Three Stars: Mwasalla, Wright, Abel earn honours

Three Stars: Mwasalla, Wright, Abel earn honours

MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Women's soccer student-athlete Grace Mwasalla is the MacEwan Athletics' first star of the week for a second-straight week after a four-point weekend in leading the Griffins to two more victories.

Mwasalla produced three goals and an assist in MacEwan's wins over Winnipeg and Manitoba, scoring the game-winners in both contests.

Women's soccer defender Abbey Wright and men's hockey goaltender Ashton Abel are the second and third stars, respectively.

Mwasalla was also named first star last week to kick off the season, while both Wright and Abel are appearing on the list for the first time in 2023-24.

Grace Mwasalla celebrates her winning goal against Manitoba on Sunday with teammate Mariah Arnott (Zachary Peters photo).

1st STAR: Grace Mwasalla, F, women's soccer

Chatham, ON, third-year, Arts

A week after recording three goals (two game-winners) and an assist in a pair of wins over Regina and Saskatchewan, it was déjà vu for Mwasalla.

She did the same thing in matches at Winnipeg and Manitoba, setting a program record after running her streak of game-winning goals to four in a row to start the 2023 season.

On Saturday at Winnipeg, the electric striker scored goals in the 48th and 75th minutes and recorded seven shots (five on goal) to pace the Griffins past the Wesmen 2-0.

On Sunday at Manitoba, Mwasalla set up Brenna Paquin for the game's equalizer in the 42nd minute and then potted the winner on a vexing volley in the 62nd. She finished with three shots, one on target.

For the season, Mwasalla is leading Canada West with six goals and eight points in four games.

The Griffins will host Lethbridge on Saturday (12 p.m., Clareview Field) and Calgary on Sunday (12 p.m., Clarke Stadium, both Canada West TV). 

Abbey Wright gets a chance off a corner kick against Manitoba on Sunday (Zachary Peters photo).

2nd STAR: Abbey Wright, D, women's soccer

Cochrane, AB, fourth-year, Arts

With back-to-back 90-minute performances at the demanding centre-back position, Wright was a big reason why the Griffins posted victories over Winnipeg and Manitoba last weekend.

In a 2-0 win over Winnipeg on Saturday, Wright assisted on Grace Mwasalla's second goal when she deftly deflected Bryn Mortensen's corner kick to the striker for a key insurance tally in the contest.

In a 2-1 win over Manitoba on Sunday, Wright had a shot on goal and played a key role in salting away MacEwan's victory with rock solid defensive play down the stretch.

Overall, she teamed with a stellar back line to help limit their opponents to just five shots on goal in the two games combined.

For the season, Wright is tied for second in scoring on the Griffins with two assists in four games.

Ashton Abel stopped 39 of 41 shots across two games of preseason action against cross-town rival Alberta on the weekend (Joel Kingston photo).

3rd STAR: Ashton Abel, G, men's hockey

Fort McMurray, AB, fifth-year, Commerce

The reigning MacEwan Male Athlete of the Year picked up where he left off with a pair of stellar performances on the team's opening weekend of preseason play.

Abel was a big reason why the Griffins earned a split against the cross-town rival Alberta Golden Bears – a result which included a 5-3 win at Clare Drake on Friday.

In that contest, Abel started and stopped 18 of 19 shots in 31:43 of action before Thomas Davis finished it off.

In Saturday's 5-2 loss to the Golden Bears at the Downtown Community Arena, Abel entered the contest midway through the second period with the Griffins trailing 3-1 and held them in what was a one-goal game until the late minutes. Abel finished with 21 saves on 22 shots in 29:25 of action.

For the weekend, he finished with a .951 save percentage and 1.96 goals against average.

Abel and the Griffins are looking forward to a home-and-home non-conference series against Mount Royal University this weekend with the teams playing in Calgary on Friday (7 p.m.) and Edmonton on Saturday (5 p.m., Downtown Community Arena).