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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

October 13, 2012, VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s field hockey team prevailed 3-2 over the Victoria Selects, who both call UVic’s field hockey pitch home. The Vikes men capitalized on a pair of goals from rookie Connor Martin (Cobble Hill, BC) and a single from Matthew Sarmento (Vancouver, BC).

Long rivalry exists between the Selects and Vikes, the only two local members of Vancouver’s premier field hockey league. The Vikes were the first to be rewarded, earning a series of penalty corners early in the game. In the 10th minute, Sarmento was able to tip in a Graeme Carswell (Tsawwassen, BC) penalty corner shot to send the Vikes up 1-0.

The Selects pushed forward, generating several opportunities towards goal but second-year Vikes keeper Davis Robertson (Vancouver, B.C.) and third-year defender Samuel Jones (Vancouver, BC) did well to command the back field and keep the Selects off the board.

In the 25th minute, third-year forward Derek Wiggins (Vancouver, BC) had a goal called back after a long debate between the officials. The Vikes rebounded quick when Sarmento created space for himself in the left corner of the field and crossed the ball hard to second-year Tyler Klenk (Regina, Sask.) Klenk’s deflection on goal was well-saved and Martin was there to capitalize on the rebound and give the Vikes the 2-0 edge entering the break.

The Vikes continued much of their possession and offensive pressure in the second half. In the 50th minute, second-year Ryan Litnosky (North Vancouver, B.C.) received a long ball at the top of the circle and after beating a defender, passed the ball to Martin to give him his second of the game and stretch the Vikes’ lead to three.

Unfamiliar to the steep score line, the Victoria Selects turned their offensive strategies around immediately gaining the Vikes’ circle, only to be denied by the cross bar. Veteran Selects player Aneal Basi did capitalize moments later after picking up a loose ball in the circle near the 52 minute mark.

The Selects climbed their way back in the 59th minute of play on a penalty corner when Selects striker TJ Parhar converted on a well-placed drag flick in the top corner of the net. The execution put the Selects within one but it was not enough as the Vikes would end the game with the 3-2 victory, their first of the 2012 season.

The Vikes improve their record to 1-2-0 in the Vancouver Premier League and will host the next two weekends of premier play on home turf. The Vikes men will face the Vancouver Hawks on Oct. 20 (2 p.m.) and West Vancouver on Oct. 27 (2 p.m.).