A pair of standout UVic Vikes picked up two of the biggest U Sports national athlete awards at the annual U Sports banquet on Thursday as Vikes defender Anna Mollenhauer was named the national Player of the Year and Vikes midfielder Anne-Sophie Hannes is the Rookie of the Year.
The two are key drivers of the UVic Vikes women’s field hockey team as it chases its elusive 12th national championship in Toronto suburb of York this weekend against the York Lions. The Vikes and Lions play Games 1 and 2 Friday and Saturday at 11 a.m. PST. If needed, the two will play Game 3 of the best-of-three series on Sunday, also at 2 p.m. (all games are streamed at USPORTS.LIVE)
The Saanich-raised Mollenhauer played at St. Michaels University School and is the seventh Vikes player to be named Liz Hoffman Player of the Year. The last was Ali Lee in 2005.
“[Mollenhauer] is most deserving of Player of the Year not only because of her skills but because of the kind of teammate she is,” Lee said. “She is wholeheartedly a team player and if the team can follow her lead of playing for each other this won’t be the only hard ware that returns to Victoria. If I know Anna the championship trophy will be the one that matters most to her.”
Another reason for the Vikes success in reaching the finals this year is Hannes, the Vikes first-year defender here as a German exchange student. Hannes was awarded the Joyce Slipp Award as Rookie of the Year at the U SPORTS Women’s Field Hockey All-Canadian Banquet was in Toronto on Thursday. Third-year Vike Emily Wong was also named an All-Canadian.
Hannes started all eight games and showed her versatility both on the outside and in central midfield with superior technical skills. Defensively, Hannes was the loudest player on the field despite English being her second language.
“We didn’t know anything about ‘Anso,’ and she didn’t know anything about the Vikes women’s field hockey team,” said Vikes head coach Lynne Beecroft. “However, from her first day of practice, we knew she would be a great addition to the Vikes. She is humble, hardworking and loves to chat, on and off the field, making her a favourite amongst her teammates.”