The Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) has announced its 2011-12 women’s and men’s all-star selections. The UBC Okanagan Heat women’s soccer team was well represented with five players chosen for the second year in a row. The men’s squad placed two players on the all-star team for the first time since the 2001-02 season.
The first team all-stars for the women’s Heat squad are forward Lindsey Briggs (2nd year, Delta, BC), keeper Sabrina Gasparac (4th year, Langley, BC), and fullback Jennifer Kidd (3rd year, Richmond, BC). The second team includes two first year players for the Heat in defender Hayley Carlson (Red Deer, AB) and forward Kirsten Dodds (Vernon, BC). The men’s first team all-star is keeper Spencer Brown (5th year, West Kelowna, BC) and selected to the second team is forward Andrew Pinguelo (1st year, Vancouver, BC).
The women’s team all-stars:
In just her second year Lindsey Briggs is establishing herself as a unique offensive talent. Not only does Lindsey have great speed and skills but she is a force of nature on the field. Lindsey will not give up the fight and this drive makes her a near impossible matchup for most teams, which is why she sits near the top of the PACWEST leaderboard with five goals. If she doesn’t finish the play, many times her efforts will allow a teammate to score.
Sabrina sits on top of the leaderboard of the PACWEST Goalie leaders with a 0.51 GA avg., as she allowed just five goals in 885 minutes. Sabrina on the season notched five shutouts in just ten games and after four years for the Heat Sabrina has 16.5 shutouts in 39 games. This fourth year keeper is a team captain and active member of the UBC student athlete community always volunteering her time to help in any way. With quality leadership and keeper skills Sabrina has once again led her team to the top of standings again this year.
Jennifer Kidd is in her third year and co-captain with the Heat. Jennifer uses her size, low center of gravity and strength to continually win the ball off of an opponent as she is nearly impossible to get past. Jennifer also brings a vast array of offensive skill to the fullback position, she constantly feeds her forwards and attacking teammates with great balls. Jennifer is also dangerous with any free kick as she can hit the ball deep into the corner of the net or deftly put touch on a pass from the set piece.
For the Heat keeper to have such a stellar year you can usually assume that she has a strong defense in front of her that allows her to be in a position to stop the shots when they happen. Hayley is a key to the Heat’s defense; this first year player is a big strong central defender that does not allow many plays to get past her. She is also a very smart soccer player and always reads the play in front of her and makes the right decision.
The Heat lost an All-Canadian from last season, but still sit atop the leagues standings, you do this by recruiting players of Kirsten’s calibre. Dodds is in her first year out of Vernon, BC and brings with her a fantastic set of feet that will lose multiple defenders with the way she can dangle the ball. Kirsten’s nose for the goal has been evident very early in her career as she has six goals in just 11 games played. She also creates a ton of chances for herself and her teammates.
The men’s team all-stars:
Spencer Brown is a unique athlete; he has been playing on both the Heat men’s soccer team and the Heat men’s volleyball team for the past four seasons. As the Heat’s starting keeper this season he has played every minute of every game. It is Spencer's athleticism that allows him to play volleyball, and that same athleticism allows him to make saves other keepers are unable to. Spencer has two shutouts on the year and boats a stellar 1.45 GA avg. and has been the backbone of the Heat's playoff run.
As a first year player Andrew is making waves in the league with his skill, quickness and nose for the goal. This first year forward from Vancouver has tallied five goals for the Heat. Andrew’s five goals has him tied for third on the PACWEST leaderboard. The attention Andrew is getting from the opponents defenders have allowed his Heat teammates to find scoring opportunities. The 2011 Heat's scoring attack has pushed the team into a provincial contender.
All seven of the Heat’s all-stars will be honoured at the upcoming provincial championships before their first match. For the men that will be Friday at 3:30 p.m. before the men face off against the Kwantlen Eagles in quarter final action. The five women all-stars will be honoured before their semi-final matchup, Saturday at 10:30 a.m.