By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s field hockey team suffered a 6-0 blow today against an internationally heavy Surrey Lions squad on Sept. 27 in Victoria. Rookie Vikes keeperJack Matthews made an outstanding home debut facing nine penalty corners and thwarting several quality free place opportunities. The Vikes are now 0-2 in the Vancouver men’s premier league, while Surrey improves to a 3-0 record.
The Vikes, who are without last year stand outs Tyler Klenk in midfield, Toby Owen in goal and Chris Bell up front, still had reliable experience on their team in fifth-year midfielder Brenden Bissett, a current national team member, as well as third years Riley Tringham, Greg Tonkin and Prabh Sahota. Ten new comers joined the 2015 squad including 2014 Youth Olympics silver medallist Harbir Sidhu, Victoria native Josh Brown and keeper Matthews, all who have already earned starting spots.
For Surrey, their dominant attacking side was sparked by forward Gurpreet Singh who netted the hat trick, while the penalty corner strengths of Harpreet Nagra were on pace today. Lakhwinder Singh and Balwinder Singh each netted for the Lions in the dominating win.
The Lions were on offence from the opening whistle as Vikes defender Tringham scooped one off the line to prevent an early Surrey lead in the fourth minute of play. The visitors nearly got on the board in the sixth minute as Lakhwinder Singh dove at the far post but was unable to connect. The Lions had five first-half penalty corners with Tringham getting the best of Nagra’s flick in the 11th minute.
The Vikes nearly got on the board after some good individual skills from forward Prabh Sahota, who was forced to drop the ball back to team mate Amardeep Sidhu. Sidhul’s blast through traffic was booked for an open Alexander Smith but the third year was unable to get a stick on it.
Surrey opened the scoring in the 21st minute off a penalty corner rebound that was tapped in at the far post by Gurpreet Singh, his first of three for the day, for a 1-0 lead. Seven minutes later on a penalty corner Gurpreet Singh found the back of the net deflecting a low flick from Nagra in for a 2-0 lead.
Just before half time Vikes keeper Matthews was called to action on a rippling back-hand shot from Lakhwinder Singh. Matthews quick hands kept the game 2-0 in favour of the visitors at the break.
In the second half the Vikes were the first to penetrate as some excellent possession skills from Bissett down the left side made space for a nice pass to Sahota. Sahota was able to send a hard cross to a waiting Smith but that chance was spoiled by the Lions keeper.
One minute following Sahota was able to find space in the circle in a free play situation and the third-year Vike blasted a back hand that was again saved by the mit of the Surrey keeper.
The Lions had three-straight corners starting in the 43rd minute and they were able to capitalized on the last one as Nagra’s rocket flick hit traffic and deflected into the mesh for a 3-0 Surrey lead.
In the 45th minute, Lakhwinder Singh deflected a hard shot that was sent in by Dilbag Singh (Bagga) for a 4-0 visitors lead.
The Vikes had a series of penalty corner chances near the 58-minute mark but the first was miss trapped at the top, while the second was fired low and wide right by penalty corner flicker and second-year Vike Sidhu.
Surrey was able to extend their lead on a nice solo effort from Gurpreet Singh in the 63rd, while the Vikes did have two more late chances. Senior Bissett blasted a back-hand shot toward goal in the 67th minute, again saved, while a penalty corner chance in the 68th, also taken by Bissett, was also blocked.
The Lions earned a penalty corner with 20 seconds left on the clock and it was put it on the rebound by Balwinder Singh for a final score of 6-0 in favour of Surrey.
Up next the Vikes men will gear up for another home game, Oct. 4, against the West Coast Kings. The game time will be 12:30 p.m. at UVic’s water-based field hockey pitch.
SURR: 2-4 : 6
UVIC: 0-0 : 0
SURR: Gurpreet Singh (21′, 28′, 63′), Harpreet Nagra (’44’), Lakhwinder Singh (45′), Balwinder Singh (70′)