NEW WESTMINSTER, BC – The Trinity Western University Spartans were the big winners in the 2014 Canada West Women's Soccer awards ceremony tonight, as the Langley, BC-based program took home Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year awards, after the team finished with a conference-best 10-1-1 record.
The selections were announced at the Canada West Awards Banquet hosted by the Spartans at their campus on Thursday evening.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER. Fifth-year Trinity Western midfielder/striker Jessica King was selected as the 2014 Canada West Most Valuable Player after a year to remember as she led the Spartans in scoring with 12 goals and led the CIS in game-winning goals with a whopping seven in just 11 games played. King, who hails from Liverpool, England and is studying psychology, led TWU offensively as she tallied 38.7 percent of the Spartans entire goal output en route to leading them to a 10-1-1 regular season record.
The 5-foot-7 King scored in all but three of the games she played and was clinical in her finishing as she had a .387 shooting percentage over the course of the regular season. Along the way, she also collected her first career hat-trick in a 5-2 win over UBC Okanagan.
King was named one of the Canada West 3 Stars of the Week on three separate occasions and was instrumental to TWU posting a fourth straight regular season with just one loss.
"Jess's season is a culmination of a wonderful career and a wonderful story," said Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh. "She's a player who had to bide her time in getting playing time. Then her work rate just continued to increase and her fitness got better and better and her dedication to being a complete athlete got better. This award is a culmination of her talent, which is special, and her hard work and dedication to become the best that she can be. We wouldn't be where we are without her goals and some of her game-winning moments. She has been a wonderful servant to our program."
King is only the second Spartan ever to win the award, following Nikki Wright in 2008.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR. Seina Kashima, a 5-foot-2 Burnaby, B.C. product, came to TWU with high expectations and, in her first year, lived up to the billing entirely, winning the 2014 Canada West Rookie of the Year award. Kashima started 10 of the 11 games in which she played and her playmaking ability was on full display throughout the campaign as she finished in a tie for second in Canada West with six assists. She also scored four goals, which put her third in team scoring on a Spartans side that led the conference in goals.
Joining the Spartans after previously playing within the Vancouver Whitecaps FC program, Kashima picked up a point in six of TWU's final nine games, including a season-high three-point night (two goals and one assist) in a 5-1 over UBC Okanagan.
"Seina is an electric offensive talent," said Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh. "She's a wonderful kid who is only going to become more and more impactful for our team and this shows why she is one of the best attacking players in the country. She's grown in her comfort this season as a new player and in the second half of the season, she has been an incredible spark and provided so much offence and a consistent threat to the other team."
This marks the fifth time that a Spartan won the Rookie of the Year award. The last one was Kashima's teammate, Krista Gommeringer, in 2012.
COACH OF THE YEAR. Five-time CIS national champion and five-time Canada West champion Graham Roxburgh is the 2014 Canada West Coach of the Year after leading his Trinity Western side to yet another impressive campaign as the Spartans finished atop the Pacific Division and the conference with a 10-1-1 record.
Roxburgh's team led Canada West in scoring with 31 goals this year and helped guide the Spartans to their fourth straight regular season in which they've only lost one game and their 11th straight Canada West Final Four.
This is the third time he has been named Canada West Coach of the Year, having also won in 2009 and 2011.
"It's a great honour for Graham to be selected by his peers for this prestigious award," said TWU Athletic Director Murray Hall. "Graham has set the standard for coaching excellence at TWU in a number of areas under our Complete Champion Approach™. He has built an excellent expert-based staff around him, recruited top student-athletes who fit the high performance and high character culture that he demands.
"Graham's team knows the game of soccer, but is also always learning more and more about being contributing and serving citizens, both locally and globally. Because of Graham, the women's soccer team is one of our top teams in outreach and cross-cultural impact."
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD. Fraser Valley Cascades standout goalkeeper Kayla Klim was honoured with the 2014 Canada West Student-Athlete Community Service Award for her impact on the field, in the campus and beyond.
The generous, community-minded Burnaby native, currently in her third year with the Cascades, serves as a resident assistant at UFV's Baker House Residence. Her responsibilities include, among other things, helping international students feel at home and get connected socially at the university.
Klim is also active in various cancer fundraising initiatives. On October 9, she was one of the driving forces behind the "Brave the Shave" fundraiser on campus in support of the Canadian Cancer Foundation. Klim has had several family members impacted by cancer, and to show her support, she raised pledges and then shaved her head and donated her long, blond locks to make wigs for chemotherapy patients.
On the pitch, Klim is a star for the Cascades. An alum of the Whitecaps Girls Elite program, she finished fourth in Canada West this season with an .841 save percentage, and her sparkling five-save performance in last Saturday's 3-0 victory over Victoria in the conference quarterfinals was her sixth clean sheet of the season.
This past summer, Klim played for the Seattle Sounders of the W-League.
"Kayla is very involved in campus life at UFV," Cascades coach Rob Giesbrecht said. "She has a leadership role in our residence, connecting international students to the local community. She raised over $3,000 for cancer research and donated her hair to cancer patients.
"And on top of being an outstanding goalkeeper and a great competitor, she's a really positive force on our team and has really helped shape our culture into a positive, competitive program."
FIRST & SECOND ALL-STAR TEAMS. The 2014 Canada West Women's Soccer First and Second All-Star Teams were named, headlined by six Trinity Western Spartans and five Victoria Vikes. The Alberta Pandas had three players selected, while the Calgary Dinos, Fraser Valley Cascades and Saskatchewan Huskies each had two. The MacEwan Griffins and the UBC Thunderbirds also each had a player selected.
Seven of the players selected are repeat winners from last year – Trinity Western's Jennifer Castillo, Vanessa Kovacs and Krista Gommeringer, Victoria's Emma Greig and Jaclyn Sawicki, Alberta's Kelti Biggs and Saskatchewan's Jenelle Zapski.
Joining them are first-time winners King, Kashima and Kristen Santema of the Spartans, Meaghan Storie, Cassie Dennis and Mallory Hackett of the Vikes, Lauren Vernon and Maddie Lee of the Dinos, Anna Schellenberg and Jessie Candlish of the Pandas, Kara Delwo and Monika Levarsky of the Cascades, Kayla Evans of the Griffins, Jennifer Miller of the Huskies, and Taylor Shannik of the T-Birds.
FAIR PLAY AWARD. The Alberta Pandas, Victoria Vikes, UNBC Timberwolves and Manitoba Bisons women's soccer programs were given the 2014 Canada West Fair Play Award. The four teams tied for the best discipline record during the season.
The Canada West Final Four gets underway on Friday, October 31 when Saskatchewan battles Final Four host Trinity Western at 5:00 pm PDT. They are followed by the Alberta versus Fraser Valley match at 7:30 pm PDT. The matches will be webcasted live on CanadaWest.TV.
Complete list of 2014 Canada West Women's Soccer Awards winners:
Most Valuable Player: Jessica King, Trinity Western
Rookie of the Year: Seina Kashima, Trinity Western
Coach of the Year: Graham Roxburgh, Trinity Western
Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Kayla Klim, Fraser Valley
Fair Play Award: Alberta, Victoria, UNBC, Manitoba
2014 Canada West First Team All-Stars (repeat winners in bold):
Kelti Biggs, Alberta
Jennifer Castillo, Trinity Western
Vanessa Kovacs, Trinity Western
Lauren Vernon, Calgary
Anna Schellenberg, Alberta
Kara Delwo, Fraser Valley
Emma Greig, Victoria
Krista Gommeringer, Trinity Western
Jessica King, Trinity Western
Seina Kashima, Trinity Western
Jaclyn Sawicki, Victoria
2014 Canada West Second Team All-Stars (repeat winners in bold):
Meaghan Storie, Victoria
Cassie Dennis, Victoria
Mallory Hackett, Victoria
Kayla Evans, MacEwan
Jennifer Miller, Saskatchewan
Kristen Santema, Trinity Western
Jessie Candlish, Alberta
Taylor Shannik, UBC
Monika Levarsky, Fraser Valley
Jenelle Zapski, Saskatchewan
Maddie Lee, Calgary
Image Credit: Trinity Western University Spartans