WINNIPEG, Man. – UBC striker Jasmin Dhanda was honoured with the Chantal Navert Memorial Award as U SPORTS women’s soccer Player of the Year Wednesday night, as the national award winners were celebrated at the annual All-Canadian Gala.
Western midfielder Giulia Geraci captured Rookie of the Year, while Bishop’s midfielder/forward Sarah-Kim Bergeron earned the Student-Athlete Community Service Award for her outstanding contribution both on and off the playing field. Cape Breton bench boss Ness Timmons was named Coach of the Year.
CHANTAL NAVERT MEMORIAL AWARD (Player of the Year): Jasmin Dhanda, UBC
Jasmin Dhanda closed out her U SPORTS career with a season to remember earning her the Chantal Navert Memorial Award as Player of the Year.
The three-time first team Canada West all-star led the nation with 14 goals and 20 points. The Surrey, B.C. native set a new Canada West record for career points finishing with 65, eclipsing former Thunderbird Janine Frazao’s mark of 63.
The fifth-year kinesiology student led UBC to a first-place finish in the division with a 9-2-3 record. In addition to leading the country in goals and points, Dhanda finished second in shots on goal with 37 and tied for the lead in game-winning goals with six.
Since winning the Canada West Rookie of the Year in 2013, Dhanda has been a leading force for the Thunderbirds, helping UBC earn back-to-back conference titles and the national championship in 2015 where she was also named a tournament all-star
OUA: Laura Callender, Queen’s
RSEQ: Emmanuelle Alcindor, Montreal
AUS: Ciera Disipio, Cape Breton
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Giulia Geraci, Western
On a young Mustangs squad, no player made a bigger impact in 2017 than first-year midfielder Giulia Geraci. In her debut season, Geraci was a consistent presence throughout the campaign, tying for the Mustangs team-lead and third in the nation with 11 regular season goals.
The Bradford, Ont., native didn’t wait long to make her mark, scoring the lone goal in her OUA debut to lead the Mustangs to a 1-0 win in their season opener against York. Geraci continued to put up points throughout the season, including posting five multi-goal games, with a season-high three goals against the Algoma Thunderbirds.
Her success continued into the postseason as she tallied two goals in the Mustangs’ OUA quarterfinal playoff matchup, leading Western to a 4-0 win over the Waterloo Warriors and earning a spot in the OUA Final Four.
Along with her U SPORTS Rookie of the Year honours, Geraci was also named to the U SPORTS All-Rookie team, and as an OUA West Second Team All-Star.
“Giulia has been a great addition for the squad this year,” said Mustangs head coach Martin Painter. “She’s been a consistent presence for us in the midfield all season, and has stepped in to make an immediate impact on our offence. We’re very happy with the progress she’s made in only her first season, and we’re excited about the years to come.”
CW: Brooke Lang, Alberta
RSEQ: Dominique Fortin, Laval
AUS: Katelyn Fines, Dalhousie
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Sarah-Kim Bergeron, Bishop’s
The first-ever Bishop’s Gaiter to win a major award at the U SPORTS level in women’s soccer, Sarah-Kim Bergeron is a two-time national champion as a member of the Trinity Western Spartans, who transferred to Bishop’s prior to the 2016 season. She has been the backbone of the Gaiters’ culture change under the leadership of new head coach Paul Ballard.
Bergeron, a team captain, has made a positive impact in the Lennoxville, Que., community from the moment she returned to her home province to don purple and silver. Some of the initiatives she has embarked on include:
- Coordinator of the 2017 Jr. Gaiters Soccer Academy (program grew from 15 to 150 youths in the Lennoxville Area
- Head coach of the 2017 Jr. Gaiters Summer Soccer Camp
- Attending an Ethiopia Humanitarian Tour in June 2017, worked in impoverished areas of Addis Ababa while investing time with local women’s soccer teams
- Athletes in Action program, running a club to serve athletes as they deal with pressure of life and sport
- Weekly events with a membership of over 50 student-athletes
- Academic tutor for a number of other Bishop’s Gaiters student-athletes
- Supply teacher at local high school (Alexander Galt Regional High School)
- Terry Fox Run volunteer at local elementary school (Lennoxville Elemtary School)
- Member of the women’s soccer team leadership group that among other initiatives raised money for the ALS Foundation
Bergeron’s season was shorted by injury but despite that, she was still named team MVP. In 2016 she earned the team’s Most Inspirational Player award.
In the classroom she is a two-time Academic All-Canadian. Bergeron graduated from TWU with a 3.38 GPA and currently holds a 4.0 GPA in her Master;s of Education at Bishop’s.
“Sarah-Kim is without a doubt the leader of our team,” said Gaiters’ head coach Paul Ballard. “We have gone through a number of positive changes over the last two seasons and Skim (Sarah-Kim) has been a major reason why a lot of the implementation has been successful. She has a great relationship with both teammates and coaches. Off the pitch, she is a wonderful human being who does so much to help her peers and the Lennoxville community. I have no doubt she will make an excellent teacher and will be successful in all of her future endeavors. As a father of three young girls, Sarah-Kim is a wonderful role model for them to look up to.”
CW: Kristen Skrundz, MacEwan
OUA: Sarah Van Den Akker, Guelph
AUS: Claire Skanes, Memorial
Coach of the Year: Ness Timmons, Cape Breton
It’s the third time Ness Timmons has been awarded U SPORTS Coach of the Year after previously capturing the honour in 2000 and 2012.
Under Timmons, Cape Breton finished the regular season with an 11-0-1 record and finished first in the AUS standings. The team scored 50 goals while allowing just four, to lead the nation in both categories.
In his 22 seasons at the helm, Timmons has led the Capers to 10 U SPORTS Championship appearances, capturing the school’s only U SPORTS gold medal in 2007. CBU offers annual athletic and leadership scholarships in the memory of his son, Connor, a former varsity student-athlete.
“Ness Timmons is one of the most gifted coaches I have ever met and his track record speaks for itself. What he has accomplished in his 22 years leading the CBU program is exceptional,” said Cape Breton University athletic director John Ryan. “He has built, from inception, one of the most decorated women’s soccer programs in the country. Not only is Ness one of the best coaches in his sport but I believe one of the best coaches we have in U SPORTS in any sport. We are so thrilled to have Ness leading our CBU Program and are pleased that his colleagues have recognized him with this honour which is so well deserved.”
CW: Liz Jepsen, Alberta
OUA: Martin Painter, Western
RSEQ: Kevin McConnell, Montreal
2017 U SPORTS WOMEN'S SOCCER ALL-CANADIANS
Jasmin Dhanda - UBC - F - 5 - Surrey, B.C.
Emmanuelle Alcindor - Montreal - F - 3 - Montreal, Que.
Laura Callander - Queen's - F - 5 - Nepean, Ont.
Ciera Disipio - Cape Breton - MF - 3 - Ottawa, Ont.
Jamie Pasemko - Alberta - D - 5 - Edmonton, Alta.
Tamara Brown - Cape Breton - MF - Whitby, Ont.
Nicole Lyon - Laurier - F - Kitchener, Ont.
Jenna White - Western - D - 5 - Winnipeg, Man.
Melissa Roy - Laval - D - 4 - Levis, Que.
Julia Liguori - UQAM - D - 2 - Montreal, Que.
Puck Louwes - Victoria - GK - 3 - Utrecht, Netherlands
Marie-Joelle Vandal - Laval - GK - 4 - Quebec, Que.
Emily Nickerson - Acadia - D - 5 - Berwick, N.S.
Jessie Noseworthy - Memorial - F - 5 - St. John's, Nfld.
Joelle Gosselin - Laval - F - 4 - Quebec, Que.
Katherine Bearne - Ottawa - MF - 3 - Halifax, N.S.
Katherine Koehler-Grassau - UOIT - D - 4 - Oshawa, Ont.
Aman Shergill - UBC - F - 5 - Surrey, B.C.
Elise Butler - Victoria - D - 5 - Victoria, B.C.
Taijah Henderson - UOIT - F - 3 - Pickering, Ont.
Keona Simmonds - Cape Breton - F - 4 - Cookstown, Ont.
Melissa Gougeon - Montreal - MF - 5 - Laval, Que.
Giulia Geraci - Western - F - 1 - Bradford, Ont.
Dominique Fortin - Laval - MF - 1 - Quebec, Que.
Katelyn Fines - Dalhousie - GK - 1 - Halifax, N.S.
Brooke Lang - Alberta - D - 1 - St. Albert, Alta.
Catherine Dupuis - Moncton - F - 1 - St-Mathias, Que.
Mireille Patry - Laval - D - 1 - Quebec, Que.
Victoria Watson - Ryerson - F - 1 - Scarborough, Ont.
Harneet Dadrao - Fraser Valley - MF - 1 - Surrey, B.C.
Megane Sauve - Montreal - MF - 1 - St-Hyacinthe, Que.
Katerine Delev - Ottawa - MF - 1 - Chelsea, Que.
MJ Miller - UNB - MF - 1 - Hammonds Plains, N.S.