RICHMOND HILL, Ont. / KINGSTON, ON – Katalin Tolnai, a fourth-year forward from the University of British Columbia, was named U SPORTS player of the year in women’s soccer Wednesday night. Provost, a Toronto native, becomes the third T-Bird to win the Chantal Navert Memorial Prize, following Jasmin Dhanda in 2017 and Sarah Regan, who shared the prize in 2003.
The remaining national award winners were announced at the All-Canadian Banquet in Kingston, Ontario. were the defender of UBC Sarah Rollinswho was named rookie of the year; Hannah Miller from Trinity Western, who won the Student-Athlete Community Service Award; and head coach of StFX Graham Kennedy, who was honored by his peers as Fox40 Coach of the Year.
The 2023 U SPORTS Championship begins Thursday at Richardson Stadium and concludes Sunday with the national championship game at 3 p.m. Eastern. All 11 games of the eight-team tournament will be broadcast live on CBC’s digital platforms in English, as well as on RadioCanada.ca/Sports and USPORTS.ca in French.
Official website of the championship: usports.ca/en/championships/soccer/f/info
CHANTAL NAVERT MEMORIAL AWARD (player of the year): Katalin Tolnai, UBC
Katalin Tolnai won the Chantal Navert Memorial Award after the fourth-year forward had a record-breaking season. In a most memorable year, Tolnai tied her former teammate, Danielle Steer record of 22 points in a single season after scoring 14 goals and eight assists. Those 22 points were seven more than any other Canada West player in 2023.
By scoring a hat trick and adding four assists against Winnipeg, Tolnai set a new program record and tied the Canada West all-time mark with seven points in a single game. It was the first of three hat tricks the Toronto native scored during the year. Twice this season, the Toronto native has been named U SPORTS Women’s Soccer Player of the Week.
She was one of the driving forces behind the Thunderbirds’ outstanding regular season and her goal in UBC’s quarterfinal game against the Regina Cougars propelled the blue and gold into the Canada West semifinals for an eighth consecutive season.
- AU: Alliyah Rowe (Cape Breton)
- RSEQ: Daphnée Blouin (Laval)
- OUA: Cassandra Provost (Ottawa)
ROKIE OF THE YEAR: Sarah Rollins, UBC
Sarah Rollins played and started 13 of UBC’s 14 regular season games in 2023. The Toronto native only played less than a full 90 minutes once, an 84-minute road game in Kelowna , a match in which she scored her first career goal. for the Thunderbirds on what turned out to be the game-winner.
Rollins finished the year with two goals – both game-winners – and an assist. But her stellar work in her own half earned her praise week after week, noted as one of the best defenders in the conference entering her rookie season. Along with her fellow defensemen, Rollins helped UBC become a top defense in the conference, allowing just five goals in 14 regular season games.
Rollins becomes the second Thunderbird in the last three seasons to earn national Rookie of the Year honors.
- AU: Cara Freeman (Saint Mary’s)
- RSEQ: Florence Thibeault (Laval)
- OUA: Léda Naihin (Queen’s)
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Hannah Miller, Trinity Western
Hannah Miller, a fifth-year guard from Langley, British Columbia, is an exceptional servant leader who has shown what it means to give back throughout her student-athlete career. She exemplified what it means to give of herself for the benefit of others and has dedicated much of her career to serving in many ways, places and contexts.
She coordinates a TeamUp camp for underserved and disadvantaged children in Chilliwack each summer, helping to coordinate athletes and coaches to provide approximately 200 children with the opportunity to have a fun-filled week-long sports camp experience. She volunteers and runs a sports outreach program, run by TeamUp Canada, which focuses on helping children from displaced or refugee families in the Edmonds community in Burnaby, British Columbia. She regularly serves as a coach and coordinator of volunteers for the Edmonds TeamUp program on a weekly basis.
Miller has been a participant and junior leader on international IMPACT trips to Peru, Paraguay and Uganda over the past 12-18 months. In July, she joined 16 other athletes who traveled to Uganda to provide life-changing opportunities through sport to hundreds of children in six different communities. She also helped TeamUp Canada facilitate leadership training for local leaders and helped elevate the role of women in sport and provide opportunities for young girls to participate in the sports programs she and her athletes led during the 17 day project.
- Australia: Zoë Rowe (Memorial)
- RSEQ: Tiffany Smith (Bishop)
- OUA: Katrina Pappas (Technology Ontario)
FOX40 COACH OF THE YEAR: Graham Kennedy, STFX
STFX X-Women head coach Graham Kennedy has been selected as the Fox40 Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year. This is his first victory in women’s soccer, but his second overall, having earned the national honor in men’s soccer in 2010. In his eleventh season as head coach of the X-Women program , Kennedy led them to an undefeated 12-0 score. 0, a first place in the regular season standings and an SUA championship.
The X-Women who are the No. 3 seed in this week’s U SPORTS Championship were the only team in the country to win all of their regular season games and they have allowed just three goals allowed all season – one league and U SPORTS record – for a goals-against average of 0.25. They had a league-high nine shutouts this season and finished with 48 goals, second only to Ottawa in the country.
Kennedy becomes the first person to win national coach of the year in both men’s and women’s soccer. He is also the first winner of this national StFX award.
- RSEQ: José-Luis Valdés (McGill)
- OUA: Dave McDowell (Queen’s)
- CW: Jesse Symons (UBC)
The All-Canadian and All-Rookie teams were also announced Wednesday. The full list of winners follows.
2023 U SPORTS WOMEN’S SOCCER AWARDS AND CANADIAN STARS
Chantal Navert Award (player of the year): Katalin Tolnai, UBC
Rookie of the Year: Sarah Rollins, UBC
Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Hannah Miller, Trinity Western
Fox40 Coach of the Year: Graham Kennedy, StFX
First Team All-Canadians
Name School Pos Year Hometown Academic Program
Dakota Beckett UBC GK 2 Langley, BC Arts
Damaged Thomas Western D 3 London, Ont. Kinesiology
Stephanie Hill McGill D 3 Dollard des Ormeaux, Que. Physical therapy
Sarah Rollins UBC D 1 Toronto, Ont. Kinesiology
Mara Bouchard McGill MF 3 Granby, Que. Psychology
Daphnée Blouin Laval F 5 Quebec, Que. Design (Master)
Christina Gomes Guelph A 3 Bradford, Ont. Psychology
Cassandra Provost Ottawa F 3 Acton Vale, Que. Accounting
Alliyah Rowe Cape Breton F 4 Kitchener, Ont. Arts
Amanda Smith Acadia F 5 Ottawa, Ont. Education
Katalin Tolnai UBC F 4 Toronto, Ont. Unclassified
Second All-Canadian Team
Name School Pos Year Hometown Academic Program
Kirstin Tynan Queen’s GK 3 North Vancouver, BC Political Studies
Abby Steen StFX D 3 Stittsville, Ont. Business
Grace Hannaford Cape Breton MF 2 Hammonds Plains, NS Science
Jade Abreo McMaster MF 2 Mississauga, Ont. Life sciences
Kendra Couto Queen’s MF 2 Aylmer, Ont. Engineering
Sofia DiGiacomo Calgary MF 3 Calgary, Alta. Arts
Elsa Lessard Laval MF 2 Ste-Julie, Que. Business
Rachel Barlow Calgary F 4 Calgary, Alta. Kinesiology
Erika Bastien Montreal F 5 Repentigny, Que. Sports management
Sydney Kennedy StFX F 5 Fletchers Lake, NS Independent Student
Name School Pos Hometown Academic Program
Ellie Lancaster Cape Breton GK Fall River, NS Arts
Jenny Harrison Sherbrooke GK Sherbrooke, Que. Special education
Gabrielle Ferland Ottawa D Ottawa, Ont. International development and globalization
Julia Kittelson Calgary D Calgary, Alta. Arts
Florence Thibeault Laval D Repentigny, Que. Medicine
Sarah Rollins UBC D Toronto, Ont. Kinesiology
Cheyenne Bower StFX MF London, Ont. Human kinetics
Ravina Braich McMaster MF Oakville, Ont. A biomedical engineer. & Health Sciences
Tamara Djurisic Mont-Royal MF Edmonton, Alb. Physical education
Sara Ricciardelli Montreal MF Montreal, Que. Architecture
Cara Freeman Saint Mary’s F Halifax, NS Science
Leda Naihin Queen’s F Markham, Ont. Kinesiology
(Teams listed alphabetically by position. Teams are chosen without regard to position.)
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