November 3, 2012, TORONTO (CIS) – The top-seeded and reigning national champion UBC Thunderbirds will play in their fourth consecutive McCrae Cup final after defeating the Western Mustangs 3-1 in the final preliminary round match of the FHC-CIS women’s field hockey championship, Saturday afternoon at Varsity Centre.
UBC finishes atop the round robin standings with a 3-0-1 record and nine points. The T-Birds will take on the second-seeded and tournament host Toronto Varsity Blues (2-1-1) in the gold-medal match Sunday at 1 p.m. The Canada West and OUA champions battled to a 1-1 draw in the championship opener on Thursday.
The two teams have met five times over the years in the championship game, with UBC prevailing three times (1978, 1982, 1983) and Toronto twice (1988, 2010). The T-Birds hold the all-time records with 13 McCrae Cups and 20 appearances in the title match. The Blues are tied for second place with Victoria with 11 CIS banners in 17 gold-medal appearances.
“I think it’s good to have a rematch,” said UBC head coach Hash Kanjee. “Now that’s four games in our pocket that we can look back on as we get ready. We have been building slowly and I think we’re moving into a good spot.”
Western (2-2) will face Guelph (2-2) for third place Sunday at 10 a.m. Guelph captured bronze a year ago, while Western looks to reach the CIS podium for the first time.
“It’s massive,” commented Western’s Jeff Pacheco, the CIS coach of the year, when asked about playing for bronze. “It’s not just about these girls it’s about the ones to come and the girls from the past. It comes down to the culture we are trying to develop and we’ve had a lot of good times doing it.”
UBC opened the scoring when second-year forward Molly Driscoll of Delta, B.C., capitalized on a deflection off a penalty corner in the 10th minute. The Mustangs evened the score in the final minute of the first half as CIS all-Canadian Katelynn Roganowicz of Burlington, Ont., wired a shot into the top right corner of the net.
Canada West MVP Katherine Gillis, a native of Toronto, scored the game-winner in the 48th minute as she solved netminder Bethan Blackburn of Elora, Ont., for her third goal of the tournament.
Cassandra Taylor of Vancouver added an insurance marker in the 64th minute as she received a pass in the middle and reversed the ball into the net.
UBC: 1-2: 3
WES: 1-0: 1
UBC Molly Driscoll (1), 10th minute
WES Katelynn Roganowicz (2), 35th
UBC Katherine Gillis (3), 48th
UBC Cassandra Taylor (2), 64th
UBC: Bea Francisco (W, 70:00, 1 GA, 3-0-1)
WES: Bethan Blackburn (L, 70:00, 3 GA, 2-2-0)
Players of the game
UBC: Abigail Raye (Kelowna, B.C.)
WES: Kate Feagan (Goderich, Ont.)