, Ont.) has been recognized for her efforts off the pitch as she is this year's recipient of the OUA West division Community Service Award.
Ferlisi is an active member within her local community and for the past three years she has attended the "Bowl For Kids Sake" event to help raise money for Big Brothers and Big Sisters Canada. The fourth-year nutritional & nutraceutical sciences student-athlete also recently participated in "Motionball," an event that brings athletes from the Canadian Special Olympics team to Guelph to participate in a day of sports and games. This season, Ferlisi along with her Gryphons teammates attended "Read All About It" where she helped a group of buddies participate in a scavenger hunt around the Guelph Chapters location.
The OUA Women's Soccer Final Four Championship begins on Friday at 11:00am with the first semifinal matchup between the Queen's Gaels and York Lions, followed by the Laurier Golden Hawks taking on the host University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. All games this weekend will be take place at Minto Sports Complex Fitness Centre and will be streamed live on OUA.tv.
EAST DIVISION MAJOR AWARDS
Most Valuable Player – Pilar Khoury – Ottawa Gee-Gees
Rookie of the Year – Natasha Klasios – Toronto Varsity Blues
Coach of the Year – Rob Gallo – Laurentian Voyageurs
Community Service Award – Brenda Murillo – Toronto Varsity Blues
WEST DIVISION MAJOR AWARDS
Most Valuable Player – Nour Ghoneim – York Lions
Rookie of the Year – Gagan Parhar – Laurier Golden Hawks
Coach of the Year – Carmine Isacco – York Lions
Community Service Award – Bianca Ferlisi – Guelph Gryphons
EAST DIVISION FIRST-TEAM ALL-STARS
Cynthia Leblanc – Ottawa Gee-Gees – Goalkeeper
Kylie Bordeleau – UOIT Ridgebacks – Defender
Kayla Da Costa-Pacheco – Ottawa Gee-Gees – Defender
Katherine Koehler-Grassau – UOIT Ridgebacks – Defender
Hannah Landry – Ottawa Gee-Gees – Defender
Julia Francki – Ottawa Gee-Gees – Midfielder
Olivia Gonsalves – Toronto Varsity Blues – Midfielder
Veronica Mazzella – Carleton Ravens – Midfielder
Jessie de Boer – Queen's Gaels – Midfielder
Pilar Khoury – Ottawa Gee-Gees – Forward
Natasha Klasios – Toronto Varsity Blues – Forward
EAST DIVISION SECOND-TEAM ALL-STARS
Helen Frampton – UOIT Ridgebacks – Goalkeeper
Amy Fitzgerald – Laurentian Voyageurs – Defender
Micah Vermeer – Queen's Gaels – Defender
Melat Cherent – Carleton Ravens – Defender
Laura Krkachovski – Toronto Varsity Blues – Defender
Mikaela Tierney – UOIT Ridgebacks – Midfielder
Megan Ferguson – Laurentian Voyageurs – Midfielder
Lidia Bradau – Queen's Gaels – Midfielder
Alessia Mattucci – UOIT Ridgebacks – Midfielder
Sarah Sanford – Laurentian Voyageurs – Forward
Jenny Wolever – Queen's Gaels – Forward
WEST DIVISION FIRST-TEAM ALL-STARS
Tori Edgar – Western Mustangs – Goalkeeper
Shannon Wood – York Lions – Defender
Laura Lecce – Windsor Lancers – Defender
Tomika McIntosh – York Lions – Defender
Jenna White – Western Mustangs – Defender
Sarah Wong – York Lions – Midfielder
Nicole Lyon – Laurier Golden Hawks – Midfielder
Angelika Mihalopulos – Western Mustangs – Midfielder
Marilyn Grammenopoulos – York Lions – Midfielder
Nour Ghoneim – York Lions – Forward
Emily Brown – Laurier Golden Hawks – Forward
WEST DIVISION SECOND-TEAM ALL-STARS
Krystin Lawrence – Windsor Lancers – Goalkeeper
Stephanie Moore – Guelph Gryphons – Defender
Jacky Normandeau – Laurier Golden Hawks – Defender
Andrea Cimino – Guelph Gryphons – Defender
Julie Karn – Laurier Golden Hawks – Midfielder
Sydney Hoareau – York Lions – Midfielder
Jess Friend – Western Mustangs – Midfielder
Katie Bishop – Laurier Golden Hawks – Midfielder
Giulia Barile – Windsor Lancers – Midfielder
Amanda Boyle – Western Mustangs – Forward
Becca Fuerth – Windsor Lancers – Forward