Women’s Field Hockey News

TORONTO (U SPORTS) –Sanehpreet Basra of the UBC Thunderbrds has won the 2023 Liz Hoffman Award as the U SPORTS womens field hockey player of the year. The announcement was made on Thursday afternoon at the All-Canadian awards ceremony in Toronto, host city of the 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Field Hockey Championship.

Other major award winners include Rebecca Stone of Victoria, who won the Joyce Slipp Award as rookie of the year; Elly Peters of Guelph, who won the Gail Wilson award for student-athlete community service; Maria Leahy of Waterloo, who won the Marina van der Merwe Award for the Fox40 Coach of the Year and Tyler Klenk of Vancouver, B.C., who was named the umpire of the year.

The 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Field Hockey Championship gets underway on Friday evening at the Back Campus Fields, on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto. Game 1 of the best-of-three series gets underway at 6 p.m. (Eastern), with Game 2 on Saturday at 2 p.m. If Game 3 is necessary, it will be on Sunday at 1 p.m. Tickets are available at https://varsityblues.ca/feature/tickets, and the series can be viewed on CBC Sports digital platforms.

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Liz Hoffman Award (player of the year) – Sanehpreet Basra, UBC

Sanehpreet Basra was a force for the Thunderbirds all season, as the fourth-year midfielder showed tremendous vision in creating dangerous attacks, while also playing superb and reliable defence. Basra’s composure in even the tensest situations helped settle the team when it mattered most. The Delta, B.C., product was instrumental in the success of a UBC squad that challenged for top spot in Canada West all season long, falling just short on the final weekend.

Other nominees: Nina Watson (Queen’s).

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Joyce Slipp Award (rookie of the year) – Rebecca Stone

Rebecca Stone has made an immediate impact in her first year as a member of the Vikes field hockey team, starting every game in a central midfield position. The first-year Victoria, B.C. native is a versatile player with a high hockey IQ and makes things happen on both sides of the ball and helping the Vikes to their fifth-straight conference title.

Other nominees: Juliet Redelaar (York).

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Student-Athlete Community Service Award – Elly Peters, Guelph

Elly Peters, a third-year midfielder with the Gryphons, has impressed on the field since arriving at Guelph in 2021, earning OUA All-Star honours in both her second and third seasons. Off the field, Peters has been equally impressive, earning U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian status while pursuing an undergraduate degree in accounting. The 20-year-old Kitchener, Ont., native was named captain for the Gryphons for 2023, and has consistently made a concerted effort to give back to those around her. Since 2020, she has given back to her local field hockey community through volunteer coaching and umpiring with the Guelph Cobras. Peters finished the 2023 season as one of the most productive players in the OUA, tied for fourth in the OUA in goals with five and third in the OUA with nine points.

“True stars rise to the top not by chance, but through purpose and passion. Elly makes a significant impact to our Gryphon field hockey program and in the community through her actions, talents and dedication,” said Michelle Turley, the Gryphons’ head coach. “As captain, Elly leads by example on and off the field and plays with composure, and confidence in addition to fostering a great team dynamic. Within the community, Elly takes initiative, exhibits a deep understanding of the sport, has an excellent way of breaking down a skill and most importantly exhibits the ability to motivate and inspire young athletes.”

Elly Peters joins Katherine MacMillan (2018) as just the second Gryphon field hockey player to be named the recipient of the U SPORTS Gail Wilson Award.

Other nominee: Jadyn Campbell (Calgary)

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Marina van der Merwe Award (Fox 40 coach of the year) – Maria Leahy, Waterloo

Maria Leahy led the Waterloo Warriors to a remarkable 2023 season. The team started off their season with an impressive 1-0 win against the Toronto Varsity Blues, which set the tone for what was to come. They finished with an 8-2 record, leading the West Division and securing a spot among the the national rankings.  Under Leahy's leadership, the team improved significantly from the previous season, which saw them finish at 3-5-2 and third in the division. Leahy's coaching prowess helped her team secure a spot in the semifinals and two of her players, Fernback and Meagan Hobson, received OUA all-star honours.

Leahy's sporting legacy is remarkable, as her mother, Lisa Bauer Leahy, is a Waterloo Athletic Hall of Famer and the all-time leading scorer in field hockey for the Warriors. Lisa Bauer Leahy was also a member of Canada's Olympic team at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Furthermore, Leahy's great-uncle is Hockey Hall of Famer Father David Bauer, who founded and coached Canada's first-ever Canadian National Hockey team.

Other nominee: Jenn Swagar (Calgary)

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Official of the Year: Tyler Klenk, Canada West

Tyler Klenk brings a wealth of experience as a member of the International Hockey Federation (FIH)'s Pro League Panel of umpires and that experience has been more than evident on the pitch. This season was particularly important for the Vancouver resident in the lead up to his participation at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.

Other nominee: Josh Miranda (OUA)


Liz Hoffman Award (player of the year): Sanehpreet Basra, UBC

Joyce Slipp Award (rookie of the year): Rebecca Stone, Victoria

Gail Wilson Award (student-athlete community service): Elly Peters, Guelph

Marina van der Merwe Award (Fox40 coach of the year): Maria Leahy, Waterloo

Umpire of the Year: Tyler Klenk, Vancouver, B.C. (CW)








Academic Program

Sanehpreet Basra




Delta, B.C.


Rebecca Carvalho




Brampton, Ont.


Marielle Fernback




Guelph, Ont.


Isabella Green




Duncan, B.C.


Meagan Hobson




Waterloo, Ont.

Arts & Business

Libby Hogg




Victoria, B.C.

Social Sciences

Annika Kleinschmidt




Hamburg, Germany

Social Sciences

Kodie Kutyn




Christchurch, New Zealand

Open Studies

Abby Warriner




Newmarket, Ont.

Biomedical Engineering

Nina Watson




Vancouver, B.C.

Arts & Science

Natalie Winter




Coquitlam, B.C.

Kinesiology & Health Science

(All-Canadians are chosen without regard for positions)