The University of Victoria Vikes women’s field hockey team started their indoor campaign off on the right foot winning the two-day Hawks Indoor Tournament hosted at the Richmond Oval, Jan. 9-10, in Richmond, B.C. This is the second-straight season the Vikes have captured the premier level indoor tournament.
The four-team tournament included Shawnigan Lake School, the UBC Thunderbirds and hosts, the Vancouver Hawks. The Vikes dominated their opening round of games on Saturday, winning 6-1 over Shawnigan, 6-4 over the Hawks and 4-1 over the Thunderbirds.
The indoor game, played six-a-side on a gymnasium floor, is much faster and requires a lot technical skill since the ball can only be raised off the ground for a shot on net. Players use thinner sticks and a smooth ball, while the court is flanked by boards to keep the ball in play.
The Vikes advanced to the semifinals on Sunday, winning 5-4 over Shawnigan, while the Hawks defeated UBC 3-1 in the other semi to set up a re-match of the 2015 dual for the championship title. Last season the Vikes edged the Hawks 3-1 to win the tournament, while this year was a much closer match up.
The Vikes trailed 4-3 entering the final four minutes of the final game. Duncan native Stefanie Langkammer potted a timely goal to tie the game 4-4 and sending the game to overtime. A five-minute sudden death period was ended quickly as fourth-year defender Annie Walters-Shumka slotted a square pass to team mate Rosie Beale. Beale drove the right boards, beat two defenders and rifled a shot on goal.
Fourth-year forward Amanda Kurianowicz buried the rebound to give the Vikes the exciting 5-4 victory over the Hawks. Kurianowicz was named the MVP of the tournament.
Up next the Vikes will prepare for the seven-team UVic hosted Indoor Tournament set for Jan. 23-24 on the McKinnon Gymnasium floors. This will be the first time this tournament has been hosted on the McKinnon Gym floors. The Vikes will wrap up their indoor season on Feb. 6-7 at the B.C. Senior Indoor Tournament, hosted in Duncan, B.C.