For the third time this season the University of Victoria Vikes and the five-time reigning champion UBC Thunderbirds played to a 1-1 draw as the Canada West showdown opened Day 2 of the 2016 CIS field hockey championship at Back Campus Fields.
It marks the seventh time that the two teams have tied at the national tournament. The T-Birds are undefeated against the Vikes in their last 10 meetings on the national stage (6-0-4), while also going 2-0-2 versus Victoria during the regular season.
“UBC is such a strong team and they have some dynamic players that are just all over the field,” said Lynne Beecroft, now in her 33rd season as Vikes head coach. “I think we had to work together to try and minimize their chances, which I think we did a good job in minimizing. I thought it was a good game.”
“After they scored that first goal we looked much more like the team that we are capable of being,” said UBC bench boss Robin D’Abreo. “I think U Vic is outstanding competition, we knew that going in and we knew it was going to be a hard game. This was really good for us because I think we are going to learn a lot from this performance.”
After a scoreless first half, fifth-year defender Rosie Beale got the Vikes on the board. The native of Victoria tallied her first goal of the tournament off a penalty corner in the 38th minute.
The T-Birds had a great chance to even the game 10 minutes later when team was awarded a penalty stroke. 2016 U Sports all-Canadian Hannah Haughn stepped up to take it but Vikes goalie Larissa Piva came up with a diving save to keep UBC off the board.
UBC did net the equalizer though as fourth-year veteran Meghan Hayden dove to tip in a Rachel Donohoe shot off a penalty corner in the 54thminute.
Victoria pressured hard in the dying minutes of the game but UBC held them off to hang on for the tie.
The top-seeded T-Birds (1-0-1) wrap up round robin action versus the OUA silver medalist Guelph Gryphons (0-1-0) tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. The Vikes (1-0-1) will take on the No. 2 seed and host Toronto Varsity Blues (0-1-0) in the final round robin game Saturday at 3 p.m. Both games will be streamed live on SportsCanada.TV.