VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s and women’s field hockey programs will be well represented at the upcoming Pan American Games Championship, hosted in Toronto Jul. 10-26.
A total of five former Vikes have cracked the senior national squads that will vye for one last time for a spot to the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Canadian women will begin on Jul. 13 against Dominican Republic, while the men will face Brazil on Jul. 14.The Canadian women’s side will include former Vikes Kaitlyn Williams (White Rock, B.C.), Thea Culley (Rossland, B.C.) and Danielle Hennig (Kelowna, B.C.), the latter two named Vice Captains of the squad. Williams, a former Canada West Goalkeeper of the Year and UVic Rookie of the Year will anchor the Canadian side in goal with 64 international caps under her belt. Culley is the most experienced on the team with the highest number of caps on the current squad at 136, while Hennig will earn her 100th cap at the Games, currently at 97.The Women’s National, currently twentieth in the field hockey world ranking, enters the tournament as the third ranked team, behind Argentina (World No.3) and the United States (World No.5). The Canadian women begin competition on July 13th against the Dominican Republic. Click here for Canada’s full tournament schedule.
The Canadian women last medaled in 1999 in Winnipeg, the last time a Pan American Games was held in Canada.The Canadian men’s roster includes former Vikes and forwards Brenden Bissett (New Westminster, B.C.) and Matthew Sarmento (Vancouver, B.C.). The men are coming off a strong showing in Argentina, where they finished fourth after defeating two teams – Spain (11th) and New Zealand (7th) – higher in the World Rankings.
The Men’s National Team, currently fifteenth in the field hockey world ranking, will enter the tournament as the second ranked team, behind only Argentina (World No.6). Canada and Argentina have met in the last ten Pan Am Games finals, with Argentina wining in 2011 and Canada in 2007.The Canadian men begin play on July 14th at 7pm ET against Brazil. Click here for Canada’s tournament schedule.Canada will field the largest team in its Pan American Games history with more than 700 athletes expected to be named to the Team at the Games in Toronto. With TORONTO 2015 providing a “home Games” experience, as well as a number of qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, these Games will offer a tremendous experience for Canada’s high performance athletes.The Pan American Games field hockey competition, which will be held at the new Pan Am Fields at the University of Toronto, serves as an official 2016 Olympic Games qualifying tournament, with both the men’s and women’s winner earning a spot at the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil next summer.