The University of Victoria Vikes men’s field hockey team found the win column this past weekend, Oct. 4, with a decisive 4-1 victory over the visiting West Coast Kings. Four different Vikes got on the board in the win.
“We took a big step forward today,” said Vikes men’s field hockey head coach Kevin Laidman of his squad that includes 10 rookies. “Our young team is developing our chemistry very quickly. We had a great team effort today, everyone gave 100 per cent. We will build on this result moving forward.”
The Vikes came out strong with high pressure and benefiting from creating early turnovers. National team member and Vikes midfielder Brenden Bissett capitalized early on scoring on a high drag flick off a penalty corner in the third minute of play.
Fitness and speed were the Vikes’ greatest attributes this past weekend as the West Coast Kings are early on their season after the club was suspended from the league for the 2014-15 year. The Vikes continued to dominate, putting the Kings under a great amount of pressure. The Vikes benefited from another early penalty corner in the fifth minute of play. Connor Martin tipped home an Amardeep Sidhu low flick for the early 2-0 lead.
Following the early goal rush the pace of the game started to level out and the Kings were able to find their offensive strides. The Vikes continued to generate chances but were unable to capitalize. First-year Vikes keeper Jack Matthews faced several West Coast Kings penalty corners alongside defenders Riley Tringham and Sidhu.
The Kings managed to cut the Vikes’ lead in the 31st minute on a great individual effort sending the Vikes up 2-1 entering half time.
The Vikes came out strong again in the second half, carrying the vast majority of play and taking control of the game with quick passing and superior fitness. The home side finally increased their lead in the 53rd minute. Martin set up Vikes rookie Josh Brown whose shot was saved but Aidan Pyeput in the rebound for a 3-1 Vikes head. Just three minutes later the Vikes were at it again and after a strong run and shot by Jack Hyslop, Bissett had a second shot off the rebound, which was again saved. The third rebound came to Brown who fired the ball into the bottom corner for a 4-1 lead.
The Vikes controlled the game the rest of the way with the best chance for the West Coast Kings coming with five minutes left in the game. The Kings had an odd-man rush Matthews made a strong challenge at the top of the circle, somehow stretching to get a toe on the ball. The play turned into a scramble and a Kings player tried to hammer the ball into the open goal and forced Jatinpreet Chauhan to save the ball off the goal line twice.
UVIC: 2 – 2 : 4
WCK: 1 – 0 : 1