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UBC downs Vikes to repeat as women’s field hockey champions

For the second straight year, the UVic Vikes finished second best at the U Sports women’s field hockey championship.
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Victoria was looking to win its 12th national title and first since 2008, but instead collected its 12th silver medal in program history.

 

For the second straight year, the UVic Vikes finished second best at the U Sports women’s field hockey championship.

The UBC Thunderbirds defeated the Vikes 2-1 (2-0 in the shootout) to claim their sixth straight McCrae Cup in Toronto on Sunday afternoon.

The No. 3-seeded Vikes had opened the scoring in the 49th minute on Amanda Kurianowicz’s goal before Gabby Jayme replied in the 61st minute. Rachel Donohoe and Sarah Keglowitsch then scored the only two goals in shootout while goaltender Gabriella Switzer, who was named UBC’s player of the game, kept the Vikes at bay.

UBC — which recorded its 18th women’s field hockey title — also won last year’s championship final in a shootout over the Vikes at UVic.

“We played well enough to win today and that’s all that counts in tournament hockey,” said UBC head coach Robin D’Abreo.

“I am so proud of these girls. This win was well deserved. I can’t say enough about our graduating seniors. They were the core of our team, they have been all year and they played fantastic games.”

Among them was fifth-year UBC veteran Hannah Haughn, who was named tournament MVP and, along with teammate Donohoe, was named a tournament all-star.

Annie Walters-Shumka, Kristina Walters-Shumka and Lindsay Cole of the Vikes were also named all-stars.

Victoria was looking to win its 12th national title and first since 2008, but instead collected its 12th silver medal in program history.

“I’m really proud of the transformation that this team has made since the beginning of the season,” said Vikes head coach Lynne Beecroft. “I think everyone stepped up after we lost Kathleen Leahy a couple of weeks ago.

“It’s going to be sad for me to lose the five players that I lose this year because they are such quality hockey players, but more importantly they are such quality people. The winning or losing is what it is, but I’m going to really miss those young ladies.”

Annie Walters-Shumka was named UVic’s player of the game.

The championship win capped an incredible career for Haughn, who tweeted: “Speechless. 5 years, 5 championships. I have the best team. ... #GoBirdsGo” after the victory.

Meanwhile, Hilary Zirlado scored both goals to lead the Toronto Varsity Blues to a 2-0 win over the Guelph Gryphons in the bronze-medal game.

WOMEN’S RUGBY

At the U Sports women’s rugby championship at UVic, the St. Francis Xavier X-Women out-lasted the Ottawa Gee-Gees 27-19 to claim their fifth national title in 10 years.

“Last year we had little bit of an off year and the girls decided in the off-season that they were going to put in the hard work,” said X-Women head coach Mike Cavanagh. “I’m so happy that their hard work paid off.”

St. FX’s Sabrina McDaid was named tournament MVP and an all-star. UVic’s Jess Neilson, of North Vancouver, was also among the all-stars.

Calgary defeated Guelph 24-12 to take the bronze medal at Centennial Stadium.

ROWING

The Vikes men and women both finished third in team overall totals at rowing nationals in Welland, Ont., over the weekend.

Victoria’s men’s team recorded 88 points to finish 11 behind second-place finishers Trent University. UBC won the event with 108 points.

The UBC Thunderbirds placed second in the womens’ event with 115 points, just behind the victors from Western Ontario with 118. The Vikes were third with 84.

mannicchiarico@timescolonist.com

Twitter/tc_vicsports

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