Vikes without National team standouts compete on home turf

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Ali Lee

VICTORIA – The UVic Vikes men’s field hockey team will compete against the local Victoria Selects this weekend, Nov. 18 at 2:00 p.m. The Vikes have had a long break in their season, with the last game taking place on Nov. 5.

Currently, the Vikes are at a 1-2-1 record in the Vancouver men’s field hockey premier league, good for a sixth place standing, one above the Victoria Selects. This weekend will prove a challenge for the young Vikes squad and also an opportunity. Four of the team’s regular starters are members of Canada’s junior national squad and will be away in Vancouver at a national team training camp.

The Vikes will be without Sam Jones, James Kirkpatrick, Brenden Bissett and leading goal scorer Matthew Sarmento. Sarmento scored in each of the first four games of the season while Kirkpatrick and Jones have been solid players in the midfield and defense.

“This will be a great opportunity for our younger players to step into more of a leadership role and have more significant playing time,” said head coach Michael Lee. “The team has been wokring hard and I’m looking forward to seeing hte young players implement some of the new tactics they have been learning for the first few months.”

Lee wil be looking towards lone fifth-year midfielder Derrick Norton, of Victoria, B.C. Norton along with veterans Tyler Klenk, Gavin Titley and David Bell will be leading the charge as the Vikes take on an experienced local side – the Victoria Selects.

The Selects will also be short-handed as approximately four of their players will also be in Vancouver for the National team camp, while former UVic Vike Kevin Laidman will be unable to compete due to an injury. Both teams will be looking to give the youth on their teams an opportunity to perform.

The game will take place at UVic’s artificial water-based turf on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2:00 p.m.

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