Women’s Soccer Star Gregoire, Quarterback Kanoff Earn Princeton’s Top Senior Athletic Awards
LEGENDS OF THE FALL: Princeton University women’s soccer midfielder Vanessa Gregoire, left, and football quarterback Chad Kanoff are shown in action last fall. The two senior standouts won the major awards when the Princeton University Department of Athletics held its Gary Walters ’67 Princeton Varsity Club Awards Banquet at Jadwin Gym. Gregoire earned the C. Otto von Kienbusch Award as the Outstanding Senior Female Athlete while Kanoff received the William Winston Roper Trophy as the Outstanding Senior Male Athlete. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Women’s soccer midfielder Vanessa Gregoire and football quarterback Chad Kanoff produced record-breaking campaigns last fall as they culminated their Princeton University careers.
Gregoire and Kanoff were both named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year in their respective sports.
Last Thursday, the pair of standouts won the two major awards when the Princeton University Department of Athletics held its Gary Walters ‘67 Princeton Varsity Club Awards Banquet at Jadwin Gym.
Gregoire earned the C. Otto von Kienbusch Award as the Outstanding Senior Female Athlete, while Kanoff received the William Winston Roper Trophy as the Outstanding Senior Male Athlete.
For Gregoire, an anthropology major from Beaconsfield, Quebec, the award capped an incredible year that saw her help lead the Tigers to the Ivy League championship and to the NCAA quarterfinals this past fall, upsetting second-ranked and 22-time NCAA champion North Carolina along the way.
The Ivy League’s coaches recognized Gregoire’s playmaking abilities in the midfield in awarding her the Ivy Offensive Player of the Year award. Her league-best eight assists this past season gave her 27 for her career, breaking a Princeton record co-held by former teammate Lauren Lazo ‘15 and fellow Canadian national team player Diana Matheson ‘08. Beyond setting up goals, Gregoire scored a few of her own during the 2017 campaign, doing so in three consecutive Ivy League games as the Tigers rebounded from a loss to Columbia to overtake the Lions for the Ivy title. Gregoire scored the only goal in a win at Penn that ended the regular season, and later that night, once Columbia tied Harvard, the outright Ivy title belonged to the Tigers.
Gregoire closed her career with a United Soccer Coaches second-team All-America honor last season, as well as first-team All-East Region and a spot as a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist. Along with the Ivy Offensive Player of the Year award, Gregoire was a first-team All-Ivy League honoree in 2017, making it four All-Ivy honors in four years after another first-team recognition in 2015 as the Tigers made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament and two honorable mentions in 2014 and 2016.
The other finalists for the award were squash star Oliver Fiechter field hockey standout Ryan McCarthy, hoops star Leslie Robinson, and women’s water polo standout Haley Wan.
Kanoff, for his part, rewrote the Princeton football record book throughout his championship career. An All-Ivy League starting quarterback during the Tigers’ 2016 Ivy championship season, Kanoff produced the most statistically dominant season for an Ivy quarterback last fall as a senior.
A native of Pacific Palisades, Calif. who graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Kanoff set the Ivy League record with both 3,474 passing yards and a 73.2 completion percentage during his senior season. He broke the Princeton single-season record for passing touchdowns (29), and he set the program record for career passing yards (7,510). Kanoff helped trigger the Ivy League’s top-ranked offense in each of the last two seasons, and his efficiency was never more apparent than when he completed 31 of 35 passes for 421 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-17 win at Harvard last fall.
The 6’4, 225-pound Kanoff, who started the last 30 games of his career for Princeton, signed a contract with the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason.
Other finalists for the award included track sprinting star Carrington Akosa, standout pole vaulter August Kiles, men’s water polo goalie Vogislav Mitrovic, wrestler Jonathan Schleifer, and men’s lax midfielder Austin Sims.