Three Marauders named women’s soccer all-stars

For the second year in a row, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks dominate as Ontario University Athletics (OUA) announces the 2011 OUA West division women’s soccer All-Stars and major award winners.

Fourth-year Golden Hawk midfielder Alyssa Lagonia (Kitchener, Ont.) earns the honour of most valuable player. The four-time OUA First-Team All-Star led a strong Laurier midfield with five goals this season. Lagonia has been an offensive force for the Hawks this season, and a catalyst for the team’s recent successes. Like her OUA East division counterpart, Riley Filion (Alexandria, Ont.), Lagonia is a decorated student athlete. She boasts Canadian national team experience, was a member of Canada’s 2011 FISU team, and was named a CIS All-Canadian in 2010.

Fellow Golden Hawk Emily Brown (Waterloo, Ont.) has been awarded the title of OUA Rookie of the Year. The first-year striker scored nine goals in her rookie campaign, enough for fourth place in OUA scoring. Brown, along with teammates Krista Cellucci (Mississauga, Ont.) and Lagonia, account for 24 of Laurier’s 36 regular season goals.

The 2011 Community Service Award goes to Melissa Corso (Unionville, Ont.). The fifth-year defender for the Guelph Gryphons volunteered at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, helping those affected by spinal injuries participate in upper-body spin classes and a variety of strengthening exercises. Corso also volunteered her time to assistant coach a local girls rep soccer team. A true role model, Corso is also a First-Team All-Star.

The Coach of the Year award goes to Randy Ragan of the Guelph Gryphons. Head Coach Ragan is in his fourth season as bench boss for the Gryphons. This season he led the Gryphons to a 6-6-2 record, and their first appearance in the postseason since 2005.

In addition to two major awards, the defending champions boast six All-Stars. Krista Cellucci, in her third year of eligibility, was named to the 2011 OUA First-Team All-Star team. Fifth-year midfielder Tania Pedron (Maple, Ont.) was also named a First-Team All-Star. The veteran has 47 career wins with the Hawks, and was the 2010 OUA MVP. Two members of Laurier’s defensive corps also made the First-Team All-Star list. Sadie Anderson (Mississauga, Ont.) gets her first nod after being a Second-Team All-Star last year, and 2010 CIS/OUA Rookie of the Year Kelsey Tikka (Thunder Bay, Ont.) also earns First-Team All-Star status. Heather Malizia (Burlington, Ont.) makes her first appearance on the Second-Team, having achieved First-Team All-Star status from 2008-2010.

Second place McMaster has three players with First-Team All-Star status. Fourth-year Cristina Leonardelli (Woodbridge, Ont.) represents the Marauders on defence, while veteran captain Melanie Van Der Hoop (Oakville, Ont.) earns her second First-Team All-Star mention on midfield. Rookie forward Natalie Brace (Warwickshire, U.K.) makes her first appearance as an OUA All-Star.

Four All-Star awards go to the York Lions in 2011. Nicole Markowitz (Toronto) makes her second appearance on the First-Team, while Lions teammates Felicia Turone (Brampton, Ont.), Taylor Lyons (Brampton, Ont.) and keeper Sarah Fiorini (Newmarket, Ont.) earn Second-Team All-Star honours.

Windsor has had an incredible 2011 campaign, edged out of second place by only one point. To cap off their regular season, a record number of players have been named OUA All-Stars. Fifth-year goalkeeper Rebecca Singer (Amherstburg, Ont.) earns First-Team All-Star status for the first time in her career. She posted six shutouts in the 2011 regular season. Fourth-year defender Sara Kox (Denfield, Ont.) earns her second appearance on the Second Team. Mereasa Brownlie (Windsor, Ont.) is Windsor’s sole representative on the Second-Team midfield, while forwards Tiffany Phillips (Mississauga, Ont.) and Candace Garrod (Kingsville, Ont.) are the Second-Team All-Star striker pair.

Brock, Guelph and Western each name one Second-Team All-Star from this year. Brock defender Stephanie DiMartino (Markham, Ont.) makes the list for the second year in a row. Western midfielder Emily Maganja (Oakville, Ont.) is a Second-Team All-Star for the third time, and Guelph’s Natalie Schott (Toronto) makes her first All-Star appearance and rounds out the list.