Vikes crowned Canada West Champs

Posted by Vancouver Island Ladies Field Hockey Association on Oct 25 2015 at 05:08PM PDT

VICTORIA, B.C. – Following 1-0 and 4-0 victories this weekend over Calgary, the University of Victoria Vikes women’s field hockey team had several islanders honoured by the Canada West. In addition, the Vikes finished the season with a 7-0-1 undefeated record to win the program’s 17th Canada West banner.

UBC fourth-year midfielder Hannah Haughn was named Canada West Player of the Year. Calgary’s Beckett Frisch was named Goalkeeper of the Year for the second-straight season, while Dinos midfielder Sabrina Wong was named Rookie of the Year. Fourth-year Vike Kathleen Leahy (Lynx 1) was honoured with the Gail Wilson Award as the most outstanding contributor, while Leahy’s bench boss Lynne Beecroft was named the conference Coach of the Year for back-to-back years. Victoria’s Tyler Klenk received the Umpire of the Year nod.

Four Vikes were also named to the Canada West All-Star team including Leahy, Amanda Kurianowicz (Flickers), Lizzie Yates (Flickers) and Annie Walters-Shumka (Lynx 1)

Fourth-year Vikes midfielder Kathleen Leahy is a three-time Canada West All-Star and former CIS All-Canadian (2013). The current Canadian senior national team member is co-captain of the 2015 Vikes team but is also an exceptional student-athlete and role model. As a member of Canada’s national team Leahy has devoted countless hours between her Vancouver-based national team training and her commitments in Victoria. Despite multiple commitments and travel Leahy manages an 8.17 GPA (on a 9-point scale) in the faculty of Education.

The Victoria native is constantly giving back, finding time in the fall to coach the Oak Bay High School field hockey team for the past four seasons, while also helping coach in the Victoria Junior League and the UVic Rising Stars program. While training in Toronto this past summer Leahy coached with the A&C Academy working with Under 16 and 18 high performance groups. Leahy also volunteers as a lab assistant in the UVic Exercise Physiology labs assisting in lab sessions with equipment set up and clean-up and helping students with material and research protocols. Most recently, she helped create the protocol for testing that would measure leg hemoglobin levels of young female athletes before and after exercise and she is just about to start as a volunteer in a study which will compare the heart rate variability (HRV) of competitive level athletes with the HRV of Special Olympic athletes.

In the late summer, Kathleen travelled to Los Angeles where she watched and interacted with Special Olympics athletes as they competed at the highest possible level – The World Games. She was there as a Student Ambassador for UVic and while there attended a conference where they were able to discuss ideas of diversity and inclusion with some of the top initiative builders in the field.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Lynne Beecroft, Victoria
In her 32nd year of coaching the University of Victoria Vikes women’s field hockey program Lynne Beecroft is named the Canada West Coach of the Year for the second-straight and fifth-overall time. Over the course of her coaching career Beecroft has guided Vikes squads to 11 CIS National titles and 13 of the program’s 17 Canada West championship wins. The UVic program’s last national banner came in 2008 and that win was followed by a reign of UBC championship wins but this season is the real evidence of the re-development that has taken place in Victoria. With eight players in their fourth or fifth year the Vikes women have proved their dominance since the get-go of the 2015 season.

Steadily improving over the past four years this group of athletes, under Beecroft’s guidance, has helped the Vikes reclaim the Canada West banner in both 2013 and 2015, a title that was held by the T-Birds for 10-straight years (2003-2012). Last season the Vikes surrendered the conference title to UBC on a tie-breaker after both teams shared a 5-1-2 record. This season the Vikes went five games before conceding their first goal in a 1-1 draw with UBC on Oct. 11. With an early 5-0-1 record in their first six games the Vikes already guaranteed themselves the Canada West banner, without the results of their final two games, and ultimately nabbed the top seed entering the Victoria-hosted CIS-FHC Championship (Nov. 5-8).

UMPIRE OF THE YEAR: Tyler Klenk, Victoria
A native of Saskatchewan, now Victoria-based umpire Tyler Klenk is the 2015 Canada West Umpire of the Year. Klenk has been a rising official in B.C. the past few years. A former member of the Vikes men’s field hockey program and Canadian junior development squad, Klenk is now focusing on his officiating strengths. Klenk has umpired at multiple Canadian National Championships of varying ages and is one of the top Canadian-rated umpires on Vancouver Island. Klenk brings a high-level of understanding of the game of field hockey, excelling on the pitch with his ability to give good advantage, have exceptional game management strategies and understand top-level of play. Klenk’s abilities as a high performance player have helped him rise quickly to the top of the umpiring scene, while his fitness and agility have contributed to his success in umpiring at the pace of Canada West matches.

Canada West Champions Victoria were evidently awarded four All-Star nods including the third nomination for midfielder Kathleen Leahy and Amanda Kurianowicz, while defender Annie Walters-Shumka earns her second nod and forward-defender Lizzie Yates earns her first. In addition to Haughn’s selection, UBC’s Sarah Keglowitsch, a former Canada West Rookie of the Year, Rowan Harris and Gabby Jayme all earned their first Canada West All-Star award. Calgary’s Frisch, Janelle Rice and Jessica Britton both earned their second-straight all-star award.

2015-16 Canada West Awards
Player of the Year: Hannah Haughn, UBC
Goalkeeper of the Year: Beckett Frisch, Calgary
Rookie of the Year: Sabrina Wong, Calgary
Gail Wilson Award (Outstanding Contributor): Kathleen Leahy, Victoria
Coach of the Year: Lynne Beecroft, Victoria
Umpire of the Year: Tyler Klenk (Victoria)

2015-16 Canada West All-Stars (alphabetical)
Jessica Britton, Calgary
Beckett Frisch, Calgary
Rowan Harris, UBC
Hannah Haughn, UBC
Gabby Jayme, UBC
Sarah Keglowitsch, UBC
Amanda Kurianowicz, Victoria
Kathleen Leahy, Victoria
Janelle Rice, Calgary
Annie Walters-Shumka, Victoria
Lizzie Yates, Victoria

The Victoria Vikes and UBC Thunderbirds now move on to the CIS Championship, Nov. 5-8 at the University of Victoria. The Vikes enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed, while the Thunderbirds take the No. 4 hosting seed.

Previous Award & All-Star Selections:
Jessica Britton (Canada West All-Star 2014; Canada West Student-Athlete Community Service 2014)
Beckett Frisch (Canada West All-Star 2014; Canada West Goalkeeper of the Year 2014, Canada West Player of the Year 2014; CIS All-Canadian 2014)
Hannah Haughn (Canada West All-Star 2014, 2013, 2012; Canada West Rookie of the Year 2014, 2013, 2012; CIS Championship MVP 2012; CIS Rookie of the Year 2012; CIS Championship All-Star 2014, 2012; CIS All-Canadian 2012)
Sarah Keglowitsch (Canada West Rookie of the Year 2012)
Amanda Kurianowicz (Canada West All-Star 2014, 2013; CIS Championship All-Star 2014; CIS All-Canadian 2014)
Kathleen Leahy (Canada West All-Star 2014, 2013; CIS Championship All-Star 2014, 2013; CIS All-Canadian 2013)
Janelle Rice (Canada West All-Star 2014)
Annie Walters-Shumka (Canada West All-Star 2012)


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