Colouring Gaels golden

Jonathon Lawrance of men’s hockey and Katie Matthew of women’s volleyball were named top male and female varsity athletes.
Jonathon Lawrance of men’s hockey and Katie Matthew of women’s volleyball were named top male and female varsity athletes.
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At the Varsity Colour Awards, Sam Sabourin of football and Liz Boag of women’s basketball were named top rookies.
At the Varsity Colour Awards, Sam Sabourin of football and Liz Boag of women’s basketball were named top rookies.
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The women’s soccer team, who were recognized as the top varsity team with the Jim Tait Trophy, put their hands on their coveted CIS trophy at the Colour Awards.
The women’s soccer team, who were recognized as the top varsity team with the Jim Tait Trophy, put their hands on their coveted CIS trophy at the Colour Awards.
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Receiver Blaise Morrison was the night’s student-speaker. He reflected on his years with the football team.
Receiver Blaise Morrison was the night’s student-speaker. He reflected on his years with the football team.
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Achievements by varsity athletes were recognized Tuesday night at the 75th Colour Awards banquet and the women’s teams stood front and centre. With the successes of the women’s rowing, hockey, rugby and soccer teams, there were difficult choices to make in recognizing the top athletes of the year.

The banquet was highlighted with recognition for graduating students Jonathon Lawrance of men’s hockey and Katie Matthew of women’s volleyball who were honoured for their athletic careers. The ceremony also recognized the achievements of rookie athletes Sam Sabourin of football and Liz Boag of women’s basketball.

Women’s soccer was recognized twice during the annual event. The team was awarded the Jim Tait Trophy. Until last year, the trophy was awarded to the top male athlete, but now recognizes the top performing varsity team. Jacqueline Tessier of women’s soccer shared the Outstanding Performance of the Year award with women’s hockey goalie Mel Dodd-Moher.

Jenkins Trophy for outstanding male student-athlete: Jonathon Lawrance, men’s hockey

The Jenkins Trophy is awarded to the top male athlete in a team in their final year at Queen’s. Men’s hockey captain Jonathon Lawrance was recognized for his academic and athletic achievement as well as his work within the Kingston community for various charities.

The fourth-year physical and health education major placed second on the team with 25 points.

“It’s an honour,” he said. “It kind of caught me by surprise a little bit but it’s definitely very exciting and kind of the highlight of my Queen’s career for sure.”

The men’s hockey team endured a difficult season with several injuries taking key players like forwards Jordan Mirwaldt and Payton Liske out for portions of the season.

“This year was one of the more trying years we’ve had,” he said. “This was probably the best team on paper since I’ve been here. We had a lot of injuries, a lot of guys in and out so it was trying but we ended up having a pretty decent year.”

Lawrance was named captain in his second year with the team and has continued to be a consistent player. Lawrance said it will be hard to nail down any one memory from his four years at Queen’s.

“Once I step away for a couple years, I’ll be able to look back alittle more, but just my teammates and the friendships I’ve made along the way,” he said. “That’s the one thing that stands out for me.”

PHE ’55 Alumnae Award for top graduating female student athlete: Katie Matthews, women’s volleyball

Middle Katie Matthews ended her Gaels volleyball career on top as she led the nation in solo blocks, received OUA First Team All-Star status and was awarded the PHE ’55 Alumnae Award, honouring the top female athlete.

This success is a far cry from when Matthews first stepped on the court as a walk-on in her first year.

“[I] didn’t get scouted to any schools so I just showed up and tried out for the team and made it,” she said.

Her time at Queen’s won’t end her volleyball career as she’s been training with the provincial team and has recently had a tryout for the national team.

Matthews said the award was not something she expected tonight.

“[I] absolutely don’t even have words for it,” she said. “I’ve been here for the past three years, sitting in the seats and watching the older players get recognized and just the things that have come before me. It just feels amazing to be said that I’m one of them.”

Outstanding Performance of the Year: Mel Dodd-Moher, women’s hockey and Jacqueline Tessier, women’s soccer

The Outstanding Performance of the Year was awarded for the first time last year to quarterback Danny Brannagan in recognition of the football team’s Vanier Cup win. Two Gaels stood out from the crowd of athletes this year, with stellar play in both the regular and post seasons.

Women’s hockey goalie Mel Dodd-Moher was honoured for her history-making play during the Gaels’ playoff run. In what has been the most talked about game of the season, Dodd-Moher made 66 saves in the record-breaking six overtime game that lasted over five hours.

But the real achievement for the Gaels came at the CIS finals, where for the first time in the team’s history, they won a medal.

“We didn’t get the start that we wanted, but I’ll trade that in any day for the end that we had,” Dodd-Moher said. “It was a great season. Just that run at the end made it all worth it, just a lot of fun.”

Dodd-Moher was the top goaltender at the CIS final, allowing just four goals in three games and finishing the tournament with a 0.961 save percentage. She said the team expects to remain competitive next year.

“We just want to pick up where we left off,” she said. “Just really go in with the same spirit that we had. I think that’s the biggest thing, just the frame of mind and know that we can win now that we’ve been to the CIS and been to that stage. We have the confidence to get that far again.”

Second-year forward Jacqueline Tessier was recognized for her offensive skills this season. Tessier led the nation in goals with 18 in 16 games. Tessier scored five goals in a single game against the Trent Excalibur.

“For me it was just a great season,” she said. “Honestly I’d be nothing without them. It takes the whole team to get the ball up to the front. Like I say again and again, just to have this group of girls behind me, it’s easy to put the ball in the back of the net.”

Tessier gave her teammates huge credit in their national championship season.

“I don’t even think [the gold medal] sunk in for me yet,” she said. “But it’s still pretty surreal to me. I mean, we played so hard the entire season, every single game all the girls came out. If anybody was struggling, we pulled each other up. We’re a team in every sense of the word.”

Alfie Pierce Trophy for top male rookie: Sam Sabourin, football

Some new blood revived the football team this year after the graduation of several key members from the 2009 championship team. Rookie linebacker Sam Sabourin exploded into the 2010 season, setting a record for the most solo tackles by a Gael in only his first game.

Sabourin said he credits his coaches and teammates for preparing him each week.

“It was a good season, a good learning experience, the whole transition to the university game,” he said. “The game was definitely a lot faster. After the first couple weeks, I kind of adjusted to it.” Along with his recognition from Queen’s, Sabourin was recognized as the OUA Rookie of the Year.

“It’s a great honour,” he said. “There have been plenty of excellent Queen’s athletes who have won it in the past. It’s just very good company to be in for the most part.”

Alfie Pierce Trophy for top female rookie: Liz Boag, women’s basketball

Point guard Liz Boag was honoured with the Alfie Pierce trophy for her hard work in her rookie season with the women’s basketball team. Boag led the OUA in rookies for points, averaging 9.1 points per game and finished the season with 64 assists.

“We thought we could definitely have more [wins] but we definitely grew a lot as a team and finished strongly ... winning four games at the end to make the playoffs,” she said.

The women’s basketball team had a tough season, due in part to several injuries and ended with a 7-16 record.

“We had a lot of season-ending injuries this year with four,” she said. “We’re hoping that we’re healthy again for next year and we’ll come out strong.”

Being named alongside the athletes that were previous winners, Boag said the recognition was exciting.

“I was a little shocked at first,” she said. “But [I’m] very honoured to be a [recipient] of a major award with athletes that are very respectable and have a lot of success behind them.”

Jim Tait Trophy for outstanding varsity team: Women’s soccer

The choices were tough for team of the year as there were several deserving nominations. But the women’s soccer team added another achievement to their championship season with the Jim Tait Trophy award to the top performing varsity team.

“It was so nice to be recognized for our accomplishment this year,” defender Brienna Shaw said. “Just even being able to go up in front of everyone, it was awesome.”

The Gaels went 14-2 in the regular season, outscoring their opponents by 50-10. After a loss to the Laurier Golden Hawks in the OUA finals, the Gaels advanced as silver medallists to the CIS finals in PEI. The women’s soccer team were able to take revenge on Laurier, defeating the Golden Hawks 1-0 to win the national title.

“Looking back on it, it’s still kind of hard to believe,” forward Kelli Chamberlain said. “A lot of us have been working for four years now to get a result like that ... It was awesome to finally experience a national championship. We bonded so well as a team and our chemistry just led us right to the end.”

With a video played honouring the Gaels’ season, graduating defender Sara Buckham said that the year was very climatic.

“It was amazing to experience that and even seeing the video tonight, it was surreal to imagine that even happened,” she said. “It’s really hard to say goodbye.”

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