Abbotsford – Five University of the Fraser Valley soccer players were honoured on as Canada West announced its 2019 all-star and all-rookie teams.
The Cascades women’s team placed senior winger Brittney Zacharuk on the conference’s second all-star team, and a pair of first-year phenoms – Bryana Buttar and Katie Lampen – cracked the all-rookie roster.
On the men’s side, fifth-year forward Gurmaan Jhaj closed out his career with a second team all-star nod, while Jehmrode Kahlon earned all-rookie honours.
After being passed over for all-star honours last season despite finishing second in the conference in goals and third in points in 2018, Zacharuk received her due after another stellar campaign. The Delta, B.C. product was sixth in the conference in goals (seven), fourth in assists (six) and fourth in points (13) as a senior.
“I’m really excited for Brittney – this is much-deserved,” Cascades women’s soccer head coach Rob Giesbrecht said. “You look at her body of work over her career, and she’s among the leaders in Canada West. Somehow she was left off last year, and this year she delivered once again. Teams key in on her and try to stop her, but she fights through that and produces.”
The senior from Aldergrove, B.C. earned all-conference accolades for the second straight year, after being named a CW first-teamer in 2018. He once again paced the Cascades offensively, ranking eighth in the conference for points with nine (five goals, four assists).
“It’s nothing less than he deserves,” UFV men’s soccer head coach Tom Lowndes said, reflecting on Jhaj’s all-star nod. “He had a really good university career, so it’s nice he’s being recognized by the other coaches in the league. His role changed slightly this season, where he’s created more opportunities for other players. He helped lead a more well-balanced offence.”
The midfielder from Abbotsford, B.C. had a huge impact on her hometown program as a rookie. Buttar posted three goals and two assists, ranking third on the team for goals and points, and was a ball-winning presence all over the field.
“Bry had a strong first year,” Giesbrecht noted. “She produced offensively early in the season, and played at an elite level throughout the entire year. Her work rate, her soccer IQ and her overall ability separate her from the rest.”
The speedy winger from Chilliwack, B.C. stepped into the starting lineup following an early-season injury to sophomore Jashan Sandhar, and fit in seamlessly. Lampen tied Zacharuk for team-high honours with seven goals, a total which also led all rookies in Canada West. She added two assists, and tied Buttar for second on the team with 31 shots.
“Katie had an incredible first year,” Giesbrecht said. “She took advantage of the opportunity presented to her, and never looked back. She’s a threat with her pace, her assertive mentality, and her competitive edge.”
The dynamic midfielder from Abbotsford was dazzling with the ball at his feet, showing the ability to take on defenders one-on-one. Kahlon finished second on the team in points with four (two goals, two assists) and third in shots (17) in 13 games.
“He’s had a good start to his university career,” Lowndes noted. “He showed what he’s capable of, and showed he can do very well at this level. We’re excited to see him grow and get even stronger next year.”