Kirby concludes stellar five-year career with CIS silver

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By Ali Lee (UVic), With Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

November 3, 2013, VICTORIA (CIS) – Fifth-year captain Kyla Kirby may not cap her five-year career with a CIS gold but the Lambrick Park grad performed admirably, leading her team to Victoria’s seventh silver medal, as the Vikes fell 4-1 to UBC at the 2013 Field Hockey Canada-CIS national championship hosted in Victoria.

The victory extend the T-Birds to their 15th McCrae Cup and makes them the three-time defending national champions. This is the tenth CIS final that featured Victoria and UBC with the Championship-winning ‘Birds now holding a 7-3 advantage in the rivalry series. This is also the 21st appearance for both teams in the gold-medal game while UBC now hold the record with 15 national titles. Victoria and Toronto are currently tied for second with 11 CIS banners.

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UVic’s Kyla Kirby sprints by UBC’s Kate Gillis during first half action Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

In a high-paced, exciting match up the Thunderbirds came away with the win thanks to two goals from former CIS Rookie of the Year Hannah Haughn. Rachel Donohoe and Sara McManus also capitalized, while midfielder Abigail Raye was named the Championship MVP following the game.

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UVic’s Stefanie Hatch (right) defends against UBC’s Natalie Sourisseau Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Kirby was named a championship all-star after helping the Vikes compete for a full 70 minutes and break the T-Birds shutout with a late goal in the 64th minute from Amanda Kurinaowicz. Vikes keeper Sheriden Goodmanson posted several saves in the game and was rewarded as the only goalie named to the tournament eleven.

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UVic’s Amanda Kurianowicz leads the charge upfield against UBC on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

The Vikes came out of the gate early earning their lone first-half penalty corner in the sixth minute of play. Unable to capitalize the T-Birds were back the other way in continual waves.

UBC continued the strength of their corner execution capitalizing on their first chance in the 12th minute. A set play that faked through the legs of Miranda Mann left Sophie Huijskens a free sweep shot. Haughn got a stick on it at the far post to give the visiting ‘Birds the 1-0 lead.

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UVic’s Stefanie Hatch moves away from UBC defender Rachel Donohoe during Sunday’s action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

In the 18th minute the T-Birds were again with a penalty corner opportunity and Rachel Donohoe made no mistake with a deceptive sweep that went straight in to the bottom left corner.

The Vikes did well to disrupt midfield play but were unable to handle the speed and craftiness that the T-Birds brought from internationally experienced Kate Gillis, Haughn, Raye and Sourisseau. UBC sat on a 3-0 lead entering the break.

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UVic’s Alexis Veljacic tries to outrun UBCs Kate Gillis during Sunday’s action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

In the second half there was a lot of back-and-forth action, emotion and competitiveness on the pitch. Yellow card cautions were shown as both teams continued to compete until the final horn. The Vikes silenced the T-birds in the 64th minute on a well-executed back-hand shot by leading Vikes scorer Kurianowicz to keep the game within two.

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UVic’s Emily Fisher reaches to make a pass between UBC’s Rachel Donohoe (front) and Abigail Raye (rear)(Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

In the 64th minute McManus, also named a tournament all-star, lifted the Thunderbirds back up by three converting on a penalty stroke. The call came after Alanna Macdonaldmade a diving tackle on Gillis inside the circle.

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UVic goaltender Sheriden Goodmanson and defender Kathleen Leahy (right) would prevent UBC’s Kate Gillis from scoring on this play (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Moments later the Vikes celebrated what they thought was an own-goal off a hard hit from outside the 23-meter area. Several Vikes including the bench celebrated thinking the ball deflected went in off a T-Birds foot but it remained a UBC 15-meter hit.

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Kyla Kirby would finish her CIS career with a Silver medal and a place on the tournament all-star team (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Just as time was about to expire the Vikes mustered up three back-to-back corners and despite having their whole team on the circle were unable to capitalize. The Thunderbirds celebrated the win with five players named to the tournament all-star list including Caitlin Evans, Mann, McManus, Raye, and Sourisseau. For the Vikes honours went to keeper Goodmanson, Kirby and gritty midfielder Kathleen Leahy.

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UVic’s Kathleen Leahy moves to get away from the check of UBC’s Caitlin Evans during Sunday’s action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Also named to the list were Guelph’s Erin Houle and Amy Wise, as well as Waterloo’s Ally Kocukov. Waterloo was honoured with the R.W. Pugh Fair Play Award following the tournament.

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.