Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

November 5, 2015, VICTORIA (CIS) – The Guelph Gryphons dropped the four-time defending national champions UBC Thunderbirds 2-1 Friday afternoon in the round-robin opener of the 2015 CIS-FHC women’s field hockey championship hosted by the University of Victoria. A goal in each half lifted the OUA runners-up over their Canada West counterparts.

UBC’s Meghan Hayden (14) moves away from pressure from Guelph’s Moon Weijens (Photo: Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

Fourth-seeded Guelph tallied early, scoring off a tip from second-year forward Olivia Lane in the sixth minute, while Moon Weijens buried a second-half penalty corner goal for the game winner at the 60-minute mark. Gryphons netminder Morgan Kelley earned the win.

UBC’s Emily Prystupa (left) and Guelph’s Ciara Condon (right) chase for a loose ball (Photo: Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

Third-ranked UBC tied the game in the second half with a goal from freshman Niki Best in the 44th minute. Canada West MVP and 2015 CIS first-team all-Canadian Hannah Haughn drove the offence for the T-Birds alongside teammate and midfielder Sarah Keglowitsch. Third-year Sophie Jones anchored the back line and was named UBC’s player of the game.

Guelph goaltender Morgan Kelley (right) makes a big pad save on a shot from UBC’s Hannah Haughn (13) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

The Gryphons got off to a good start putting the young T-Birds under immense pressure right off the push back. The T-Birds surrendered a 15-metre outlet pass deep in their right corner and Guelph pounced on the chance. A hard ball was fired across and beat a flurry of UBC defenders leaving Lane open at the far post to deflect the ball in for a 1-0 Guelph lead.

Guelph’s Jessica Donaldson (left) tries to knock the ball away from UBC’s Hanna Haughn (right) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

UBC, which boasts just three players in their fourth or fifth season, took the next 10 minutes to settle in. Guelph continued to test the UBC back line of Sarah Lowes, Sophie Jones, Amy Jones and Katrina Davis. The attacking dynamics of Ciara Condon, Allison Chute and Lane gave the T-Birds back line fits.

UBC’s Hannah Haughn looks to avoid pressure from a Guelph defender (Photo: Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

The Thunderbirds’ first chance came in the 16th minute with a shot by Alyssa Nonis but Kelley made a great save to protect the Gryphons’ lead. Both teams generated two penalty corners but were unable to capitalize on set pieces leaving the game 1-0 for Guelph at the break.

Guelph Captain Erin Houle leads the charge downfield during second half action Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

In the second half, UBC started to find their strides as an impressive break out from their defensive 23-m line through Haughn sprung a lethal Thunderbirds attack. Haughn fought through traffic to find Keglowitsch on the right side. A quick give-and-go over distance allowed Haughn to next spring teammate Nonis, who patiently slid the ball across the circle to the waiting stick of Best. The first-year T-Bird deflected the ball low in to the corner past Kelley to tie the game.

Guelph player of the game Moon Weijens (right) tries to run around the check of UBC’s Sarah Keglowitsch (left) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

Guelph showed their offensive strengths to retaliate back after defending a Haughn-generated penalty corner to earn back-to-back set pieces of their own. The Gryphons were unsuccessful on their first attempt as Lane’s far-post deflection hit the outside of the net but it didn’t take long for Guelph to be rewarded.

In the 60th minute, the Gryphons pulled short side to Weijens who, with all kinds of time, swept the ball hard and near side of UBC keeper Rowan Harris for the 2-1 advantage.

UBC’s Cailean Meredith (left) and Guelph’s Crysta Stubbs (right) go after a loose ball Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

UBC pushed hard for another tying goal but, unable to capitalize on their second-half set pieces, had to settle for the loss to open their campaign towards their fifth-straight national title, which would add to their own CIS record.

Both teams face their conference rivals on Friday on the second of three days of round-robin action. UBC plays Victoria at 4 p.m. Pacific Time and Guelph takes on Toronto at 6:30 p.m.

Following today’s match, Jones and Guelph’s Weijens were named player of the game and were presented their CIS gifts from Canadian women’s national team head coach Ian Rutledge.

GUE: 1-1: 2
UBC 0-1: 1

First half
GUE Olivia Lane (1), 7th minute

Second half
UBC Nicole Best (1), 44th
GUE Moon Weijens (1), 60th

GUE: Morgan Kelley (W, 70:00, 1 GA, 1-0)
UBC: Rowan Harris (L, 70:00, 2 GA, 0-1)

Players of the game
GUE: Moon Weijens (Zelhem, Netherlands)
UBC: Sophie Jones (West Vanvouver, 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)

Round-robin standings

1. Guelph 1 1 0 0 2 1 3
2. Victoria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2. Toronto 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4. UBC 1 0 1 0 1 2 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: Toronto vs. Victoria (

Friday, Nov. 6
16:00 Game 3: UBC vs. Victoria (
18:30 Game 4: Guelph vs. Toronto (

Saturday, Nov. 7
12:30 Game 5: Guelph vs. Victoria (
15:00 Game 6: UBC vs. Toronto (

Sunday, Nov. 8
12:30 Bronze medal (
15:00 Championship final (