The University of Victoria Vikes women’s field hockey team extended their win and shut-out streak to three after blanking the Calgary Dinos, 2-0, in sub-zero conditions, Oct. 3. The visiting Vikes took 51 minutes to warm up and get on the board and getting both goals of set-piece penalty corners in the second half.
Fourth-year defender Rosie Beale notched her first goal of the season and first of the game, while forward Amanda Kurianowicz tallied her third of the season in the 68th minute to secure the win. Both goals came off the same give-and-go penalty corner options. Keeper Larissa Piva logged the shut out, her third of the season.
“This was the first time we saw Calgary, a squad with a lot of rookies and they did a good job,” described Vikes head coach Lynne Beecroft, in her 32nd season at the helm. “(Calgary) were a lot more structured than I expected and they put up a lot of really good double teams. They didn’t get in our end often but we also weren’t playing that smart defensively in our circle.”
Beecroft mildly attributed some of the team’s issues because of the weather. The water-based turf had frozen over and the Calgary staff had to scrape the entire 100-by-60-yard surface to thaw it out.
“It was very, very cold maybe even -5 or -7 degrees with the wind chill,” added Beecroft. “Calgary did a great job scraping the field. Footing wasn’t really an issue but the girls had a bit of trouble just holding their sticks and that created a lot of miss traps.”
The Vikes’ goals both game on penalty corners. Beale’s goal was a nice passing play at the top of the circle with midfielder Kathleen Leahy. Beale’s shot was on target for goal anyway but it ricocheted off a Calgary defender’s foot and into the net. Kurianowicz slotted home a goal off a Leahy shot on their second opportunity in the second half for the 2-0 score line.
Fifth-year Calgary keeper Beckett Frisch, also a member of the Canadian national team squad, squandered away several early opportunities for the Vikes. Beecroft credited the former Canada West Player of the Year with at least 10 excellent saves on Vikes opportunities.
“In the first half Calgary also could have been up on us after we were unable to score,” adds Beecroft, crediting her keeper, Piva, for being ready despite seeing little action. “The Dinos had one rush down the field and it was a real scramble in front of the goal. Larissa made a great diving save but they had a few rebound shots while she was on the ground and she kept it out of the net.”
“Lexi had a lot of high aerials that caught Calgary off guard,” added Beecroft of the Mount Douglas grad’s unique ability launch down the field over top of their opponents. “Most people aren’t used to receiving high aerials, likely because few people can do them, so that worked well in our favour today.”
Following today’s 2-0 victory, the Vikes will regroup for tomorrow, Oct. 4, where they will play the Dinos again for their second game of this road double-header.
“I think Calgary played really well structurally,” credits Beecroft. “We need to change a few things up as we looked a bit uncomfortable today. We can continue to work on our system, our marking and of course our communication. We did score on two penalty corners today and I was delighted as we have been practicing a lot on those so, I hope that will continue to work well for us tomorrow.”
The Vikes and Dinos will play at Hawkings Field at 11 a.m. Pacific Time tomorrow, before returning west to play the UBC Thunderbirds in Vancouver, Oct. 10-11.
CALG: 0 – 0 : 0
UVIC: 0 – 2 : 2