Fifth-year Dalhousie midfielder Rieka Santilli was named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player, Thursday night.
Other AUS major award winners announced during the awards banquet hosted by Cape Breton University in Sydney, N.S., were Cape Breton's Chelsea Currie of Sydney, N.S., who was named rookie of the year; Acadia's Alana Fairfax of Somerset, N.S., who received the student-athlete community service award; and Cape Breton Capers head coach Stephen 'Ness' Timmons, who was chosen coach of the year.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Rieka Santilli, Dalhousie
Rieka Santilli, a fifth-year midfielder and team captain with the defending AUS champion Dalhousie Tigers, is the 2012 Atlantic University Sport women's soccer player of the year.
A native of Halifax, N.S., Rieka has been a leader and a consistent performer for the Tigers all season and was also named an AUS all-star for the third time in her five-year career.
The Tigers scored a conference-best 31 goals this season led by a half-dozen from Santilli, who also scored two game-winning markers.
Rieka has led Dalhousie in scoring in each of the past two years and wraps up her career with 15 goals from her midfielder position in five seasons with the program.
"Rieka is an unselfish player that gives everything she has for her team," says Dalhousie head coach Jack Hutchinson. "She is a coach's dream because she knows the game, her teammates and is willing to work with the coaching staff to create a positive experience for everyone."
Santilli becomes the fourth Dalhousie player since 1991 to be named the conference's player of the year.
Former Tigers' stars Leanne Huck (2004 and 2006) and Julie Pigozzo (1999 and 2000) each claimed the award twice, while Claire Martin (2001) and Belinda Campbell (1991) are also previous Dalhousie recipients of the AUS women's soccer most valuable player award.
Only two Atlantic conference athletes have taken home the Chantal Navert Memorial Award as CIS Player of the Year. UPEI's Amy Connolly won it in 2005 and Cape Breton's Sarah Drake was the 2002 recipient.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Chelsea Currie, Cape Breton
Chelsea Currie becomes the third consecutive Capers player to win this award, following in the footsteps of Karolyne Blain (2011) and Jessica Furtado (2010). She is also the seventh CBU player to earn AUS rookie-of-the-year honours since 1990.
The 5-foot-4 striker from Sydney, N.S., scored five goals in her freshman season to lead the team in scoring and tie for third overall in AUS scoring.
Currie, started in all 13 of Cape Breton's regular season games this year and was named the player of the game on three occasions. Chelsea led the undefeated Capers in shots (38) and shots on goal (23) and was also named a first team AUS all-star Thursday.
"Chelsea has been our most dangerous player for the opposition to contain," says Cape Breton head coach Stephen Timmons. "She has been her youth leagues top scorer for four years now, and has made the transition to the AUS level very smoothly."
The only Atlantic conference players to be named the CIS women's soccer rookie of the year are Cape Breton's Michelle Desjardins in 2000 and Dalhousie's Mary-Beth Bowie in 1997.
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Alana Fairfax, Acadia
Fairfax, a third-year captain and fullback with the Axewomen, becomes the second consecutive Acadia recipient of the AUS student-athlete community service award, which has been presented since 2006.
On the field, she scored one goal this season and does excellent job of controlling the back line and keeping opponents in check while still adding to the attack.
Her most recent major volunteer effort was this past summer with the Acadia Global Medical Brigade, which involved a 10-day mission to Honduras. This student-led group travels to underprivileged countries to set up a brigade in various communities to supply medications to residents and access to medical and dental opportunities that they would otherwise not have access to. She now holds the medical chair executive position for the group and is responsible for contacting physicians, pharmacies, medical companies, etc. to obtain medical supplies for the trip. Another Honduras trip is planned for May 2013.
Additionally, Fairfax, a senior representative with the Acadia Players Association, is involved with a number of community service initiatives, including as a volunteer with the S.M.I.LE. (Sensory Motor Instructional Leadership Experience) program in Wolfville and as a co-chair for the Relay for Life. She also gives her time to help with the Acadia student-athlete literacy day and the Hannah Miller Memorial hockey tournament.
"Alana's list of activities to which she dedicates a significant amount of time speak for themselves. As such, she is a role model for our other athletes, young people in the community, and other students at Acadia in general," says Acadia head coach Amit Batra. "Alana is also the fittest player on the team, with the best training habits and commitment to off-season training. She achieved Academic all-Canadian status in her first year and second year and is poised to do so again while studying for her BSc in Biology with a view to entering Medical School in the future."
COACH OF THE YEAR: Stephen 'Ness' Timmons, Cape Breton
Cape Breton head coach Ness Timmons has been chosen by his peers as the 2012 AUS coach of the year.
This marks the fifth time coach Timmons has been selected by his peers as the top coach in the conference. He previously won the award in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2007 and was also named the CIS Coach of the Year in 2000.
This year, he guided the CIS No. 5-ranked Capers to an impressive undefeated season with a 10-0-3 record and a first place finish in the standings for the first time since 2008.
Ness has been the only coach of the Cape Breton program since 1996 when they first joined the Atlantic conference. In 17 years, he has compiled a career regular season record of 125-56-40 and has now qualified for the AUS championship tournament for the 13th year in a row.
Under coach Timmons, the CBU women's soccer program has captured six of the last nine AUS conference championships and in 2007 guided the Capers to a CIS banner.
"We are fortunate to have a national-calibre coach like Ness who has helped build such a highly successful women's soccer program here at CBU," says John Ryan, Cape Breton's Director of Athletics. "His five AUS coach of the year awards are a testament to both his ability as a coach and the quality of student-athletes he recruits into his program."
UPEI's Mike Redmond (2004 and 2010), Timmons (2000) and former Acadia coach Laura Saunders (1990) are the only Atlantic conference coaches to be named CIS coach of the year.
FIRST AND SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS
The AUS first and second team all-stars were also announced Thursday. They are as follows:
First Team AUS All-Stars
Striker - Emma Landry, Dalhousie (4th year, Ottawa, Ont.)
Striker - Chelsea Currie, Cape Breton (1st year, Sydney, N.S.)
Striker - Meaghan Malcolm, UPEI (2nd year, Markham, Ont.)
Midfielder - Rieka Santilli, Dalhousie (5th year, Halifax, N.S.)
Midfielder - Michelle Yates, Saint Mary's (4th year, Fall River, N.S.)
Midfielder - Josée LeBlanc, Moncton (5th year, Grande(Digue, N.S.)
Defender - Robbyn McNeill, Cape Breton (4th, Kentville, N.S.)
Defender - Hannah Roche, UPEI (2nd year, Pownal, P.E.I)
Defender - Allison Bell-Davies, Cape Breton (3rd, Pickering, Ont.)
Defender - Meaghan Ramsden, StFX (4th year, Ottawa, Ont.)
Keeper - Chanelle Roy, UPEI (5th year, Bathurst, N.B.)
Second Team AUS All-Stars
Striker - Donya Salomon-Ali, Moncton (1st year, LaSalle, Que.)
Striker - Samantha Lagacy, UNB (4th year, Moncton, N.B.)
Striker - Shanice Maxwell, Cape Breton (2nd year, Truro, N.S.)
Striker - Roxane Pelletier, Moncton (4th year, Petit-Rocher Ouest, N.B.)
Midfielder - Danica Lundy, Mount Allison (4th year, Salt Spring Island, B.C.)
Midfielder - Brianna Ford, UNB (2nd year, Halifax, N.S.)
Midfield - Rachel Dragan, StFX (4th year, Orleans, Ont.)
Defender - Kristy MacGregor-Bales, Dalhousie (2nd year, Ottawa, Ont.)
Defender - Jenny Holland, Saint Mary's (3rd year, Shad Bay, N.S.)
Defender - Maria Oliver, Memorial (3rd year, St. John's, Nfld.)
Keeper - Taryn McKenna, Dalhousie (4th year, Oakville, Ont.)
The 2012 Subway Atlantic University Sport Women's Soccer Championship will be hosted by Cape Breton University, November 2-4, 2012.
The championship schedule is as follows:
Friday, November 2nd
Quarter-final #1: UPEI (3rd) vs. Mount Allison (6th), 12:00pm
Quarter-final #2: Moncton (4th) vs. Saint Mary's (5th), 3:00pm
Saturday, November 3rd
Semifinal #1: Cape Breton (1st) vs. Lowest Remaining Seed, 12:00pm
Semifinal #2: Dalhousie (2nd) vs. Highest Remaining Seed, 3:00pm
Sunday, November 4th
Championship Game: Semifinal Winners, 2:00pm
*Note: All games of the championship will be available via webcast, live at www.AUStv.ca.
The Atlantic University Sport conference receives two berths at 2012 CIS Women's Soccer Championship, November 8-11, 2012 hosted by the University of Victoria.
The AUS champion will qualify and the AUS championship runner-up will receive the second rotational berth.