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By Natalie Wise, Vikes Communications

October 22, VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s field hockey team lost a well-fought game against the visiting Vancouver Hawks on Saturday. Although the final score was 5-1 in favour of the Vancouver side, the Vikes were unlucky to earn a point as both sides were evenly matched, each carrying former and current national team players.

The first half of the game was characterized by an onslaught of opportunity and well-balanced play as both sides traded chances. This made for an exciting, but deadlocked, match-up. Vikes goalkeeper Davis Robertson (Vancouver, B.C.) was outstanding and made several key saves to keep the Hawks off of the board.

With mere minutes left in the first half of play, the Hawks put one away to make it 1-0. Robertson was unable to make the save as David Jameson, current member of the Canadian men’s senior team, redirected the ball on net after a hard hit was sent into the Vikes’ defensive circle.

The second half of the game began much like the first as both teams forced turnovers and created high-pressure situations. Less than five minutes after the whistle to start the half, third-year Vike Samuel Jones (Vancouver, BC) took a quick, opportunistic free hit just before the 25-yard line and blasted it on net. Deflecting off of a Hawks’ defenseman, the ball snuck across the line and the Vikes advanced to a 1-1 draw.

After ten minutes of end-to-end action the Hawks made good on a penalty corner and went up 2-1. Looking to once again get even, the Vikes pinned the Vancouver side deep into their own end but unfortunately, after a flurry of opportunity, the UVic men were unable to capitalize and still down by one. A well-executed counterattack by the Hawks saw another goal, this time by former Vike Connor Meakin, putting the Hawks up 3-1.

Looking to make one last push, the Vikes tuned their line-up to go heavy-handed on the attack but in the end were left vulnerable defensively and in the last five minutes of play the Hawks netted two more goals to close the deal.

Next up for the University of Victoria Vikes men’s field hockey teams is a game against West Vancouver, Oct. 27, 2 p.m. at UVic.