Rookie Leina Dueck is still the only University of Victoria Vikes women’s field hockey player to score this season as the North Vancouver native scored in the 45th minute to allow the visiting Vikes a 1-0 win over Calgary. The Vikes are now 1-1-1 in the Canada West standings, while the Dinos fall to 0-3.
Fifth-year Vikes keeper Larissa Piva earned her first shutout of the season in the match, while Dueck’s lone goal brings her season and team’s total to two goals this season following a 1-1 draw and 3-0 loss to UBC earlier in September.
“We definitely had our chances and actually Lindsay Cole was on her knees and scored as they called the penalty corner,” described Vikes head coach Lynne Beecroft. “On the corner the shot came up off the Calgary keeper and Leina was there to fly-swat it into the net.”
The Vikes scored late in the game on their broken down penalty corner and did have six other set-piece attempts to try and do more damage.
“Calgary are really good at indoor and we just ran into their low flat sticks,” added Beecroft giving credit to the Dinos defence. “We didn’t capitalize on our corners but I do think they are going to come. We are getting close and feeling more comfortable. It’s just a matter of capitalizing on them, now.”
The Vikes rely heavily on the rookie talents of Hannah Craig and Anna Mollenhauer at the top of their corner battery, while senior Kristina Walters-Shumka and Cole are also important pieces for execution around the circle.
The Vikes had seven penalty corners to Calgary’s one and the Dinos weren’t able to muster a shot at goal on their corner and they only had one other shot in free play. Beecroft credits fourth-year midfielder Jenna Dhillon and second year defender Emily Wong for holding down the fort in the middle of the pitch.
“Those two were our top players today,” said Beecroft about Dhillon, a graduate from St. Michael’s University School and Wong, last season’s Canada West Rookie of the Year. “Hannah Craig also had a lot of play and was so comfortable and composed in the backfield. She picked up balls that skipped through and made some really good plays either counter-attacking up that side or doing the swing ball. She made some key tackles and I’ve really liked her presence and computer in the backfield.”
For the Dinos it was Sabrina Wong who was the strongest presence the Vikes had to face. The Vikes tried to smash some hard balls through Calgary traffic but the home side did well to trap the ball and limit the Vikes’ circle entries.
“They just don’t give up on the ball and they do hit it really hard trying to look and skip it through us and past our midfield line,” added Beecroft on the Dinos’ play.
The one-goal game leaves lots of room for redemtion in Game 2 of the Calgary double-header as the Vikes will play the Dinos one more time at Hawkings field on Oct .1 at 10:00 a.m. pacific time.
“It’s always tougher to play the same team twice,” said Beecroft, quoting former Vikes women’s basketball head coach and Canadian Sports Hall of famer Kathy Shields. “Kathy used to always tell me that. One of our focus words for this weekend was respect and we do respect Calgary.”
“We respect that they can come out harder tomorrow and we just have to over-match their intensity so we aren’t sitting back and being complacent.”
Following this weekend the Vikes will head to Vancouver, Oct. 7-8, for a pair of games against the UBC Thunderbirds. That series will be an important decider for who not only has the right to host the U SPORTS Championship series but also the only Canada West shot at winning a U SPORTS medal this season. The Canada West champion is set to host the OUA champion for a best-of-three series to square off the U SPORTS gold this season – a new format announced earlier in September.
CGY: 0 – 0 : 0
VIC: 0 – 1 : 1
VIC: Leina Dueck (’45, PC)
CGY: Madison Arbuckle (70MP, 1GA)
VIC: Larissa Piva (70MP, 0 GA)