By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C. – Fourth-year University of Victoria Vikes midfielder Andrea Jones netted the only goal as the Vikes dropped the visiting Calgary Dinos 1-0 on Oct. 24. The Vikes improve to 6-0-1 in the Canada West while the Dinos drop to 0-7 with just one regular season game remaining.
Jones notched her third goal of the season in the Victoria win while the team mustered an impressive 23 shots and 12 penalty corners despite only scoring one goal. Larissa Piva was credited her fifth shutout of the season.
Calgary were indisputably led by reigning Canada West Player and Goalkeeper of the Year Beckett Frisch. The fifth year made 12 key saves in the game, while rookie midfielder Sabrina Wong was an impact player in the middle of the field. Calgary mustered just four shots in the game but forced three saves out of the Vikes keeper Piva.
“We had lots of goal scoring opportunities and didn’t capitalize on them,” said Vikes head coach Lynne Beecroft. “Their goalie made some spectacular saves and we didn’t play particularly composed hockey. I also think we carried the ball too much on our non-stick side and that made our distribution difficult.”
Both teams took time to settle in to the game with possession tilting towards the home side. Victoria’s first quality opportunity came in the ninth minute of play when Jenna Dhillon fedLindsay Cole in the middle. Cole’s forward pass split the Calgary defence and gave Vikes forward Amanda Kurianowicz a promising chance but Calgary netminder Frisch met the Calgary native at the top of the circle well.
Two minutes later Kathleen Leahy forced another great save out of Frisch after she picked off a pass from Calgary defender Michelle Patterson. Leahy ran the ball 30 yards and into the circle before curling to her back-hand and releasing a reverse-stick shot towards Frisch’s pads.
Calgary’s Marion Arnott and Kimiko Durrer anchored the back line, while first year Wong continued to make her presence felt both offensively and defensively. The Dinos did well to neutralize the waves of Vikes attack but conceded their first penalty corner in the 21st minute. Leahy’s ensuing shot deflected off Dino Patterson and tinged off the post to keep the game scoreless.
The Dinos had two first-half chances, both forcing saves out of Piva, including a right-side attack that resulted in a flat-angled shot. With under seven minutes Wong fired a quick free hit into the circle and it took a deflection in the circle that forced Piva to dive high and to her right to keep the ball out of the top corner.
“Larissa made a key save for us when it was 0-0,” noted Beecroft on the deflection chance. “I’m very happy because she stayed composed, focus and here on that save.”
Victoria had a few more penalty corner chances with Alexis De Armond sweeping from the right side of the circle. Her shot was on target and forced Frisch to quickly sprawl and make a sliding right-toe save in the 18th minute.
With under a minute in the first half to go Victoria had two quick rushes with shots from Alanna Macdonald and Stefanie Langkammer but Frisch was up to the task leaving the game 0-0 at half time.
In the second half the Vikes had another seven penalty corner chances including three in the opening minutes. Most of the Vikes’ chances, however, came in free play including an in tight play that started from a deceptive hit from Kristina Walter-Shumka to sister Annie Walters-Shumka. The final pass found the stick of Kurianowicz, who quickly curled strong and released shot that was again saved by Frisch.
The Vikes’ best chance of the game came in the 44th minute when Kristina Walters-Shumka sent a booming deceptive hit from the left side of the circle to the far post. Lindsay Cole had a well-timed deflection but Frisch slid across to make an unbelievable save.
Calgary had two penalty corner chances late in the game but Jessica Britton and Jenna Bower’s shots were both turned away by the Vikes defensive unit.
Victoria were finally rewarded in the 61st minute when Leahy did all the hard work down the left baseline. The fourth-year midfielder’s cross hit a lot of traffic on route to the far post where an overlapping Jones smashed the ball in from close range to give the Vikes a 1-0 lead.
With five minutes to go a speedy Lizzie Yates sprung Victoria team mate Langkammer on a break toward the right side of the circle. Langkammer quickly released a hard blast but it hit the outside of the net. Jones’ goal remained the only one to beat Frisch as the Vikes improved their record to 6-0-1 in their second-to-last regular season game, while the Dinos drop to 0-7.
“We have to give Calgary credit,” added Beecroft on the young Dinos’ performance. “They were there and in the right positions. They harassed us when we got possession and put us under pressure and they found lanes through our defence line.”
The Vikes and Dinos clash again tomorrow, Oct. 25, at UVic’s water-based pitch. Canada West major awards and all-stars will be handed out following the match.
CGY: 0 – 0 : 0
UVIC: 0 – 1 : 1
UVIC: Andrea Jones (61′)