Local trio shines as OUA field hockey all-stars

Hamilton’s Krissy Wishart, Burlington’s Angela Lancaster, and Oakville’s Effie Petrou had stars in their eyes as the Ontario University Athletics women’s field hockey regular season ran its course.

Wishart and Lancaster, fifth-year players and teammates on the first-place finishing Guelph Gryphons, and Petrou were named first-team allstars. While Wishart and Lancaster were in the top ten for scoring in the regular season with seven and 10 goals, respectively, Petrou, a mid-fielder for York, was named an allstar for a fourth year in a row.

Guelph’s Brienne and Tegan Stairs dominated the field hockey season and have the hardware to prove it. Brienne Stairs (Kitchener) claims the OUA player of the year prize, and with good reason. The third-year forward was the league leader in scoring during the regular season with 30 goals in 14 games to lead the Gryphons to a 12-0-2 record, the best in school history.

Her sister, Tegan, is the recipient of the rookie of the year award and after a stand-out recruit season, she earned it. The first-year forward worked in tandem with her older sister and netted seven goals of her own.

The Gail Wilson Award, given to the player who makes the most outstanding contribution to field hockey, is awarded to Western’s Petra Kovacs (Strathroy). Kovacs has been a central part of a rebuilding project at Western, a program that was winless in her first season in 2005 and is now a legitimate powerhouse in OUA finishing the 2009 season with a record of 8-4-2. She is also a leader off the field, spearheading a field hockey camp for youth in London, as well as volunteering at Camp Trillium, a program that supports young cancer patients.

Waterloo’s head coach Eshan Ali was named the coach of the year. The Warriors finished in fourth place with a record of 7-4-3, an 11-point turnaround from 2008. It is the team’s first winning season since 2005.

In addition to winning the player of the year award, Brienne Stairs is also named a first-team all-star.

The Toronto Varsity Blues take four first-team all-star spots. Fourth-year forward Kyesia O’Neale (Mississauga) was named to the second-team last year, making her first appearance on the first-team in 2009. Fifth-year defender Kristen Shier (North Vancouver, B.C.) is also a first-team all-star for the second time, as is second-year defender Kaelan Watson (Richmond, B.C.). Shier was tied for second in OUA scoring with 11 goals. Rounding out the list for Varsity Blues all-stars is third-year midfielder and first-time all-star Hannah Tighe (Penticton, B.C.).

York’s Brittany Blount (Ottawa), a fifth-year goalkeeper, is named to the first-team for the second time.

Western and McGill each had one athlete named a first-team all-star. Camille St. Cyr (Richmond, B.C.) of the Martlets is named an all-star for the second time, but makes her first appearance on the first-team. Western’s Michelle Weber (Ilderton) is named a first-team all-star for the fourth time in her five-year university career. Weber tied Shier for second place in OUA scoring with 11 goals.

The second-team all-star list is loaded with Waterloo Warriors. Rookie forward Courtney Bisch (Wellesley), along with second-year midfielder Kara Moro (Port Moody, Ont.) and first-year goalkeeper Amy Tabbert (Nithburg, Ont.) are all recognized as all-stars for the first time. Fifth-year defender Katherine Olsen (Calgary) makes a repeat appearance on the second-team.

Three Western Mustangs were named second-team all-stars, including the 2008 Gail Wilson Award winner and fourth-year midfielder Sarah Cobourn (Mississauga), former Queen’s Gael Kirsten Jewell (Toronto) and fourth-year midfielder Louise Radford (Guelph), who was named a second-team all-star for the third year in a row.

Rounding out the second-team are Queen’s Gaels Emily Newton (Vancouver) and Mary-Anne Reid (Gananoque, Ont.), as well as rookie of the year Tegan Stairs and Rianna Sterk (Embro) of the Toronto Varsity Blues.