Finalists announced for AUS Athletes of the Year

HALIFAX: Atlantic University Sports is pleased to announce the finalists for the conference’s male and female Athletes of the Year awards.

These six student-athletes impressed with outstanding performances this past season. Next week, one female and one male will be named the 2019-20 AUS Athletes of the Year.

These two winners will then become the Atlantic conference nominees for the U SPORTS Athlete of the Year awards—the Jim Johnson Trophy (women’s athlete of the year award) and the Doug Mitchell Trophy (men’s athlete of the year award).

The three finalists for the 2019-20 AUS Male Athlete of the Year award are Cape Breton Capers men’s soccer defender Peter Schaale, Dalhousie men’s basketball guard Keevan Veinot, and Noah Mascoll-Gomes from Mount Allison Mounties men’s swimming.

The three finalists for the 2019-20 AUS Female Athlete of the Year award are Dalhousie women’s volleyball setter Courtney Baker, StFX women’s hockey forward Tyra Meropoulis, and UPEI women’s basketball guard Jenna Mae Ellsworth.

AUS Male Athlete of the Year: Top 3 Finalists

Name: Peter Schaale

School: Cape Breton University

Sport: Men’s Soccer

Position: Defender

Hometown: Bernkastel-Kues, Germany

Year of Eligibility: Fourth

Academic Program: BBA

Peter Schaale, a fourth-year defender from the U SPORTS bronze medallist Cape Breton Capers, was honoured as the Atlantic University Sport men’s soccer most valuable player for the second straight season.

He was also named a U SPORTS first team-Canadian for the second consecutive year.

The Bernkastel-Kues, Germany native anchored the Capers defence and led them to an undefeated 10-0-2 record in the regular season and a first-place finish in the AUS standings.

Schaale’s Cape Breton squad allowed just nine goals against all season for a goals against average of 0.75 per game—the best in the conference. The Capers had seven shutouts this season.

In addition to his defensive prowess, Schaale scored two goals this season—including the game-tying goal in Cape Breton’s final regular season game to save the Capers’ undefeated season.

Along with being named AUS MVP, he was named an AUS all-star for the fourth consecutive year. He was named to the AUS second team all-star squad in 2016, and an AUS first team all-star in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

In the 2019 postseason, Schaale led the Capers to their fourth straight conference title, earning player of the game nods with the game-winning goal in the AUS championship final.

At the U SPORTS championship, Schaale led the Capers to a national bronze medal. He was named the player of the game in both the semifinal and the bronze medal game and also earned tournament all-star nods.

Name: Keevan Veinot

School: Dalhousie University

Sport: Men’s Basketball

Position: Guard

Hometown: Port Williams, N.S.

Year of Eligibility: Third

Academic Program: Commerce

Keevan Veinot, a third-year guard with the U SPORTS silver medallist Dalhousie Tigers, was honoured as both a U SPORTS first team all-Canadian and the AUS most valuable player this season.

Veinot is the first-ever Dalhousie player to earn conference MVP nods in men’s basketball.

He was also named an AUS first team all-star for the first time in his career this season. He was named to the AUS all-rookie team in his freshman season in 2017-18.

This season, the commerce student from Port Williams led the Tigers to a 19-1 regular season record and a first-place finish in the AUS standings.

Veinot led the conference in steals, averaging 2.3 per game, and in assists, averaging 5.5 per game.

He led Dalhousie in both points per game (15.6) and rebounds per game (5.2).

At the 2020 Subway AUS Basketball Championship, he was named Subway Player of the Game in the championship final as the Tigers claimed their fifth conference title in six seasons (Veinot’s second). He was named an AUS tournament all-star.

On the national stage, Veinot led the Tigers to U SPORTS silver—marking Dalhousie’s best performance in program history. Veinot was named the player of the game in the Tigers’ quarterfinal win and earned a place on the championship all-star team.

Name: Noah Mascoll-Gomes

School: Mount Allison University

Sport: Men’s Swimming

Hometown: St. John’s, Antigua

Year of Eligibility: Second

Academic Program: BA

Second-year Mount Allison Mounties swimmer Noah Mascoll-Gomes was named the 2019-20 AUS swimmer of the year.

An arts student from St. John’s, Antigua, Mascoll-Gomes earned six first-place and five second-place individual finishes this season through four AUS invitational meets.

He posted U SPORTS qualifying times in both the 100m and 200m freestyle events.

Mascoll-Gomes was honoured as both AUS rookie of the year last season as well as rookie of the meet at the 2019 AUS championship.

He represented Antigua and Barbuda when he competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, in the men’s 200m freestyle. He was the flag bearer for Antigua and Barbuda in the closing ceremony.

He is working towards once again qualifying for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

At the 2020 Subway AUS Swimming Championships, Mascoll-Gomes earned AUS all-star nods, topping the podium in the 400m freestyle event.

He also earned silver in the 200m freestyle and fourth in the 100m freestyle.

AUS Female Athlete of the Year: Top 3 Finalists

Name: Courtney Baker

School: Dalhousie University

Sport: Women’s Volleyball

Position: Setter

Hometown: Bridgewater, N.S.

Year of Eligibility: Fifth

Academic Program: Kinesiology

Courtney Baker, a setter with the U SPORTS No. 3-ranked Dalhousie Tigers, was this year’s winner of the Mary Lyons Award as U SPORTS Player of the Year.

She was also named a U SPORTS first team all-Canadian for the third consecutive season.

Baker was named the AUS most valuable player for the third straight time—becoming the first player in AUS history to earn the conference’s top honour in three consecutive seasons.

In addition to being selected as the AUS MVP, Baker earned a place on the AUS first team all-star squad for the fifth consecutive year. Her career accomplishments also include having been named to the 2015-16 AUS all-rookie team in her freshman year with Dalhousie.

A kinesiology student from Bridgewater, N.S., she finished the AUS regular season second in the conference in both assists (607) and assists per set (8.93).

She appeared in 21 matches for the Tigers this season. The Dalhousie squad finished first in the AUS standings, losing just one match all season for a 19-1 record.

In the AUS postseason, Baker was named the AUS championship MVP after the Tigers swept the Saint Mary’s Huskies in two games in the best-of-three final series to capture their eighth consecutive conference title.

Dalhousie entered the U SPORTS championship as the No. 3 seed and was set to face No. 6-ranked Montreal in the quarterfinal round. U SPORTS was unfortunately forced to cancel the national championship due to the COVID-19 pandemic before any games were played.

Tyra Meropoulis

Name: Tyra Meropoulis

School: St. Francis Xavier University

Sport: Women’s Hockey

Position: Forward

Hometown: Edson, Alta.

Year of Eligibility: Second

Academic Program: BBA

Tyra Meropoulis, a second-year forward with the U SPORTS No. 3-ranked StFX X-Women, was named this year’s recipient of the Brodrick Trophy as U SPORTS Player of the Year.

She was also named a U SPORTS first team all-Canadian. As a freshman last season, she was named to the U SPORTS all-rookie team.

At the conference level, Meropoulis was named the AUS most valuable player and a first team all-star this season.

A business student from Edson, Alta., she led the conference and the nation in both points (37) and goals (26) scored this season.

Her 26 goals scored put her in a tie for third in the AUS record books for most goals scored in a single season.

She also led the conference in game-winning goals with seven, and in short-handed goals with three on the season. Meropoulis’s plus/minus rating of +19 was the fourth best in the conference and nationally.

In the AUS postseason, the X-Women swept the U SPORTS No. 1-ranked Saint Mary’s Huskies in the championship final best-of-three series to be crowned conference champions.

Meropoulis led in playoff scoring with eight points (four goals, four assists) and was named the AUS championship MVP.

StFX entered the U SPORTS championship seeded third and advanced to the national semifinals with an overtime win over the Montreal Carabins. Meropoulis opened up the scoring in the win.

U SPORTS was unfortunately forced to cancel the national championship due to the COVID-19 pandemic before the remaining games could be played.

Name: Jenna Mae Ellsworth

School: University of Prince Edward Island

Sport: Women’s Basketball

Position: Guard

Hometown: Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Year of Eligibility: Fourth

Academic Program: BSc

Jenna Mae Ellsworth, a five-foot-10 guard with the U SPORTS bronze medallist UPEI Panthers, was the recipient of the 2019-20 Nann Copp Award as U SPORTS Player of the Year.

With the honour, Ellsworth became the final member of the Top 100 players of the century, in celebration of the centennial anniversary of U SPORTS women’s basketball.

She is just the third Atlantic conference player to ever be honoured as the national MVP in women’s basketball.

She was also named a U SPORTS first team all-Canadian.

At the conference level, Ellsworth was honoured as the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player and the AUS defensive player of the year.

She was also named to the AUS first team all-star squad.

She is a three-time AUS second team all-star and also earned rookie of the year nods and a place on the AUS all-rookie team in her inaugural season with the Panthers in 2016-17.

A fourth-year science student from Charlottetown, P.E.I., Ellsworth led the Panthers with 20.5 point per game in the regular season. She averaged 5.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.1 steals per game.

UPEI finished in first place in the regular season standings with a 17-3 record.

With 1,231 career points scored in four seasons, Ellsworth sits tied for second in UPEI school history with a year of eligibility remaining.

At the 2020 Subway AUS Women’s Basketball Championship, Ellsworth was named Subway Player of the Game in UPEI’s semifinal win and then a tournament all-star as the Panthers earned the program’s first conference title since 1998.

UPEI entered the U SPORTS championship seeded sixth. Ellsworth earned player of the game honours in the national quarterfinals as the Panthers upset the No. 3-seeded Ryerson Rams. She was named UPEI’s player of the game in the national semifinals as the Panthers fell to Brock.

She then led her team to U SPORTS bronze with a game-high 24 points to go along with nine rebounds in the 57-50 win over Laval and was named a championship all-star.