KELOWNA, BC – The Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) has announced its 2013-14 conference all-stars for both men’s and women’s soccer just days ahead of their championship tournament. The UBC Okanagan Heat women’s soccer team was one of three PACWEST schools with more than three players represented, with four players chosen as all-stars this year. The men’s squad placed two players on the all-star team for the third straight year.
For the fifth straight year, graduating fullback Jennifer Kidd (Richmond, BC) was named a provincial all-star.
For the second straight year, both defender Hayley Carlson (2nd year, Red Deer, AB), and keeper Christine Tallon (3rd year, Kamloops, BC) received recognition from the league, with junior midfielder Michelle Smith (Vernon, BC) attaining her first all-star after a very solid offensive season.
The men’s soccer team also has a back-to-back all-star in fourth-year midfielder Austin Jones from Vernon, BC. Midfielder Donald Straith (3rd year, Victoria, BC) was the team’s other all-star athlete.
Carlson is a co-captain for the Heat and simply cannot be taken off the field – she has played every minute of every match. This incredibly athletic central defender has been fantastic all year for the Heat and has been more than instrumental in her team’s success this year. An all-star in the classroom, this fantastic student-athlete has consistently maintained a ninety percent average in nursing.
Five-time all-star Jennifer Kidd is a true modern-day fullback. Kidd can be lethal in either shutting down opponents at one end of the field, or scoring goals at the other. Not only can the 5-foot 2 Kidd strike from long-range, but she is also highly adept at setting up her teammates from her fullback position. In her fifth-year, Jennifer has become a quiet yet effective leader of the veteran-laden Heat.
Michelle Smith earned her first all-star, and has made many a spectacular play on headers, using her great vertical to win balls and set up the Heat offense. Four of her six goals on the season have come off of a header, which is amazing for a 5’4” midfielder. Michelle has slick feet and uses her superior ball control and, as coach Claire Paterson describes, a ‘wily’ ability to always make plays happen.
In just 12 starts, fourth-year keeper Christine Tallon has seven shutouts – most in the PACWEST. The veteran keeper from Kamloops, BC will routinely make huge stops and stymie an opposition’s best strikers, keeping the opposing squad off the board for multiple games. Steady and spectacular, Tallon’s play allows the Heat back-line to take chances in the attacking zone.
Austin Jones earned his second straight all-star display after a solid all-around season that saw the striker score goals in five straight games in one stretch. His technical ability with the football, and strong finishing ability struck fear into opposing defenses for the majority of the season. However, Jones is not strictly a goal scorer. His quick, precise passing ability has set up numerous goals over his career at UBC Okanagan, and he continues to prove his worth to the Heat.
Donald Straith is a leader of the Heat men’s soccer team both on the field and in the locker-room. The midfielder has a high work ethic and strong skills in the midfield. He is essential to the team’s set pieces and handles most of the Heat corners. While proving to be a very effective passer in setting up the Heat attack with a well-placed through ball.
The five UBC Okanagan Heat women all-stars will be honoured at the upcoming provincial championships in Nanaimo before their first semi-final matchup, Saturday at 12 p.m. when they play Quest University.