By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA (CIS) – Fourth-year midfielder Hannah Haughn scored the game-winning goal as the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds dropped the Victoria Vikes, 2-1, on Day 2 of the CIS-FHC Championship in Victoria. This is the first win this season over the Vikes for the four-time defending national champions and it comes at a pivotal time.
The Thunderbirds were led by second-year keeper Rowan Harris who was outstanding at denying several Vikes rushes, especially early on in the game. Sophie Jones and Haughn were the goal scorers for UBC who, despite not maintaining the majority of the possession, were rewarded for their tactical and quality defensive game.
“We have been really focusing in on the process leading into the tournament,” said UBC head coach Robin D’Abreo, at his second CIS championship in as many years coaching. “What I am really happy with today is that a lot of what we talked about in the game plan we were able to implement for the entire duration of the game. If we can continue to stick to the game plan and stay on task I think we have the capability of performing well against any opponent here.”
The Vikes scored the only first-half goal after great offensive pressure from Amanda Kurianowicz. The fourth-year Calgary, Alta. native fired in her fifth of the season and first of the tournament for the Vikes’ only goal of the game at the 15-minute mark. The Vikes had a solid defensive game but fell victim to several second-half turnovers.
The Vikes picked up where they left off in their Canada West season earning a near opportunity in just the sixth minute of play as second-year Vike Lindsay Cole’s offensive pressure was rewarded with a close-range shot. Unable to capitalize UBC quickly countered through Haughn on the left side. Haughn’s blast across the circle just slipped under the stick of a diving Gabby Jayme at the far post.
Still scoreless the Vikes gained their first penalty corner after a long aerial from Alexis De Armond. Kurianowicz was the receiver and her baseline drive eventually found the foot of Cailean Meredith to give the home side their first set piece but the Vikes were unable to capitalize leaving the game scoreless.
Victoria put the UBC back line under immense pressure and were able to capitalize in the 15thminute when Kurianowicz pressured T-Birds defender Amy Jones and then, on her back-hand, lifted the ball into the mesh for a 1-0 Vikes lead. That scored remained at the break.
In the second half Victoria came out with strong pressure up front with two prime opportunities from Cole not finding the back of the net. The second of her shots was well saved by the glove of Harris.
A careless green card in midfield by Vike Kristina Walters-Shumka gave UBC the momentum swing they needed as on the next play Cailean Meredith earned the Thunderbirds their first corner of the half. Sophie Jones’ initial shot was blocked but she was quick to reposition on her back-hand and sweep the ball low in to the goal to tie the game 1-1 in the 52nd minute.
Kathleen Leahy earned the Vikes a go-ahead chance on a penalty corner with 13 minutes to go but Meredith did a good job to deny the 2015 CIS First Team All-Canadian from getting a shot on target.
Victoria had a few more chance at goal but Harris, with her supporting cast of Sophie Jones, Sarah Lowes and Meredith did well to keep the Vikes off the board.
In the 64th minute UBC were on the attack and Nicole Best drove the right base line. Best’s pass across the goal mouth slid under the sticks of three Vikes where a waiting Haughn dove on the back hand to sweep the ball into the open goal for the game winner.
The Vikes earned one last corner with under a minute left to go but unable to even get a shot off were forced to be dealt their first loss of the season, 2-1, to the Thunderbirds.
“I think UBC played better as a team tonight than us,” said Vikes head coach Lynne Beecroft after the loss. “I think we had our opportunities but we didn’t capitalize. I think UBC have the best goalie in the tournament but she got beat twice against Guelph so anything can happen.”
Defender Annie Walters-Shumka was Victoria’s player of the game, while Meredith was given the honours for UBC. Both teams now have a split 1-1 record after two days of play, while tomorrow, Nov. 7, the Vikes will play Guelph (1-0) and the Thunderbirds will play Toronto (0-1).
UBC: 0-2: 2
VIC: 1-0: 1
VIC Amanda Kurianowicz (1), 15th minute
UBC Sophie Jones (1), 52nd
UBC Hannah Haughn (1), 64th
UBC: Rowan Harris (W, 70:00, 1 GA, 1-1)
VIC: Larissa Piva (L, 70:00, 2 GA, 1-1)
Players of the game
UBC: Cailean Meredith (Delta, B.C.)
VIC: Annie Walters-Shumka (Victoria, B.C.)
1. Victoria (Canada West champions: 7-0-1 regular season / no playoffs in CW)
2. Toronto (OUA champions: 11-1-0 regular season / 2-0 conference playoffs)
3. UBC (Canada West runners-up: 4-3-1 regular season / no playoffs in CW)
4. Guelph (OUA silver medallists: 11-1-0 regular season / 1-1 conference playoffs)
STANDINGS, SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times Pacific Time)
GP W L T GF GA PTS
1. Victoria 2 1 1 0 5 3 3
2. UBC 2 1 1 0 3 3 3
3. Guelph 1 1 0 0 2 1 3
4. Toronto 1 0 1 0 1 4 0
NOTE: 3 points for a win and 1 point for a tie.
Thursday, Nov. 5
16:00 Game 1: Guelph 2, UBC 1
18:30 Game 2: Victoria 4, Toronto 1
Friday, Nov. 6
16:00 Game 3: UBC 2, Victoria 1
18:30 Game 4: Guelph vs. Toronto (CIS-SIC.tv)
Saturday, Nov. 7
12:30 Game 5: Guelph vs. Victoria (CIS-SIC.tv)
15:00 Game 6: UBC vs. Toronto (CIS-SIC.tv)
Sunday, Nov. 8
12:30 Bronze medal (CIS-SIC.tv)
15:00 Championship final (CIS-SIC.tv)