Vikes field hockey remain undefeated

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The University of Victoria Vikes women’s field hockey team continued their undefeated campaign after dropping the Calgary Dinos 2-0 on Sept. 22 in Calgary. The game was a big home opener for the Dinos, who celebrated the opening of a new turf.

The Vikes now improve to 1-0-2 on the season while the Dinos fall to 0-1-0.

Fifth years Stefanie Langkammer and Lindsay Cole scored the pair of goals for Victoria, while second-year netminder Robin Fleming picked up her second shut out of the year.

“We had a much better first half in terms of pressure and getting turnovers inside our attacking third,” said Vikes head coach Lynne Beecroft. “Then in the second half we did okay with possession but made our jobs a little harder by choosing the harder pass instead of the easier pass. We probably had eight or nine corners in the game today so that’s obviously something we are going to look to execute better on moving forward.”

The beginning of the game was very much a feeling out process for both teams, as scoring chances were few and far between. In the 30th minute the Vikes scored on a penalty corner but in a less traditional way. The ball was pulled out short to Cole, whose initial shot was saved and redirected back to the top of the circle. Anna Mollenhauer crafted her way with 3D-skills through the Dinos defence but her ensuing shot was again saved but only cleared back to Cole’s stick. Cole buried the ball low and hard for the 1-0 lead that stood at the break.

After halftime, the Dinos came out with some energy, which led to Janelle Rice having the Dinos’ best scoring chance of the game from the top of the circle. Rice’s attempt was kicked away by Fleming.

The Vikes had several penalty corner chances in the game but credit to Dinos defenders Sabrina Wong and Jenna Birch-Jones whose efforts kept the offensive damage to a minimum.

Dinos goalkeeper Ingrid Ulrich, who was playing her first game in two years as she was kept out all of last year with an injury, had a very strong outing. Ulrich made a number of key saves, especially in the second half, to keep the Dinos within striking distance.

“Their goalie played quite well today, Ingrid,” noted Beecroft. “She had two or three times where she had to make a flurry of saves and she did well to make it hard for us.”

Vikes defender Mollenhauer, last week’s Canada West Third Start of the Week,  was the defensive anchor for the visitors, while team mates Kristina Walters-Shumka, Cara Butler and Lindsay Cole were all highlighted by Beecroft.

“I think Anna was really good for us today because she just helped us get out of the back a lot with her high aerials and outletting,” said Beecroft. “Also, Kristina was really strong for us stepping up to intercept and directing traffic in front of her.”

“Cara (Butler) and Lindsay were also really key for us in the midfield line today.”

Langkammer buried the second goal and insurance marker in the final minutes of the game. Mollenhauer’s initial shot on a penalty corner was ssaved by Ulrich and the clear went straight to the stick of Langkammer who pushed the ball in to the goal from close range to secure the 2-0 win.

The teams will do it all over again tomorrow, as the rematch goes Sunday, Sept. 23 at 10 a.m. on Hawkings Field in Calgary.

“Tomorrow we need will need to build on what we did today,” said Beecroft. “We will want to execute on corners and also work on getting the ball to the big side of the field. We do a great job of intercepting and making tackles but now we need to work on transferring the ball and creating counter attacks.”

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