For the second-straight day, Canada’s two most successful university women’s field hockey programs battled to a draw at Vancouver’s Wright Field.
The UBC Thunderbirds are winners of a record 19 U SPORTS titles, and while the Victoria Vikes are 11-time national champions, tied with Toronto for second most in Canada.
On Sept. 16, the T-Birds and Vikes were deadlocked 0-0 at the final whistle, after the teams tied 2-2 on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Rowan Harris of the seven-time defending U SPORTS champion T-Birds, and Robin Fleming of the visiting Vikes recorded the shutouts.
“I think we had our chances but we haven’t quite capitalized on those yet but Rowan is a good goalie and UBC played a very solid defence in the game today,” commented Victoria head coach Lynne Beecroft. “They played together inside the 25 really well so it bottled up that area, so we’ll work on some things and hopefully, we’ll be better for next time we see them on Thanksgiving weekend.”
Both teams did have good opportunities to get on the scoreboard. UBC had a goal called back in the opening half and couldn’t convert on a pair of corners right before halftime.
Victoria had a majority of the possession and kept the ball in the Thunderbirds’ side of the field for a good chunk of the final 35 minutes.
UBC got a good opportunity in the 46th minute on a corner. Hannah Eborall was able to wind up and fire a hard shot off the corner but she sent the ball just wide of the net to the right of Fleming.
In the 52nd minute, Victoria’s Stefanie Sajko showed off some nifty individual ball-handling skills to move the ball into the scoring circle, eventually helping her team earn the first of two corners in the span of about a minute. However, the Vikes were unable to get a shot on target on either opportunity.
The best second-half chance for Victoria might have come with less than five minutes remaining. A pass was sent from the right wing to the front of the net and Leina Dueck got her stick on the ball but couldn’t get a clean shot away before the ball was cleared.
“I thought we moved the ball a bit better today,” said Beecroft. “I know UBC was down a player today because of an injury so they had one fewer substitute so I thought our team really moved the ball faster today but it also might be that they were a little bit slower because of not having enough subs. Overall, with six rookies, I’m pretty happy with how they’re doing.”
Both teams will travel to Calgary for their next matches.
Up next the Vikes will head to Calgary, Sept. 22-23, for the Dinos‘ home opener and also the first Canada West game on the newly re-done artificial turf at HawkingsField. The Vikes will close out their season with back-to-back home weekends hosting UBC, Oct. 6-7, the same weekend as the prestigious Bridgman Cup high school tournament, and then Calgary on Oct. 13-14.
The Canada West champion will be the lone western qualifier for the U SPORTS national championship that will be hosted in Ontario against the OUA champion in a best-of-three series.
VIC 0-0 — 0
UBC 0-0 — 0
VIC – Robin Fleming, 70 MP, 0 GA
UBC – Rowan Harris, 70 MP, 0 GA
32′ – UBC – #7 Emily Martin, GC
41′ – UBC – #8 Hannah Eborall, GC