Katherine Koughan remembers the first time she played field hockey.
She was a Grade 7 student looking to make the Stonepark School team.
“I was a fish out of water. I didn’t know what I was doing,” Koughan said.
“I somehow made the team.”
Koughan said she was awkward being a left-handed shot in a sport requiring players to shoot right.
She stuck with it and Wednesday night was named a first team Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) all-star at a ceremony in Victoria, B.C.
“I’m really exited,” the UPEI Panthers sweeper told The Guardian. “I didn’t expect it, but I am honoured and excited to go for UPEI.”
Koughan said it wouldn’t have been possible without a lot of people’s help and support. That list included her first coach Kellie Steele and current coaches Charla Currie and Lacey MacLauchlan.
The Stratford resident, who is studying business administration, was also quick to share the accolades with her teammates.
“Everything that has happened this year is because of them. We’re a team,” she said.
“I consider it just as much as everybody else’s (award) because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have improved as much.”
This was Koughan’s second season with the Panthers after winning the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) rookie of the year in 2012-13.
“This year turned out to be a really good year,” she said. “It proved to me if you put in the work, you’re going to get the results.”
Koughan has played on provincial teams in the past and is grateful she had an opportunity to continue playing her favourite sport after high school.
“It makes my university experience. The team is so much fun. That’s what makes me love the sport, being with all the girls and having a good time,” she said.
“It kind of becomes part of your life once you play a varsity sport.”
The Panthers did not have a CIS first-team all-star during the 2012-13 season. It did have three second-team all-stars, including soccer’s Jimmie Mayaleh and field hockey’s Ellen Dixon and Marina MacAulay, and basketball’s Deontay (D.J.) Smith was named CIS rookie of the year.