MSOC: Rookie Gardner named CW Player of the Year

MSOC: Rookie Gardner named CW Player of the Year

UBC first-year earns pair of conference major awards

EDMONTON – Thomas Gardner will have his hands full of Canada West awards, as the first-year UBC midfielder was named the conference's Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year Thursday.

Gardner claimed the two major awards, as the conference unveiled its top honours ahead of this weekend's CW Final Four, which will be played at UBC.

Joining Gardner as award winners were: UNBC's Francesco Bartolillo (Student-Athlete Community Service), and Alberta's Martin Fenger-Andersen (Coach of the Year).

Alberta was also acknowledged as the CW Fair Play Award winner.

You can watch Gardner and company this weekend at the CW MSOC Final Four, which opens tomorrow with semifinal play.

TRU and TWU clash Friday at 4 p.m. PDT in the first CW semi, while UBC takes on UFV in the second semi at 7 p.m. PDT.

The conference bronze medal game is slated for Saturday at 7 p.m. PDT, while the championship game is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. PDT.

You can watch all the action from this weekend's CW MSOC Final Four by tuning in on Canada West TV. Post-season passes can be purchased by clicking here.

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PLAYER OF THE YEAR & ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Thomas Gardner

  • UBC Thunderbirds
  • Midfielder
  • 1st-year
  • North Vancouver, B.C.
  • Arts

One of the most highly sought after recruits last off-season, North Vancouver’s Thomas Gardner lived up to his billing as one of the most dynamic midfielders in the Canada West.

The first-year Arts student scored six times in just 12 regular season games for the Thunderbirds, and his eight points had him third in team scoring. Three of his six goals stood up as game-winners.

The product of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC2 program was a machine on set pieces, scoring five of his six goals off free kicks, including a streak of four consecutive home games with a free kick tally.

Coach's comments:

“I am thrilled for Tommy to be recognized for these prestigious, major conference awards. He is a very talented individual who has really embraced coming into the university level of play. He is hard working and humble and has fit in well with our group.” - Mike Mosher, UBC Thunderbirds head coach.

 

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STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE: Francesco Bartolillo

  • UNBC Timberwolves
  • Forward
  • 5th-year
  • Calgary, Alta.
  • Business Administration

The all-time leading goal scorer in UNBC Men’s soccer history, Francesco Bartolillo paced the Timberwolves this season in goals (6), assists (4), and points (10).

But his achievements off the pitch are even more impressive.

A four-time Academic All-Canadian, Bartolillo will forever leave his fingerprints on the Prince George community. Along with coaching youth soccer, and founding a soccer tennis tournament to benefit KidSport BC, Bartolillo created the Timberwolves Student Athlete Society.

In 2017, he created the MVP of the Month initiative, which identifies a youth in the community who is battling cancer. Fundraising events and awareness campaigns are focused around the selected child, with funds raised donated to the child, and to cancer research. Over the past two years, using the funds from events like the Fill the Bus Bottle Drive, and the TSAS Flag Football Tournament, more than $10,000 has been raised and donated.

Coach's comments:

“Fran’s contribution to the Timberwolves, the University, and the city of Prince George is admirable and deserves recognition. His on field actions speak for themselves, but his selfless actions off the field for his fellow athletes, and members of the community is why he is truly a successful student athlete at UNBC. The MVP of the Month and other community initiatives that Fran has led, and what they mean to the families involved, far outweighs anything that happens on the soccer field.” - Steve Simonson, UNBC Timberwolves head coach.

 

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COACH OF THE YEAR: Martin Fenger-Andersen

  • Alberta Golden Bears

Golden Bears soccer associate head coach Martin Fenger-Andersen has become the second coach in Golden Bears program history to be named the Canada West Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year.

Fenger-Andersen spent five seasons as an assistant coach with the Bears from 2013-2017, before taking over as the associate head coach in 2018. He was also promoted to lead coach for the Bears this season with the impending retirement of current head coach Len Vickery.

Fenger-Andersen led the Bears to a 12-0-2 record, and the No. 1 seed in the Prairie Division. It marked just the fourth undefeated season for the Bears in program history and the first since a 9-0-5 record in 2006. The Bears also finished inside the top three in Canada West in both goals scored (31) and goals against (6), and were a mainstay in the U SPORTS top 10.

Vickery captured the Coach of the Year award seven times during his 34-year career at the University of Alberta, the most recent coming in 2016-17.

Athletic director's comments:

“Martin has been instrumental in the development of our junior program, and made his stamp on the varsity team over the past few years. He has done an excellent job in taking over from Len, and led the Bears to one of their best seasons in program history. Martin brings in a fresh voice, and has done well at connecting with our talented student-athletes.” - Ian Reade, Alberta Director of Athletics.

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FAIR PLAY AWARD: Alberta Golden Bears

Along with being the top team in the Prairie Division this season, Alberta also was the least penalized, finishing the season with just eight yellow cards to their name.

Thanks to their stellar discipline record, the Golden Bears are the CW Fair Play Award recipients.