Thunderbirds complete two-game sweep of young Vikes side

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By Natalie Wise, Vikes Communications

September 30, 2012, VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s field hockey team played their second home game of the season against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds to a final score of 2-1 for the visiting T-Birds. This completes the double-header weekend for the two teams and gives the T-Birds another win for a record of 4-0 in Canada West.

Fielding a starting line-up of players with varying levels of international experience, the Thunderbirds held most of the possession in the first half but were unsuccessful until the 22nd minute. Third-year midfielder Natalie Sourisseau, member of the Canadian senior national team, put the T-Birds on the board after several opportunities in the Vikes defending circle had been unconverted. The T-Birds’ second goal came just over ten minutes later when Poonam Sandhu passeed the 50-m line and blasted the ball into the circle for forward Kate Gillis who struggled to get by sprawling Vikes’ goalkeeper Sheriden Goodmanson (Victoria, BC) Coming in from the left side, Sourisseau dove to get the ball across the line and scored her second goal of the game.

The rookie-laden Vikes played to the dying minutes of the game when they finally tallied in the 70th minute on a penalty corner. First-year Andrea Jones (Vancouver, BC), on an attempt to enter the right-side of the circle just off of the baseline, drew a foul and after a corner play that saw the ball laid off to the left and swept in for a tip, Jones netted the lone Vikes goal of the game. On the forward line, rookie Amanda Kurianowicz (Calgary, AB) and second-year Emily Fisher (Unionville, ON) wreaked havoc for the Vikes, causing several T-Bird turnovers.

“I thought they had more communication today,” said longtime Vikes head coach Lynne Beecroft. “Everything that needed to be said yesterday, they said today. There are still some tactical things that we need to iron out but overall, great effort until the end. We won the second half.”

The Thunderbirds had their first opportunity of the game with baseline attack by left midfielder Hannah Haughn and a dangerous-looking reverse shot by Sourisseau. The shot was blocked by second-year Alanna Macdonald (Coquitlam, BC) and the score remained 0-0.

Pressure up front by Kurianowicz resulted in several key turnovers but the Vikes were unable to capitalize. Additionally, Kyla Kirby (Victoria, BC) playing in the centre of the pitch, picked off several cross-field balls but once again no result for the UVic women.

The best chance for the Vikes in the first half of play occurred when Fisher intercepted the ball and the Vikes went on a fast break, resulting in a one-on-one for Kurianowicz and T-Birds keeper Bea Francisco. With the ball just out of Kurianowicz’s reach, Francisco slid out to make the save.

In the 22nd minute UBC’s Sourisseau put her team on the board, slotting the ball neatly past Vikes’ goalkeeper Goodmanson. Sourisseau’s second goal was a two-man effort. Gillis, unmarked deep in the circle, received a ball from Sandhu and attempted to pull it left past Goodmanson, who sprawled to make the initial save but did not have control of the ball. A diving Sourisseau ensured that the ball crossed the goal line and put the T-Birds up 2-0 over the Vikes.

Trading several chances in the second half, both teams had unconverted opportunities until the 70th minute when Jones drew a foul for the Vikes, resulting in a penalty corner. The ball was pulled out to the top of the circle, slipped left and with a deceptive sweep, crossed into the circle for a tip from Jones.

The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds move to a record of 4-0 while the University of Victoria Vikes drop to 2-2 in Canada West standings. Next up for the Thunderbirds is a weekend off before they travel to Calgary to take on the Dinos, Oct. 13 and 14 at 12:00 p.m. The Vikes will play two more home games next weekend, Oct. 6 and 7 at 11:00 a.m. against the visiting Dinos.

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.