By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C. – A goal in each half lifted the University of Victoria Vikes for the second-straight day over the UBC Thunderbirds in Canada West women’s field hockey action Sept. 19. Fourth-year Vikes Kathleen Leahy and Amanda Kurianowicz each potted goals in the 2-0 victory that gives the Vikes the clean sheet in their opening weekend of play, while the Thunderbirds are now 0-2 in the conference.
Vikes keeper Larissa Piva earned her second-straight shutout as the Vikes out-shot the T-Birds 20-0. The home side also logged six penalty corners without giving up any to the T-Birds. A strong performance from the Vikes allowed them to score in the 35th minute from Leahy and 47th minute from Kurianowicz – both in free play.
The Thunderbirds showed vast improvement from yesterday’s match up but the score line is largely reflected by the quality goalkeeping of second-year Ottawa native Rowan Harris. The UBC net minder faced 13 shots in the opening half and did an outstanding job thwarting the offensive attack by the Vikes. Fifth-year defender Katrina Davis commanded the back field while third-year midfielder Sarah Keglowitsch was a prominent fixture in center midfield but had little support when moving forward.
It was much of the same story in the opening minutes as yesterday’s affair with the Vikes dominating possession. The home side earned three penalty corners in four minutes. In the fifth minute the Vikes looked to Alexis De Armond and Leahy to execute but the UBC defensive battery did well to prevent a quality opportunity. Two minutes following Leahy had a deceptive sweep on a corner set play that was cleared on the line by T-Birds defender Sophie Jones.
UBC was unable to penetrate the Vikes’ circle but did better in their second game to maintain possession through the midfield. In the 14th minute De Armond ran the left side and fired a back-hand cross that was picked up by Vikes forward Stefanie Langkammer on the baseline. The resulting pass in front of the goal gave fellow Vikes forward Emily Bennett a near deflection opportunity but she was met timely by UBC’s Harris and the ball was cleared.
UBC’s Keglowitsch and Gabby Jayme were very key for the young T-Birds in the opening half. The pair were responsible for most of the distribution from the middle and defensively they were constantly thwarting Vikes attack.
Following 35 minutes of play the Vikes out-shot UBC 13-0 and earned four penalty corners but despite the stat line it took nearly all 35 minutes before the home side got on the board. Seconds from the half time whistle going Leahy made a strong run into the left side of the circle and quickly released a back-hand sweep which beat Harris for a 1-0 Victoria lead.
The second half was much of the same as bodies began to tire on both sides. Victoria continued to hold UBC in their half, while the T-Birds did a good job defensively limiting circle penetrations. The Vikes generating just two penalty corners in the half, both in the final 15 minutes of play.
Following good attack sparked by Victoria forward Lizzie Yates, the Vikes were able to get their second goal of the game. Yates fired a ball into the circle that was calmly deflected in by Kurianowicz, for her second goal of the season and of the game. Up 2-0, the Vikes seemed poised to get another but were forced to play down a man when Leahy was yellow carded in the 56th minute.
The Thunderbirds cleared the ball several times into the Vikes’ end but the UBC forward were unable to connect in the other end. The Vikes had penalty corners in the 57th and 59th minute, both taken by rookie De Armond. One of her attempts was saved well by Harris, while the other was fired inches wide of the left post.
The T-Birds showed great character in the dying minutes to continue to push forward. A quick free hit taken by second-year transfer Cailean Meredith blasted into the circle to an unmarked Meghan Hayden but the third-year wasn’t quite ready and the ball zoomed past her and off the end line.
The Vikes finished with the 2-0 victory and ultimately two shutout victories to start their Canada West season. With just three teams in the conference the Vikes will have a bye next weekend, Sept. 26-27, while the UBC Thunderbirds will head to Calgary for a double header. The Vikes will then travel to Calgary for two games, Oct. 3-4.
The Vikes along with either UBC or Calgary will also return to Victoria for the CIS-FHC National Championship, hosted Nov. 5-8, with two Canada West and two OUA schools.
UBC: 0 – 0 : 0
UVIC: 1 – 1 : 2