VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes came back in the second half of play to tie the UBC Thunderbirds 1-1 in the opening game, Sept. 16, of the Canada West women’s field hockey season in Victoria. Fourth-year T-Bird Emily Martin and Vikes rookie Leina Dueck each pocketed their team’s first goals. The Vikes and T-Birds now sit 0-0-1 heading into tomorrow’s second game of the double-header weekend.


It was a tale of two halves as Victoria net minder Larissa Piva was called to action multiple times throughout the first half, while UBC keeper Rowan Harris had more of the action in her circle in the second half.

“We have eight rookies and six of them in the lineup today so we are going to rely on them,” said Lynne Beecroft, Vikes women’s field hockey head coach. “Anna had a strong game out of the back field. She gets the ball and she is composed. Hannah Craig had a really good game in the back field and made some key tackles and I think Leina Dueck is going to be another Amanda Kurianowicz (former Vike). She loves to score goals and you can’t teach a kid to want to score goals.”

The Thunderbirds had a quick start thanks to rookie Jordyn Faiczak who earned UBC their first penalty corner opportunity forcing a foot deep in the Vikes’ circle. First-year defender Sara Goodman’s sweep from the top of the battery was deflected well by Abigale MacLellan but Piva’s right glove denied a UBC lead. Play settled between the 23-m lines after that until UBC’s Margaret Pham had an open look at goal. Piva’s experience shined as she cleared the ball out the opposite side of the circle despite heavy T-Bird traffic. Faiczak and fellow first year Kaitlin Chow each served green cards in the opening half but the Vikes were unable to capitalize during either of the two-minute sentences.

The Vikes earned their first penalty corner chance in the 14th minute but a miscue at the top of the circle between Lindsay Cole and Justine Balen denied any shot towards goal.

It took two more penalty corner chances before the Thunderbirds broke the deadlock. In the 28thminute, Hannah Eborall’s shot was blocked but Faiczak was able to collect, turn and force a save out of Piva. The ball bounced loose for Martin who knocked the ball in for a 1-0 T-Birds lead.

The Vikes responded well keeping the Thunderbirds in their end the final two minutes of the half. Emma Dame had a nifty run down the left side but ran out of territory at the baseline. UBC held their 1-0 edge entering the break.

The second half saw a revived energy from the home side. First-year defender Anna Mollenhauerfound herself in UBC territory and had two reverse sweeps towards goal, the second of the two pinged off the post.  The Vikes earned a penalty corner chance in the 42nd minute but Cole’s sweep shot was blocked. Following a flurry of Victoria attack, UBC earned a quick break through speedster MacLellan. The second-year fed a perfect ball to the streaking Thora Rae but her back-hand attempt fired high and wide of Piva’s goal.

In the 63rd the Vikes drew level after a crafty run from Mollenhauer at the top of the circle. The ball ricocheted around through traffic and Vikes forward Dueck was able to mark her first game in a Vikes uniform with a critical goal to tie it 1-1.

The Vikes had the go-ahead opportunity when a penalty corner was called with no time on the clock. The first attempt was denied and the follow-up from Vikes midfielder Jenna Dhillon went wide. The final result was a 1-1 draw, a fair evaluation of the two national championship powerhouses.

“I thought we played pretty well in the first half and had them on their heels and then it was a reverse in the second,” said UBC Thunderbirds head coach Robin D’Abreo. “I thought we were not taking advantage of opportunities to maintain better possession and to switch the ball and play it through a bigger space more consistently.”

This season’s results are even more pivotal as the winner of the Canada West will earn the only spot to vie for a national championship medal. The conference champion will host the eastern champion for a best-of-three series for national gold.

“We are going to talk about the positives that we had throughout the game and hopefully we can carry that for 70 minutes tomorrow,” added Beecroft.

The Vikes and T-Birds will re-match again tomorrow, Sept. 17, at 11:00 a.m. in Victoria.

Victoria         0  1 – 1
UBC               1  0 – 1

UBC – #19 Emily Martin, PC, 28’, 1-0 UBC
UVIC – #10 Leina Dueck, FG, 62’, 1-1

VIC – Larissa Piva 70 MP, 1 GA, 4 Saves
UBC – Rowan Harris 70 MP, 1 GA, 4 Saves

VIC – None
UBC – Jordyn Faiczak (GC, 11’), Kaitlin Chow (GC, 14’), Meghan Hayden (YC, 70’)