EDMONTON – Women's basketball player Mackenzie Farmer is the MacEwan Athletics' first star of the week after her performance in leading the Griffins to a weekend split against the Mount Royal University Cougars on the opening weekend of the season.
Farmer scored a combined 33 points, adding 12 rebounds and four blocks, but most notably recorded 14 steals in the two games, matching a program record for the most in a Canada West weekend.
Other athletes recognized this week include second star Bryan Arneson of the men's hockey team and third star Sofia DiGiacomo from women's soccer.
It's the first time this season that Farmer and Arneson have made the three stars list, while DiGiacomo is being honoured for the second time after also being named third star on Oct. 1.
1st STAR: Mackenzie Farmer, F, women's basketball
Sherwood Park, AB, third-year, Arts
The third-year forward produced a monster multi-cat opening weekend at both ends of the court for the Griffins, recording a combined 33 points, 12 rebounds, 14 steals and four blocks in a two-game split with Mount Royal University.
Her 14 combined steals matches the MacEwan University record for the most in a two-game weekend of play since the Griffins joined Canada West in 2014 (previously established by Kendall Lydon, also against MRU in November 2016).
On Friday, Farmer had a game-high 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the field, adding five more points off free throws as the Griffins beat the Cougars 65-53.
On Saturday, Farmer scored 14 points on 5-for13 shooting, adding four more from the charity stripe as MacEwan lost 62-58 to MRU.
Farmer currently leads Canada West in steals/game (7.0), is tied for the lead in blocks/game (2.0) and sits in the top 10 in points/game (16.5).
She leads the Griffins into road action against Saskatchewan on Friday and Saturday in Saskatoon.
2nd STAR: Bryan Arneson, F, men's hockey
Sherwood Park, AB, fourth-year, Commerce
On a weekend where every single MacEwan player recorded at least one point in back-to-back lopsided wins over Briercrest College, any number of Griffins could be considered for the three stars.
Veteran Bryan Arneson is as deserving as any after scoring five of MacEwan's 26 goals on the weekend and adding an assist.
The fourth-year forward led the Griffins to a 15-3 win over the Clippers on Friday night with two goals and an assist, before recording a hat trick in MacEwan's 11-3 win on Saturday, scoring the game-winning goal in the second period.
With a shot that makes him a threat to score every time he shoots the puck, Arneson is dangerous offensively every time he's on the ice, but that doesn't stop him from being responsible defensively as he's a nightmare for opposing forwards with a tenacious backcheck.
For the season, Arneson has nine points in eight games, tied for sixth in the ACAC scoring race.
The Griffins have a bye this weekend before returning to action against SAIT on Nov. 15-16.
Bryan Arneson celebrates with teammate Nicolas Correale after scoring one of his five goals during a two-game weekend sweep of Briercrest College (Joel Kingston photo).
3rd STAR: Sofia DiGiacomo, D, women's soccer
Calgary, AB, first-year, Arts
A week after being named to the Canada West All-Rookie team, DiGiacomo led the way for the Griffins women's soccer team as they hosted the Canada West Final Four.
Showing poise beyond her years, the Calgarian mastered every one of her defensive assignments as the Griffins played to a scoreless draw through regulation and overtime against the Calgary Dinos in Friday's semifinal before losing a heartbreaker on penalty kicks.
She then scored MacEwan's only goal in a 4-1 loss to Trinity Western in Saturday's bronze medal match, volleying home a cross from Hannah Supina that gave the Griffins a 1-0 lead in the first half. Although the Spartans came back to win, DiGiacomo wasn't beaten on any of her defensive assignments during the match.
Sofia DiGiacomo takes to the air for a contested ball in front of Trinity Western's net during Saturday's Canada West bronze match (Chris Piggott photo).