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Kelsey Tikka earns Laurier's first CIS rookie of the year award in women's soccer.
Kelsey Tikka earns Laurier's first CIS rookie of the year award in women's soccer.
Tikka Named CIS Rookie of the Year

CHARLOTTETOWN - Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) is pleased to announce the women’s soccer major award winners and All-Canadians.

Wilfrid Laurier defender and OUA West rookie of the year Kelsey Tikka has been named the CIS rookie of the year.

Tikka is the first Golden Hawk to earn the award since it's inception in 1996.

The 5-foot-6 freshman started all but one game in her university debut and was instrumental in the Hawks' defensive success as Laurier allowed an OUA West-low 10 goals in 14 conference matches. The biology student, a graduate of St. Patrick High School in Thunder Bay, demonstrated leadership skills beyond her age and excelled in building attacks from the back.

Her addition to the roster was key to Laurier posting a remarkable 11-1-2 record in the regular season for its first first-place finish since 2000. The Hawks went on to capture their second OUA title in three years and a berth into the CIS championship. 

"Kelsey has been the biggest difference for us this year, taking us from a good team to an excellent team," said 15-year Laurier head coach BARRY MACLEAN. "She anchors our backline, reads the game exceptionally well and her decision making on the ball is unparalleled."

Cape Breton midfielder Jessica Furtado of Hamilton, Bermuda, Laval striker Mélissande Guy of Quebec City and Alberta goalkeeper Kelti Biggs of Spruce Grove, Alta., were also in the running for the top-freshman award.

The other major award winners were University of Montreal's striker Véronique Laverdière who was named the player of the year, Samantha Hansford of Memorial University who earned the student-athlete community service award and host UPEI’s Mike Redmond who won coach of the year.

Laurier also earned three all-Canadian awards with Tania Pedron of Maple, Ont. And Alyssa Lagonia of Kitchener, Ont. Being named to the first team and Ali McKee of Bracebridge, Ont. landing on the second team.

OUA West MVP Tania Pedron earns the first national award of her career after being named a first team all-Canadian. As co-captain she is one of the Hawks leaders on the field and is vital for both defence and attack. The fourth year business major has stepped up in the playoffs scoring the game tying goal in the OUA quarter-final and helping to shutdown the nation’s leading scorer in the OUA final.

National team member Alyssa Lagonia picked up her first all-Canadian award in her three year career with Laurier. The midfielder is one of the keys to the Golden Hawk’s offence and is one of the team's best passers. Lagonia notched the game winner in the OUA semifinal that earned the team a berth at the national tournament.

Forward Ali McKee was named to the second All-Canadian team after scoring three goals for the Golden Hawks during the regular season. The fourth year arts major has also been an important piece in Laurier’s offence, scoring goals in both the provincial semifinal and final. The marker in the last match was the game winner which earned the Hawks the OUA title.

The women's soccer team finished the OUA regular season with an 11-1-2 record and in first place in the West division. They defeated Western 3-2 in the quarter-final to advance to the final four for the fourth straight season. The Hawks then defeated Ottawa 2-1 and Queen’s 1-0 to earn their second OUA title in three seasons. Laurier will now play UBC in the CIS quarter-final on Thursday, November 11th at 4 p.m

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