Lindsay and Kajami-Keane named Ravens' Athletes of the Year

Lindsay and Kajami-Keane named Ravens' Athletes of the Year

Carleton University Athletics announced Tuesday its 2016-17 major award winners at the annual Ravens Athletics Awards Banquet held at Lansdowne Park's Horticultural Building.

Women's basketball forward Heather Lindsay was named the Ruth Coe Award winner as Female Athlete of the Year and men's basketball guard Kaza Kajami-Keane was the recipient of the Male Athlete of the Year.

The Outstanding Graduating Female Athlete award was given to Abby Nicastro of women's soccer and splitting the Jack Vogan Memorial Medal as Outstanding Graduating Male Athletes were Michael McNamee of men's hockey and Connor Wood of men's basketball.

Women's basketball head coach Taffe Charles was named Carleton's Pat O'Brien Award winner as Ravens' Coach of the Year.


Heather Lindsay – Women's Basketball
Forward – 4th year – Ottawa, ON

Heather Lindsay is the 2016-17 recipient of the Ruth Coe Award as Female Athlete of the Year.

It was a sensational season for Heather and her Ravens teammates, as Carleton went on a historic run to capture a bronze medal at the U SPORTS Women's Basketball Championship in Victoria, British Columbia.

Heather, a Nepean high school graduate, played a huge part in the program's first-ever national medal, finishing the campaign as the 2016-17 national rebounding champion after averaging 10.8 boards per game.

In her fourth season at Carleton, Heather was the most efficient offensive player in the OUA as well as the country, shooting 55.8 percent from the field and a career-high 77.5 percent at the free throw line, while finishing the year with 14.1 points per game. Defensively, Heather had 33 blocks, which ranked her fifth in the country and helped her establish a new single-season career-high in the process.

For her efforts, Heather was named an OUA First-Team All-Star as well as a U SPORTS Second-Team All-Canadian, becoming only the second Ravens women's basketball player to achieve the honour.

Heather becomes the 11th women's basketball player to win the Ruth Coe Award as Female Athlete of the Year.


Kaza Kajami-Keane – Men's Basketball
Guard – 5th year – Ajax, ON

Kaza Kajami-Keane is the 2016-17 recipient of the Male Athlete of the Year award.

In his final season at Carleton, Kaza led the Ravens to a seventh consecutive national championship and the second of his career.

Standing at 6-foot-1, Kaza averaged 15.8 points per game and shot career-highs of 51.8 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from beyond the arc, all while maintaining his role as the Ravens' primary playmaker.

Kaza, who hails from Ajax, Ontario, spearheaded Carleton's offence to 92.0 points per game – the second highest team scoring output in the country. He dished out a conference-best 5.2 assists per game, which ranked second in Canada, and he maintained a 2.1 assists-to-turnover ratio throughout the season.

For his stellar regular season play, Kaza was named an OUA First-Team All-Star and a U SPORTS Second-Team All-Canadian for the second consecutive year.

However, the fifth-year senior saved the best performances of his Carleton career for last, taking home a tournament All-Star selection along with the Jack Donohue Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the 2017 U SPORTS Men's Basketball Championship in Halifax.

Kaza becomes the 29th men's basketball player to be named as the Male Athlete of the Year.


Abby Nicastro – Women's Soccer
Midfielder – 5th year – Ottawa, ON

Abby Nicastro is the 2016-17 recipient of the Outstanding Graduating Female Athlete award.

Known for her dazzling displays flying up and down the wing on the soccer pitch, Abby has been a permanent fixture for the Ravens over the past five seasons.

Abby's impact has been impressive over the course of her stay at Carleton, helping the Ravens reach the playoffs in each of her five seasons, including a fourth-place conference finish in 2013.

With 34 starts in her final three seasons, Abby consistently impressed spectators with a mix of flair, speed and vision to become one of the top playmakers in the conference.

Abby's experience and leadership have been vital to the program over the past few years, with her role expanding beyond the field and into the locker room.

This past fall, Abby had her best season with the Ravens, as she was named a team co-captain while finishing second on the Ravens with a career-high four goals. Her career culminated with an OUA Second-Team All-Star selection.

Abby becomes the eighth women's soccer player, and third in the past four years, to win the Graduating Female Athlete of the Year Award.


Michael McNamee – Men's Hockey
Forward – 4th year – Perth, ON

Michael McNamee is the 2016-17 co-recipient of the Jack Vogan Memorial Medal as Outstanding Graduating Male Athlete.

In just four seasons at Carleton, Michael finishes his time as a Raven with a total of 135 career points, placing him second among Carleton's modern-era scorers.

Michael, a native of Perth, Ontario, capped off his university career by being named the team's captain in his final season, completing the year with a team-best 33 points.

Michael represented Canada on the national and international stage in his final two seasons. He was twice named to the U SPORTS Men's Hockey All-Star team to play in an exhibition series against the Canadian national junior team, and he also played in this year's FISU Winter Universiade in Almaty, Kazakhstan where he finished the tournament as Canada's leading scorer with 11 points.

During his time at Carleton, Michael was named an OUA East Second-Team All-Star on two occasions, twice named the OUA East's Most Sportsmanlike Player, and in his final season, he was named an OUA East First-Team All-Star and a U SPORTS First-Team All-Canadian.

Michael recently signed a pro contract with the Syracuse Crunch, the AHL affiliate of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning.

He becomes just the third men's hockey player to win the Jack Vogan Memorial Medal after Tony Perry in 1965-66 and Joey Manley in 2012-13.

Connor Wood – Men's Basketball
Guard – 5th year – Guelph, ON

Connor Wood is the 2016-17 co-recipient of the Jack Vogan Memorial Medal as Outstanding Graduating Male Athlete.

In his fifth-year and final season at Carleton, Connor won his fifth consecutive national championship with the Ravens, becoming just the eighth Canadian university men's basketball player to achieve this impressive feat.

Connor closed out his decorated university career by winning the 2016-17 Mike Moser Memorial Trophy as U SPORTS Men's Basketball Player of the Year.

In his final university campaign, the 6-foot-4 senior posted phenomenal scoring numbers, averaging a career-high 19.2 points per game, while shooting 50.8 per cent from the floor. As one of the country's most prolific sharpshooters, Wood ranked second in U SPORTS men's basketball with 76 three-pointers made, while his 50.3 percent conversion rate from the beyond the arc was the third highest total across the country.

In five seasons at the Ravens' Nest, Connor won two OUA Wilson Cup titles, was named a U SPORTS Men's Final 8 All-Tournament selection three times including the Jack Donohue Memorial Trophy recipient as tournament MVP in 2016, and was also named an OUA All-Star on three occasions, including one First-Team selection this year and two previous Second-Team nods.

Connor becomes the 23rd men's basketball player at Carleton to win the Jack Vogan Memorial Medal as Oustanding Graduating Male Athlete.


Taffe Charles – Women's Basketball
Head Coach – 10th Season

Taffe Charles is the 2016-17 recipient of the Pat O'Brien Award as Ravens' Coach of the Year.

In his 10th year as head coach of the women's basketball team, Taffe and his Ravens had an outstanding season that will go down as the most successful in program history.

A strong exhibition record provided Carleton with its first-ever No.1 national ranking at the beginning of the campaign, with the team sustaining a top-five position in the U SPORTS polls for the entire season.

Despite suffering an opening-game loss, which would be their only defeat of the regular season, Taffe rallied his team as the Ravens went on an astounding 18-game winning streak heading into the playoffs.

With his best-regular season record in a decade, Taffe and the Ravens entered the playoffs as the No.2 seed in the OUA, knocking off U SPORTS No.1 McMaster in the OUA semifinal before beating the host Queen's Gaels in the OUA Championship game in Kingston to capture Carleton's first Critelli Cup title.

At the nationals in Victoria, British Columbia, Taffe guided the Ravens into the Final 8 tournament with the number one seed, helping  Carleton collect the program's first win at a national championship. The Ravens would end the tournament with a 2-1 record and a historic bronze medal, the first national medal for Carleton women's basketball.

The Ravens' 33-5 final record was also the best mark in program history and it is the first time the women's basketball team has won 30 or more games in single season.

This is Taffe's second Pat O'Brien Award as Ravens' Coach of the Year after winning it for the first time in 2010-11.