By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
January 27, 2014, VICTORIA (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s field hockey team were served a difficult loss, 4-1, by the visiting Vancouver Hawks on January 25.
The Vikes drop to a 1-11 record, while the Hawks continue to hold the top of the Vancouver Premier League with a 10-1 record and a five-game win streak.
The Vikes were without several key bodies once again due to national team committments. Field Hockey Canada sent a young, developement team on tour to South America, meaning that the more seasoned senior Canadian team standouts of the Hawks were still able to compete this weekend. The Hawks roster included Olympian Philip Wright and the highest current national team member David Jameson, with 192 caps, as well as Iain Smythe and Benjamin Martin.
Lost to the development tour were Vikes Arsh Buttar and Sam Jones, both key players for the young Victoria squad. Injuries also plagued the home team as forward Aidan Pye has been day-to-day since last weekend and two addiitonal Vikes were unable to play the entire match this weekend, leaving the Vikes with only 10 players for the final 25 minutes of the game.
Despite the hurdles, the Vikes came out with a lot of intent and a high level of compete, managing to limit the Hawks’ chances with a gritty and physical style of defence. Vikes keeper Toby Owen was called to action on two key Hawks penalty corner shots at the eighth and 12th minutes. In the other end, rookie Prabh Sahota created a promising opportunity beating two Hawks defenders but his back-hand shot when just over the bar.
After waves of pressure the Hawks finally broke the seal, earning a 1-0 lead at the 21st minute after capitalizing on a Vikes turnover with an experienced press.
In the second half the VIkes showed good possession stints and were able to generate some attack but the Hawks continued to wear down the VIkes back line. The Vikes lost players due to injury and had one green card awarded. In that span, down two men, the Hawks beat Owen in the 42nd and 47th minute to lift their lead to three.
Not giving up, captain Derek Wiggins lead by example, forcing a Hawks turnover in midfield and beat a defender to spring Trevor Faahan for a break away. Feehan calmly traversed through the circle to lift the ball over a diving Hawks keeper and break the shut out.
The relentless Hawks notched one more with three mintues left on the clock to retain their three-goal lead and take a final score of 4-1. Owen was key in net shutting the door on seven penalty corners throughout the game.
Up next the Vikes will play the Victoria Selects, in Victoria, on Feb. 2 at 1:30 p.m.
Note: Originally the Vikes were scheduled to play the Surrey Lions on the road but due to safety concerns for players, officials and matches, the Vancouver Men’s Field Hockey Leauge has suspended all matches involving the Surrey Lions and West Coast Kings for the remainder of the 2013-14 season. As such, the Vikes will be credited 5-0 default wins for their originally scheduled Feb. 2 game against the Lions and their Feb. 16 game against the West Coast Kings. For more information visit The Vancouver Men’s FIeld Hockey League website.