UOIT Ridgebacks Women's Soccer named OUA Team of the Year

UOIT Ridgebacks Women's Soccer named OUA Team of the Year

HUNTSVILLE, Ont. - On Wednesday night, Ontario University Athletics (OUA) recognized the accomplishments of several exceptional members of the conference, spanning from administration and coaches to athletes and teams at the annual OUA Honour Awards banquet.

Team of the Year – UOIT Ridgebacks Women's Soccer

Coming off a historic 2016 season, the UOIT Ridgebacks Women's Soccer team has been named the OUA Team of the Year following a season of firsts.

The Ridgebacks dominated the regular season and finished the year with a 13-2-1 record as the finished atop the OUA East Division for the first time in program history.  Success carried over into the postseason for UOIT as the Ridgebacks defeated the Laurentian Voyageurs 2-0 to advance to the OUA Final Four for just the second time.

Following a 3-1 victory over the Windsor Lancers in the semifinals, UOIT defeated the defending OUA champion Queen's Gaels 1-0 to claim their first OUA championship in school history.

At the 2016 U SPORTS championship, the Ridgebacks knocked off the Trinity Western Spartans 1-0 before falling 2-1 in OT to the Laval Rouge Et Or.  However, the Ridgebacks bounced back in the bronze medal match, beating their OUA rival Gaels 1-0 for the second time in a week to win their first U SPORTS national championship medal in just their fifth season.

Several Ridgebacks were rewarded for their strong presence on the pitch this season, including UOIT defender Kylie Bordeleau (Cambridge, Ont.) who was named OUA East Division Player of the Year.  Bordeleau, along with midfielder Katherine Koehler-Grassau (Greely, Ont.) were also recognized nationally as U SPORTS All-Canadians.

In total the Ridgebacks roster featured six OUA all-stars, including goalkeeper Helen Frampton (Toronto, Ont.), defender Sara Voisin (Waterloo, Ont.), and forwards Cassandra Sribny (Pickering, Ont.) and Taijah Henderson (Ajax, Ont.), in addition to the aforementioned Bordeleau and Koehler-Grassau.  UOIT midfielder Rhiannon Kissel (Peterborough, Ont.) earned OUA Rookie of the Year accolades following a fantastic freshman season.

Last but definitely not least, Ridgebacks head coach Peyvand Mossavat earned his fair share of the awards this year sweeping both the OUA and U SPORTS Women's Soccer Coach of the Year awards and was also named the OUA Male Coach of the Year for the 2016-17 season.

J.P. Loosemore Award – Thérèse Quigley

The J.P. Loosemore award is given to an individual who exemplifies the best in university sport in terms of ethics, integrity and honesty. The recipient is to be evaluated on his/her administrative contribution to university sports.

Over the course of her time involved with university sport in Canada, Thérèse Quigley has excelled at virtually every level of university sport as a student-athlete, coach, and administrator.

On the court, few were better than Quigley, who led Western to multiple OWIAA Women's Volleyball Championships and three CIAU Women's Volleyball titles from 1971-72 to 1976-77.  Quigley was recognized for her efforts on the court with Western's prestigious F.W.P. Jones Trophy as the female athlete who has made the greatest contribution to athletics during their career at the university.

Following her decorated career as a dual tennis and volleyball student-athlete, Quigley became a decorated varsity women's volleyball coach at both the University of Alberta and McMaster University for seven seasons.

After her coaching career had come to an end, Quigley became the first female Athletic Director in Ontario when she joined McMaster from 1990 to 2009 and successfully fundraised and planned efforts that culminated in the construction of the David Braley Athletic Centre and Ron Joyce Stadium.  In January 2017, the David Braley Athletic Centre's Sport Hall was named in her honour in conjunction with the building's 10-year anniversary.

Returning to her alma mater in 2009, Therese developed recognition programs for students and student-athletes, expanded the connection to Mustang alumni and supporters, and invested in promoting athletics through innovate programs and partnerships.  Among her various accomplishments while at Western, Quigley oversaw the construction of two state-of-the-art turf fields (Mustangs Field and Alumni Field) in 2012 and championed the creation of Mustang TV.

As a mentor to coaches and student-athletes, Quigley's greatest impact came as an Athletic Director where she helped developing world-class facilities, and host un-paralleled championships on a conference, national level, and international level.

In 2003, Quigley was honoured as the International Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

An innovator in interuniversity sport, fundraising, facility development, and student leadership, Quigley has made countless contributions, serving in various senior leadership roles at both the OUA and U SPORTS levels.  A long-time member of the CIS Board of Directors, Quigley was named President of CIS in 2014 led CIS through a transitional time in the organization's history.

Beyond OUA and U SPORTS, Quigley served on the board of Canada Basketball beginning in 2004, before becoming President of the organization from 2008 to 2011.

Earlier this year, Quigley was named one of the Most Influential Women in sport by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS).

One of the most respected, and decorated athletic administrator in the Canadian university system, Quigley has provided unwavering dedication to sport and recreation is an exemplary role model to our citizens and a beacon of community pride.

John McManus Award - Peter Campbell

The John McManus Award is given to a retired OUA coach that exemplifies the highest ideals and qualities of sportsmanship and service while engaged in coaching in university sport.

Former Laurier Golden Hawks men's basketball head coach Peter Campbell transformed a Golden Hawks program that had struggled to find success since winning seven provincial and one national championship between 1963 and 1971.

Under the guidance of Campbell, the Golden Hawks qualified for the OUA playoffs in 14 consecutive seasons.  In just his second season behind the Laurier bench, Campbell was named OUA West Coach of the Year after turning around a team that won just two games the year before to a 12-win team in 2001-02.

Prior to joining the Golden Hawks, Campbell, who began his career in university basketball as an assistant coach with the Western Mustangs in 1982, enjoyed a sparkling 15-year career with the Laurentian Voyageurs where he won two Wilson Cup championships in 1998 and 2000, and was named OUA East Coach of the Year five times and made six appearances at the national championship.

Campbell is only one of two coaches in Canadian basketball history to be named the CIS and the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Coach of the Year which he earned in 1983 as head coach of Fanshawe College's women's basketball team.

Internationally, Campbell has worked extensively with both of Canada's men's and women's national teams. A two-time bronze medalist as an assistant coach for Canada, he has also served in a variety of capacities with Canada's U21 and U18 teams and has represented Canada six times at the FISU Summer Universiade.

OUA Media Member Award - Ken Welch

From 1985 to 2015, Ken Welch served as the Sports Anchor at CHCH television where he told the stories of OUA student-athletes and their teams on a nightly basis nightly basis as part of the evening news.

For 13 years, Welch was also the host of CHCH's University Game of the Week which brought OUA football and basketball into thousands of homes across the province.

Always more than generous with his time, Welch has also emceed countless OUA events events including but not limited to the McMaster Athletic Banquet and McMaster Football Gala Dinner. 

Born in Toronto, Welch spent most of his early years in Belleville where his love for sports began.  An all-around athlete, Welch played basketball throughout his high school career and was named team captain in his senior year.  Following high school, he attended both Queen's University and Carleton University and graduated with a Bachelor of History degree.

Prior to joining CHCH, Welch worked in radio in Newmarket and Owen Sound and also served as Sports Director at 570 News in Kitchener.

An active member of the local community, Welch continues to support OUA and U SPORTS through his participation in the Hamilton Vanier Cup Local Organizing Committee. 

This is the first OUA Media Award of Distinction for Welch who was previously awarded the U SPORTS (formerly CIS) Fred Sgambati Memorial Award back in 2001.

OUA Male Coach of the Year - Peyvand Mossavat

UOIT Ridgebacks soccer coach Peyvand Mossavat has been named the OUA Male Coach of the Year after guiding the women's soccer team to their first OUA banner and U SPORTS medal in school history this past season.

In only the fifth season since the inception of the program, Mossavat led UOIT to their first OUA East Division title in school history posting a 13-2-1 regular season record.  Mossavat was recognized for his efforts as he was named the OUA East Division Coach of the Year for the second time in the past three seasons and the fourth time in his career.

Mossavat was also acknowledged nationally as he was presented with the U SPORTS Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.

In five years, Mossavat has led the Ridgebacks to a 68-32-15 all-time record, two OUA medals, two national championship appearances and a U SPORTS bronze medal.  Prior to joining UOIT in 2012, Mossavat previously coached both the York Lions and Ryerson Rams.

Academic success has always been a top priority for Mossavat and his teams as ten student-athlete were recognized as UOIT All-Academic Award Winners for the 2016 season.  Mossavat led teams are also actively involved in the community and this year the women's soccer team organized activities and workshops that raised funds that supported local women's shelters and food banks.

No stranger to international competition, Mossavat, a former member of the Canadian Olympic program, will be back on the sidelines for Team Canada as head coach for the upcoming 2017 FISU Summer Universiade in Chinese Taipei. At the 2015 Summer Universiade in Gwangju, South Korea, the Mossavat led squad finished in fourth place out of 15 teams – their highest finish in team history.

OUA Female Coach of the Year - Rachel Flanagan

Guelph women's hockey head coach Rachel Flanagan has been named the OUA Female Coach of the Year after guiding the Gryphons to their second McCaw Cup title in as many years.

Despite losing six key veterans from last year's OUA championship winning team, Flanagan once again led Guelph to 16-4-3-1 regular season record and a first place finish atop the standings.

One of the most dominant teams in the province (if not the country), with Flanagan behind the bench, the Gryphons scored the most goals (77) in the OUA, while allowing a league low 32 goals against in 24 games during the regular season.  To make the feat even more memorable, the Gryphons did so with a lineup that featured a total of 10 rookies.

Following another fantastic regular season, Flanagan was recognized by her peers with her fourth OUA Coach of the Year award in the past five seasons.

After a two-game sweep of the Windsor Lancers in the quarter-finals, Flanagan and the Gryphons prevailed in three games over the feisty Waterloo Warriors to advance to their second straight OUA championship.

In the McCaw Cup final against Nipissing, the Gryphons made quick work of the Lakers scoring six unanswered goals in a 6-1 victory.  With the win, it marked the first time in 47 years that the University of Guelph hoisted the hardware in back-to-back seasons.  

At the 2017 FISU Winter Universiade in Almaty, Kazakhstan earlier this year, Flanagan added to her medal haul for the year as head coach, she helped guide Team Canada to a silver medal winning performance.

OUA Male Athlete of the Year – Jonathan Lao

Jonathan Lao, a fourth-year economics student-athlete and men's soccer player from York University, has been named OUA Male Athlete of the Year after he led the Lions to an undefeated regular season and a first place finish in the OUA West Division.

"I have played soccer my whole life and being involved in the sport has shaped who I am today," said Lao.  "I'm fortunate to have been able to continue to play for the Lions while also getting an education at York.

The Unionville, Ont. native was named OUA West Division MVP and a first-team all-star after he scored four goals and added three assists in 12 games this season for York.  It was the fourth consecutive OUA all-star nod for Lao and the second time in his career he captured OUA West Division MVP honours after previously earning the award back in 2013.

He was also recognized for his strong season at the national level, as Lao became just the second player in program history to win the Joe Johnson Memorial Trophy as the U SPORTS Player of the Year, following Francesco Bruno in 2008.  Lao was also named a U SPORTS All-Canadian the fourth time in his career, becoming the first player in program history to accomplish the feat.

Led by Lao, the Lions finished the season second in the OUA before placing sixth at the U SPORTS national championship.

Since joining the Lions back in 2013, Lao has been one of the most dominant players in the country and helped the Lions win three straight OUA championships (2013-2015) and back-to-back national titles (2014-15).

OUA Female Athlete of the Year – Claire Sumner

Claire Sumner, a fourth-year life sciences major from Queen's University, is the 2016-17 OUA Female Athlete of the Year after sweeping both the OUA and U SPORTS cross country championships.

Sumner opened her season with a historic victory at the Queen's Invitational, crossing the line in a time of 27:50.91.  Her victory also helped propel the Gaels to a first place team finish at the event.  The identical 8km runs for both women and men was believed to be the first collegiate cross-country meet in North America where both the men and women contested identical race distances.

"The biggest thing this sport has taught me is that perseverance and consistent hard work will always pay off," said Sumner.  "I strongly believe the life lessons I have learned from cross country will be extremely valuable in my future endeavours.

The Calgary, Alta. native followed that up two weeks later with a gold medal winning performance at the OUA championship, finishing the 6km race in a time of 20:16.7.  Sumner, who also earned OUA MVP and first-team all-star honours, was a crucial member of the Gaels silver medal winning team.

On the Plains of Abraham a couple weeks later at the U SPORTS Cross Country national championship, thanks to a late push with under a kilometre remaining in the race, Sumner claimed individual gold after crossing the finish line in a time of 21:09.3.  As a result of her first place finish, Sumner was also named the U SPORTS MVP and a first-team All-Canadian.

Following a successful 2016 collegiate season, Sumner went on to claim bronze at the Canadian senior championships in late November, finish fourth at the NACAC championships in early March in Florida, before rounding out her season, placing 52nd in a field of 104 runners in her IAAF world championships debut in Uganda, on March 26.

Also awarded were the second annual OUA CHAMP Awards (Celebrating and Honouring Achievements in Marketing and Promotions) to the following winners:

  • Photo of the Year: Toronto Varsity Blues – Hochan Ryu celebration
  • Best Webcast Production: Ryerson Rams
  • Best Social Media Account: Brock Badgers – Twitter
  • Best Video Feature: UOIT Ridgebacks – Top Plays Showdown
  • Best Mascot: Waterloo Warriors – King Warrior
  • Best Market-Driven Championship: Queen's Gaels – Critelli Cup
  • Best High Performance Championship: Toronto Varsity Blues – Swimming
  • Best Competitive Championship: Windsor Lancers – Golf