Nov. 5, 2015 (MONCTON, N.B.) - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2015 women's soccer all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference's 10 head coaches following regular season play.
Third-year Acadia Axewomen striker Meghan Earle was named the AUS most valuable player at Thursday's awards luncheon, hosted at the Delta Beauséjour in Moncton by the Université de Moncton.
Other AUS major award winners announced were Cape Breton's Ciera Disipio of Ottawa, Ont. who was named the rookie of the year; Memorial's Jessie Noseworthy of St. John's, N.L., who received the student-athlete community service award; and Acadia Axewomen head coach Amit Batra, who was selected as the coach of the year for the first time in his career.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Meghan Earle, Acadia University
Meghan Earle, a third-year striker with the CIS No. 8-ranked Acadia Axewomen, is the 2015 AUS women's soccer most valuable player.
The 5-foot-7 native of Mount Pearl, N.L. was second in the conference in goals this season with 12.
Despite missing two games due to injury, Earle led the Atlantic conference in game-winning goals with five, was second in points with 14 and fourth in both shots (37) and shots on goal (23).
Thursday's banquet also marked the second time in Earle's career that she has been named to an AUS all-star squad. She was named a second team all-star in her freshman year in 2013.
She currently has 24 career regular season goals.
"The key to Meghan's season has been her maturity in preparation and in focus in games, which has led to great decision making," said Axewomen head coach Amit Batra. "She has rarely played ninety minutes and has missed two games, but when she has played she has notched five game-winning goals and another that tied the game in the end. In addition, she has not only provided assists, but you can see players around her are also playing better and that is the mark of a great player and teammate."
Earle is the third Acadia player to be named the conference's most valuable player, and the first since 1995. Former Axewomen stars and Jennifer Andrews (1995) and Cindy Montgomerie (1994) are also previous Acadia recipients of the 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: Ciera Disipio, Cape Breton University
Ciera Disipio of the Cape Breton Capers has been chosen by the coaches as the 2015 Atlantic University Sport rookie of the year.
A community studies student from Ottawa, Ontario, Disipio started in 11 regular season games in her freshman season, posting seven points, with four goals and three assists.
"Ciera has had a tremendous first season in the league," said Cape Breton head coach Ness Timmons. "She has become a key player on our team in a very short time. She has a good balance of power and poise when controlling the middle of the park."
Disipio becomes the eighth freshman from a Cape Breton squad to take home AUS rookie of the year honours since 1998. Teammates Chelsea Currie (2012) and Karolyne Blain (2011) have also been awarded the honour. Former Capers standouts Jessica Furtado (2010), Cheryl Wall (2003), Kendra Jones (2002), Michelle Desjardins (2000) and Sarah Drake (1998) are the other Cape Breton players to have earned top rookie honours.
Disipio will now represent the Atlantic conference as the AUS nominee for CIS rookie of the year.
The only AUS 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: Jessie Noseworthy, Memorial University
Third-year striker Jessie Noseworthy of the Memorial Sea-Hawks is the 2015 student-athlete community service award recipient.
This is the third time a member of the Memorial squad has earned the honour, with Samantha Hansford earning the honour in 2010, and Leslie Pope in 2009.
Noseworthy is an exemplary student-athlete, balancing athletics, academics and extensive community involvement. The nursing student is a long-time volunteer with the Easter Seals program, teaching weekly swim lessons to children with physical and mental disabilities, including children with brittle bone syndrome, autism, and neuromuscular disorders.
Noseworthy is a volunteer with the Ronald McDonald House Home for Dinner Program, where she and other varsity student-athletes cook meals for the families residing in the house whose children are undergoing treatment at the Janeway Child Health Centre. Along with volunteering with the Ronald McDonald House, Noseworthy is a volunteer with Eastern Health in the palliative care unit.
A driving force behind the Street Reach Christmas Stockings drive, Noseworthy is in her second year of coordinating the initiative in which the Memorial varsity athletics community collects personal care items and small gifts to put together Christmas stockings for a local organization.
This initiative supports young people who are struggling with food security, lack of safe and affordable housing, live in poverty, have low literacy skills, have mental health issues, and have limited or no access to a strong social support network.
In June 2015, Noseworthy travelled on a four-week volunteer trip to India. Spending her time in a small Tibetan refugee village in Northern India, Noseworthy volunteered at a local monastery teaching English to the young boys, as well as joining a local doctor on a health campaign.
She travelled to different Tibetan schools, monasteries and old age homes to assist a local physician in performing physical assessments on patients. Noseworthy volunteered in the village conducting English conversation classes, and spent time with local children playing cricket, volleyball and soccer at the end of the school day.
Along with some of her teammates, Noseworthy has volunteered with the Association for New Canadians to coordinate and organize a food drive at home soccer games, with all food collected being donated to the annual Thanksgiving dinner.
"We are very proud of Jessie and all that she accomplishes," said Memorial head coach Mike Power. "She is a tremendous leader in our community and on our team. Jessie's output as a student-athlete is extremely impressive and we are thrilled she has been honoured with this award."
Noseworthy is now the AUS nominee for the CIS student-athlete community service award. The most recent recipient of the CIS award from the Atlantic conference was Acadia's Caoimhe MacParland who earned the honour last season.
Only one Memorial standout has won the national honour, with Samantha Hanaford earning it in 2010.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Amit Batra, Acadia University
Acadia Axewomen's head coach Amit Batra has been chosen by his peers as the 2015 AUS coach of the year.
This marks the first time coach Batra has been selected as the conference's top coach since he took over the team's leadership in 2010.
Prior to becoming head coach for the Axewomen, Batra spent two seasons with the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics women's soccer program. While there, the Mystics posted only one regular season loss in two years and finished the 2009 season undefeated.
This year, he guided Axewomen to a 10-1-2 regular season record and first place in the AUS standings. They secured not only a spot in this year's championship, but a first-round bye to Saturday's semifinals.
After finishing in the bottom of the standings in his first three years with the Axewomen, Batra has guided Acadia to three playoffs since 2013, and to the top of the standings for the first time since 1996.
Batra becomes the second Axewomen coach to earn the AUS honour, and the first since 1994. Laura Saunders earned the honour for Acadia in both 1990 and 1994.
"Amit is extremely deserving of this tremendous award," said Acadia athletic director Kevin Dickie. "We have all at Acadia Athletics been inspired by his tireless efforts to make our women's soccer team a perennial contender in the AUS. He has found the perfect coaching balance between sticking to his beliefs, convictions and values, while always trying to learn and advance as a coach. Our next couple of years as a program are a result of tremendous recruiting and planning."
Batra now becomes the AUS nominee for CIS coach of the year.
The most recent coach from the Atlantic conference to be awarded the national honour was Cape Breton's Ness Timmons in 2012.
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
Keeper – Sami Jo Bell, UNB (4th year – East Dover, N.S.)
Defender – Emily Nickerson, Acadia (3rd year – Coldbrook, N.S.)
Defender – Robyn Novorolsky, Cape Breton (3rd year – Richmond Hill, Ont.)
Defender – Hayley Gates, UNB (4th year – Bridgewater, N.S.)
Midfielder – Tamara Brown, Cape Breton (3rd year – Whitby, Ont.)
Midfielder – Hannah Rivkin, Memorial (4th year – St. John's, N.L.)
Midfielder – Michelle Pryde, Acadia (4th year – Calgary, Alta.)
Midfielder – Lucy Parkin, UNB (4th year – Sheffield, UK)
Striker – Meghan Earle, Acadia (3rd year – Mt. Pearl, N.L.)
Striker – Keona Simmonds, Cape Breton (2nd year – Brampton, Ont.)
Striker – Jessie Noseworthy, Memorial (3rd year – St. John's, N.L.)
Second Team AUS All-Stars
Keeper – Tessa Ritchie, Mount Allison (3rd year – Ottawa, Ont.)
Defender – Kristy McGregor-Bales, Dalhousie (5th year – Ottawa, Ont.)
Defender – Keisha Younge, Memorial (2nd year – Mt. Pearl, N.L.)
Defender – Claire Skanes, Memorial (2nd year – St. John's, N.L.)
Midfielder – Victoria Parkinson, Dalhousie (4th year – Halifax, N.S.)
Midfielder – Olivia Czipf, StFX (2nd year – Thunder Bay, Ont.)
Midfielder – Alyssa Armstrong, Cape Breton (3rd year – St. John's, N.L.)
Striker – Karolyne Blain, Cape Breton (5th year – Sudbury, Ont.)
Striker – Amanda Volcko, Mount Allison (4th year – Halifax, N.S.)
Striker – Kinsella Noseworthy-Smith, Acadia (4th year – Wolfville, N.S.)
Striker – Jane Pope, Memorial (3rd year – St. John's, N.L.)
The 2015 Subway Atlantic University Sport women's soccer championship will be hosted by Université de Moncton at Stade Moncton Stadium, in Moncton, N.B., November 5-8, 2015.
The championship schedule is as follows:
Thursday, Nov. 5
Quarter-final #1: StFX (5th) vs. UNB (4th), 5 p.m.
Quarter-final #2: Moncton (6th) vs. Memorial (3rd), 7:15 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 6
Semifinal #1: Lowest Remaining Seed vs. Acadia (1st), 5 p.m.
Semifinal #2: Highest Remaining Seed vs. Cape Breton (2nd), 7:15 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 8
Championship Game: Semifinal #1 Winner vs. Semifinal #2 Winner, 2 p.m.
*Note: All games of the championship will be broadcast live on Bell Aliant's FibreOP TV1 and available via webcast, live at www.AUStv.ca.
Final AUS women's soccer standings:
The Atlantic University Sport conference receives one berth at the 2015 CIS women's soccer championship, November 12-15, 2015, hosted by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C.
The AUS champion will be the lone team to qualify for this year's national championship.
For more information on the 2015 CIS women's soccer championship, please visit the official website at: http://en.cis-sic.ca/championships/wsoc/index.