Thunderbirds open season with a tie against Victoria

UBC goal celebration

VANCOUVER – UBC first-year head coach Robin D’Abreo will have to wait another day to get his first CIS victory as the Thunderbirds tied the Victoria Vikes 1-1 Saturday afternoon at UBC’s Wright Field. Third-year standout Hannah Haughn scored for the Thunderbirds early in the second half off a penalty corner before the Vikes Marin Davidson tied the game up late in the second half.
“I’m really proud of the girls, given the time of our preparation for this game and given how much I’ve had the team do differently the past four weeks,” added D’Abreo post-game. “I think we accomplished a lot today and I was really happy with how we were able to execute some of the things we’ve been working on in practice.”

Besides several long-range shots and scrambles in front of the net, the first half saw little action as far as scoring chances. One particular play highlighted the first half when goalkeeper Lauren Logush, a member of the Canadian Senior National Team, made a stellar save with five minutes remaining in the half after a shot was deflected in front.
After some sustained pressure a third of the way into the second half, the Thunderbirds got a penalty corner where Haughn made no mistake on the rebound after initially starting the play. Haughn played for Team Canada over the summer at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and was the 2013 Canada West leading scorer.
Meghan Hayden had an opportunity to put the Thunderbirds up by two on a breakaway but was denied by Victoria goalkeeper Larissa Piva. On the team’s second penalty corner of the half, the Thunderbirds were once again stopped by Piva and the Vikes defence.
Victoria would score the equalizer with under three minutes remaining in the game off a well executed penalty corner which resulted in Davidson easily scoring into a empty net.
With a tie in their opening game, the Thunderbirds are 0-1-0 while the Victoria Vikes remain undefeated with a record of 2-0-1 after opening their season with a pair of wins a weekend prior against the Calgary Dinos.
Both teams will have a quick turn around and be back in action for a Sunday matinee at 1 p.m. at Wright Field as the Thunderbirds seek their first win of the 2014 season.

“I think we need to tidy up our marking, there were a few occasions where there were one too many forwards open in our end,” said D’Abreo regarding areas of improvement ahead of tomorrow’s rematch. “Our focus this season is going to be what we want to accomplish this season and not so much on our opposition.”

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