T-Birds rain on Vikes parade to take Game 2 of weekend series

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VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes fell 3-0 to the visiting UBC Thunderbirds in the teams’ second match up of the weekend, Sept. 17. In yesterday’s match up the Vikes and ‘Birds drew 1-1 and while play seemed even through midfield it was UBC who walk away with four points from the opening Canada West women’s field hockey weekend.

Goals from each of Abigale MacLellan, Sarah Keglowitsch and Meghan Hayden sealed the Victory for the Thunderbirds who improve to 1-0-1 in the early Canada West season. The Vikes drop to a 0-1-1 record. UBC’s Rowan Harris recorded the shutout in goal today.

“I thought we generated a fair bit of offence and some good quality shots on net but once they scored the second goal … we let down our pressure a little bit and got a little sloppy in the backfield and we turned over the ball and you can’t turn the ball over against UBC,” said Krista Thompson, Vikes women’s field hockey assistant coach.

It took just 30 seconds for the Thunderbirds to put the home side on their heels. UBC’s Keglowitsch pounced on a ball from Vikes defender Hannah Craig and on the quick counter fed MacLellan. From just feet away from the baseline the second-year PEI native struck and beat Vikes keeper Piva on the far side for a 1-0 UBC lead.

UBC continued to put the Vikes backline under pressure thanks to the speed of Jordyn Faiczak and interceptions from midfielders Thora Rae and Keglowitsch. T-Birds defender Hanaa Punja attacked well on the left side giving troubles to UVic defenders Anna Mollenhauer and Craig.

Play settled between the 23-m areas until the Vikes were able to generate four penalty corner chances around the 17-minute mark. Set pieces were not on their side as Lindsay Cole and Kristina Walters-Shumka were unable to convert. UBC netminder Harris was called upon big on the fourth corner saving Cole’s sweep and the follow up attempt from Emma Dame.

Outside of UBC’s early goal, Vikes keeper Piva wasn’t challenged in the first half. The Vikes defence, though under pressure, did well to defend the perimeter of their circle and the score remained 1-0 at half time.

UBC started their second half much like the first, earning a penalty corner in the first minute of play. Sara Goodman’s sweep hit from the top was cleared away by the kicker of Piva. Both teams traded played in midfield until the home side was able to craft some space in the UBC circle but Cole’s back-hand shot fired wide past the far post.

In the 44th minute Vikes rookie Leina Dueck danced her way into the circle eliminating two T-Bird defenders but UBC’s Goodman made a strong tackle to deny Dueck a second career goal of the weekend.

UVic had two penalty corner chances to draw level but the first was run down well by Faiczak denying shots from Craig and Walters-Shumka. On the second corner, a short ball out to Cole came back to Vikes injector Jenna Dhillon but her one-timer hit the outside of the goal.

In the 58th minute an errant clear from the Vikes backfield put the ball right to UBC. Keglowitsch had prime real estate to attack the circle and her reverse stick shot deflected off a Vikes defender and past Piva for a 2-0 T-Birds lead.

UBC sealed the game with a third goal in the 63rd minute on a penalty corner. Goodman’s sweep from the top was initially saved but the rebound bounced to the far post. Hayden, with some good eye-hand coordination, batted the ball in mid-air on her reverse stick for a 3-0 T-Birds advantage. Hayden’s goal gave the Thunderbirds their assurance marker as UBC earns their first win of the season.

“We really brought out our game plan and put a lot of pressure on them from beginning to end,” said second-year UBC defender Margaret Pham. “We have to stick to what we know and keep up the high pressure and communication and we can continue to pull out more wins.”

Next week, Sept. 23-24, UBC head to Calgary for a pair of road games, while Victoria will re-group to host the Dinos on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

“Every game in Canada West is really crucial this year,” added Thompson. “We have a few bodies that need to be healed and some sickness to take care but for the next two weeks will work hard on our set pieces and a little bit of outletting out of the backfield.”

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