Two members of the Laurentian University Lady Vees basketball team finished their post-secondary athletic careers with a bang. Lisa Furchner and Katie Goggins collected some hardware when the OUA East awards were announced earlier this month.
The Lasalle and Lockerby graduates, respectively, both five-year standouts, contributed from day one and were the driving force behind this year's rebuilding team, a press release stated.
Furchner, coming off of her best year statistically, was named a First Team All-Star. Over the 22-game season, Furchner led the Lady Vees while averaging 16.6 points/game, good for ninth best in the country, while grabbing a team high 10.1 rebounds/game, fifth best in the country.
Coach Mike Clarke said he is proud of his 5th year forward. “We needed Lisa to step up and lead this year, in both scoring and rebounding, due to the fact that we were a very young and inexperienced team and she responded exceptionally. From game one to 22, she continued to get stronger, expanding her game from under the basket to the mid-range jumper and ultimately being comfortable enough to put up the three-point shot. I am really happy that she got the recognition she deserved.”
Goggins was named both the Defensive Player of the Year and the recipient of the East Joy Bellinger Award, presented annually to a female student-athlete in recognition of outstanding service to the sport and to the advancement of university athletics. She was also named a second team all-star. Goggins scored 273 points over 20 games this season and recorded 101 defensive rebounds, 69 steals, and five blocks on the Lady Vees back court.
The fifth-year human kinetics major has been a standout in the classroom as well as on the court. She is a four-time Academic All-Canadian with her sights set on the Northern Ontario School of Medicine after graduation. Goggins tutors fellow students in biomechanics, and was a member of Laurentian*s Student Athletic Council for three years. She is a physiotherapy assistant for elderly patients at the St. Joseph*s Continuing Care Centre and volunteer with the Sudbury Action Centre for Youth.
Clarke had nothing but praise for his fifth-year point guard.
“Katie has always been one of the best defenders in Ontario,” the Lady Vees' bench boss said. “It is nice to finally see her get the recognition that she deserves. This year she really expanded her game and was a major contributor offensively, developing a great pull-up jump shot. Off the court Katie has always been focused academically but it is her willingness to go out of her way and volunteer that make her a very deserving recipient of the Bellinger Award.
“These two ladies were excellent role models for the time that they were here and they are a prime example of what we strive to instil in our athletes,” Clarke added. “These awards are a great way to cap off fantastic careers.”