In its first ten years competing in the Canada West, UNBC Soccer garnered eight all-star or all-rookie honours in the annual awards celebrating the conference’s highest achievers.
This year, the UNBC men’s and women’s soccer programs equalled a decade worth of all-star nods with eight players earning conference honours in just one season.
Five members of Timberwolves Men’s Soccer and three members of Timberwolves Women’s Soccer garnered accolades today, in a historic haul for University of Northern British Columbia Athletics.
Michael Henman, F, 4th Year – 1st Team All-Star
“I am so incredibly proud of all that Michael has accomplished. Not just this year, but every year since finding his way to UNBC. He is truly an exceptional young man, and for him to accomplish what he did this season is absolutely remarkable. This is a year I will never forget.” (Steve Simonson)
Cody Gysbers, D, 5th Year – 1st team All-Star
“Cody has steadily grown into the role he has today, in his fifth year with our program. He is so deserving of this all-star recognition, as he has had his strongest year of five important seasons with us. He has battled injuries for a long time, and I am happy to see him playing constantly, which has led to successes this year at UNBC.” (Steve Simonson)
Kensho Ando, M, 3rd Year – 2nd Team All-Star
“Kensho is an undeniably important part of UNBC’s success this year. A player of his type can often go unnoticed because he doesn’t always impact in obvious areas like goals or assists. His defensive efforts are absolute exceptional and he deserves the recognition. I am thrilled for Kenny.” (Steve Simonson)
Daniel Zadravec, G, 3rd Year – 2nd Team All-Star
“Dan has demonstrated the abilities that we knew he had when we brought him to UNBC. He has always been an important part of the goalkeeping team since his arrival, but now he has matured into a top starting GK in Canada West and I couldn’t be happier for him.” (Steve Simonson)
Hagon Kim, D, 1st Year – All-Rookie Team
“We are so fortunate to have Hagon at UNBC. He plays beyond his first-year status, and has shown not just great quality, but also great adaptability within our team. To top it off he is an incredible young man and we look forward to more successful years for him to come at UNBC.” (Steve Simonson)
History was made with the announcement of the Canada West Women’s Soccer All-Stars, with three Timberwolves being honoured by the conference; the most in the program’s history. This includes Kiana Swift, who becomes the first Timberwolves Women’s Soccer player to be named to the CW First All-Star team.
Kiana Swift, M, 4th Year – 1st Team All-Star
“An amazing year for Kiana with her debut for the Tongan National Team in the summer, a fantastic season, and now recognition from the coaches in Canada West. Kiana has been a conference leader statistically the last two years in nearly all defending areas. More importantly Kiana’s contribution to the team intentions allows her teammates to use their strengths. I am really happy for Kiana today.” (Neil Sedgwick)
Mara McCleary, D, 5th Year – 2nd Team All-Star
“Mara helped change the program’s profile during her time at UNBC. I am thrilled that Mara is receiving this recognition for the tireless efforts, for the dependable performances, and for the standard-setting lifestyle on the turf and in the classroom. It has been wonderful to observe the progress from youth player in BCSPL through a university career. Mara has left an indelible mark on the UNBC program.” (Neil Sedgwick)
Paige Payne, F, 5th Year – 2nd Team All-Star
“From Kitimat to All-Star. I am so pleased for Paige as her passion for the game and her personal development has continued to be at the highest level throughout her career. Paige causes problems for opposition in her efforts to help the team, and this year her goal scoring was essential for our progress as a program. Clearly a standout player in the conference and she will be greatly missed by our program.” (Neil Sedgwick)