Vikes field hockey capture 17th Canada West title with win over T-Birds

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By Wilson Wong, UBC Communications

VANCOUVER – The University of Victoria Vikes clinched their 17th Canada West women’s field hockey title today, Oct. 10, with a 1-0 shutout of the UBC Thunderbirds at Wright Field in Vancouver.

Fourth-year Vikes defender Annie Walters-Shumka scored a field goal in the 20th minute for the only goal of the game and Vikes goalkeeper Sheriden Goodmanson recorded a shutout in her first appearance of the regular season.

On the goal, the Vikes used two passes to quickly move the ball from midfield to the UBC 23-meter line. Vikes midfielder Jenna Dhillon received the ball near the right sideline just outside the 23. The St. Michael’s University School grad took a couple of steps before firing a pass across the field to a wide-open Annie Walters-Shumka. The Claremont graduate was able to step in and slot the ball inside the left post past UBC goalkeeper Rowan Harris.

With today’s victory, the Vikes improve to 5-0 in conference play, while the Thunderbirds drop to 2-3. Both teams have three matches remaining and could still end up with the same number of points in the league standings. But Saturday’s outcome gave Victoria the permanent advantage on the first tiebreaker should both teams end up even on points, which is head-to-head results.

The Vikes also beat UBC 3-0 and 2-0 in a pair of September games in the provincial capital. The two teams will play once more, tomorrow morning beginning at 11 a.m. at Wright Field.

Victoria already has a berth to the CIS Women’s Field Hockey Championship, which runs Nov. 5-8, as tournament hosts.

Vikes head coach Lynne Beecroft is pushing for her team to peak at that tournament.

“We’ve got a mix of kids who ‘ve played fourth year, third year, second year, first year,” she said. “We were just in Calgary last weekend. There are a few things we tried to tweak in practice this week. It didn’t quite show yet, so I’m hoping that tomorrow, they can recognize these are the things that we need to do that will help us be better.

“We’re not quite there yet, which is good because the biggest room is room for improvement. In a house, the biggest room is room for improvement. If we can continue to grow, I think we’ll be happy with ourselves and hopefully go into the CIS tournament on a high note versus still struggling.”

The Vikes maintained their perfect defensive record with their shutout today, as they haven’t surrendered a goal in any Canada West matches so far this season. Victoria’s defence gave up little in terms of quality scoring opportunities, but the Thunderbirds showed better than in their previous two matchups against the Vikes in September.

“I’m actually really happy and really proud of the girls with their performance today,” said UBC head coach Robin D’Abreo. “Our focus was back on process and in key areas; I think we made significant strides relative to the last time we played this team.

“Outletting was more effective. Our ability to move the ball around the back and generate some quality opportunities to midfield was more consistent. And I thought we did more with the opportunities we created in the offensive zone as well.”

Both teams will finish off the regular season with home games against the Calgary Dinos. UBC will host the southern Alberta squad Oct. 17-18, while Victoria will welcome Calgary for games on Oct. 24 and 25.

SCORING SUMMARY
UVIC: 0 – 1 : 1
UBC: 0 – 0 : 0

SCORING
UVIC: Annie Walters-Shumka (20′)
UBC: None

GOALKEEPING
UVIC: Sheriden Goodmanson, 70 minutes played, 0 goals against
UBC: Rowan Harris, 70 minutes played, 1 goal against

CARDS
UVIC: Delaney Booker (GC – 40′)
UBC: Sophie Jones (YC – 17′)

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