Vikes gain valuable experience on American road swing

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VICTORIA – A high-powered offence led the University of Victoria Vikes women’s field hockey travelling squad to two wins and a close loss on their annual preseason trip south of the border from Aug. 25-28.

Wins of 4-3 and 2-0 over Harvard and Brown respectively were followed by a tight 2-1 loss to Yale as the Vikes once again proved that they more than a match for the prestigious Ivy League institutions.

“We were very pleased with their play on the field,” said Vikes head coach Lynne Beecroft. “There were some signs of brilliance on the field, as they worked well enough to score 7 goals in three games.”

A mixture of experience and youth got the trip started on the right foot in the Vikes victory over Harvard. Fourth and third-year forward Lindsay Cole and Jocelynne Charlton both tallied for the Vikes, while rookies Ashton Aumen and Leina Dueck also found the back of the net in the first exhibition game of their university careers.

Cole put the Canada West conference on notice that she will be one to watch this year when she scored two more goals in the Vikes 2-0 victory over Brown the very next day.

Charlton was the Vikes lone scorer but the team couldn’t pick up the American sweep in a 2-1 loss to Yale on Aug. 28.

More important than the results however, was how this trip allowed a young Vikes team to bond off the field.

“With eight rookies, one of our team’s goal for this trip to Boston was for our athletes to get to know one another better, on and off the field,” said Beecroft. “Off the field, they have really gelled well together, becoming a much more cohesive group.”

Now that they are back across the border it is time for the hard work to really begin.

“We have a number of things to work on over the next couple of weeks, so that the team is ready to compete against UBC in our first Canada West competition,” said Beecroft. “I trust that the athletes will continue to work hard to become the best team they can be.”

Those all-important games against UBC will take place on Sep. 16 and 17, as the Vikes take on the team that defeated them in a shootout to win U SPORTS gold at last year’s national championships.

Both of those games take place at 11:00 a.m., on the UVic field hockey turf.

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