Vikes crowned Canada West champions after blanking T-Birds in conference finale

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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

October 16, 2013, VICTORIA (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s field hockey team claimed their first Canada West title since 2002 after defeating the UBC Thunderbirds 2-0 on Oct. 26 at UVic’s field hockey pitch.

The Vikes ended a 10-year championship reign that the T-Birds held to now claim the No. 1 seed entering the 2013 CIS/FHC national championship hosted in Victoria Oct. 31-Nov. 3.

CIS CHAMPIONSHIP INFO: http://govikesgo.com/sports/2013/9/9/WFH_0909132206.aspx 

Recently named Canada West All-Star Amanda Kurianowicz scored her third goal of the season and the eventual game-winner, while freshman Kira Starr tallied her first of the season. The hero of the match was with out a doubt goalkeeper Sheriden Goodmanson who posted eight quality saves to earn the shutout.

The Thunderbirds’ Canada West reign came to an end despite superb performances from fifth years Miranda Mann and Caitlin Evans. The boost of Natalie Sourisseau in the midfield generated several chances including eight penalty corners to UVic’s two but the mainland rivals were unable to beat Goodmanson.

The opening minutes heavily favoured the Thunderbirds but against the grain Kathleen Leahy took a quick self-start at the hash marks to gain the right-side baseline. Leahy’s composure drew several T-Birds to the near post and a well-timed pass set up Kurianowicz for the wide open shot at the stroke mark for the early 1-0 lead.

From there possession continued to favour the T-Birds but the north-south style of attack was guarded well by the Vikes defence line. Cassandra Tayler and Sourisseau each had quality opportunities throughout the opening frame as shots favoured the visitors 3-2 after 35 minutes played.

In the second half the Vikes weathered off six UBC penalty corners thanks to several saves from Goodmanson.

In the 39th minute of play the Vikes were the beneficiaries of another Leahy free hit as the midfielder smashed the ball into the circle from outside the 23m area. UBC’s Katie Jameson’s first touch deflected the ball into Bea Francisco’s pads but Starr was waiting for the rebound and lifted it up and into the net for the 2-0 lead.

Momentum took a heavy shift in favour of the home team who forces eight saves out of Francisco in the second frame. The Vikes generated only two penalty corners coming in the second half but Francisco did well to keep the goal margin at two.

The T-Birds struggled to generate any form of attack throughout the remainder of the game and the Vikes showed composure to maintain possession until the final whistle.

Win the 2-0 victory the Vikes claim their first Canada West banner since 2002 and end gain the top seed entering the Victoria-hosted CIS/FHC national championship. The Thunderbirds will be forced to take the fourth seed, the host berth, while both western teams will be joined at the championship by OUA contenders Waterloo and Guelph.

Following the Canada West finale Leahy, Kurianowicz and captain Kyla Kirby were named Canada West All-Stars, while it was a UBC sweep for the major awards and thre remainder of the All-Star list.

The CIS/FHC championship will begin with the CIS All-Canadian and major awards banquet on Oct. 30 with games set to start on Oct. 31 at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.

For a full schedule visit http://govikesgo.com/ciswfh 

SCORING SUMMARY

UVIC: 1 – 1 : 2

UBC: 0 – 0 : 0

GOAL SCORERS

UVIC: Amanda Kurianowicz (4′), Kira Starr (39′)

UBC: none

GOALKEEPERS

UVIC: Sheriden Goodmanson 70 MP, 8 saves

UBC: Bea Francisco 70 MP, 9 saves

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