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By Natalie Wise, Vikes Communications

November 17, 2012, VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s field hockey team were handed their seventh loss of the season after a 70 minute, 6-goal battle against Surrey’s India Club.

The Vikes are now 1-8 in the Vancouver Men’s Premier League with their sole win coming from a close, 3-2 game against local rivals the Victoria Selects.

Unfortunately for the Vikes the first half of play was one that they would rather forget as India Club was up by four after a mere 20 minutes of play. Using an aerial strategy to get in behind the Vikes’ defensive line, the visiting side created several odd-man rushes to tally the four goals. Vikes’ keeper Davis Robertson (Vancouver, B.C.) did all he could to hold the India Club men at bay but was hung out to dry.

A regrouping at halftime was just what the Vikes needed as they were able to hold the visitors to a lone goal in the second half. The UVic men had the momentum in the opening minutes of the second 35; however, against the run of play, the India Club men netted another to go up by five with the Vikes yet to put themselves on the scoreboard.

Despite several high-pressure situations deep in India Club’s defensive zone, the UVic men were unable to capitalize until late in the game. The dying minutes of the match were fraught with excitement as an onslaught of opportunity for the UVic men finally yielded a goal for the home side.

Junior national team member James Kirkpatrick (Victoria, BC) fired a shot on net, only to see the India Club keeper make the save. However, he was unable to control the rebound and Vike Matthew Sarmento (Vancouver, BC) seized the opportunity to rocket the ball past the unprepared goalie, finally tallying for the UVic men. Seconds before the final whistle, India Club was given a penalty stroke but Robertson made a phenomenal right boot save to keep the visitors within four.

The final score was 5-1 in favour of the visiting India Club. Next up for the Vikes is another home game, Nov. 24, 2:00 p.m., this time against Burnaby.