FH: UBC and Victoria play to 0-0 deadlock

FH: UBC and Victoria play to 0-0 deadlock

Wilson Wong/UBC Thunderbirds

VANCOUVER – For the second straight day, Canada's two most successful 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 have 11 national banners, tied with Toronto for second most in Canada.

On Sunday, the T-Birds and Vikes were deadlocked 0-0 at the final whistle, after the teams tied 2-2 on Saturday.

"We chatted, especially going into the second half, about staying patient, following our game plan, and remaining in our structure," said UBC head coach Poonam Sandhu. "At times, we got away from it, Vic was trying to pressure us a bunch but as long as we stuck to our plan, we made some good things happen."

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's 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, Leina Dueck got her stick on the ball but couldn't get a clean shot away before the ball was cleared.

"We've got some things we're going to work on but for the most part, our effort is great," said Sandhu. "We're being aggressive on defence, so we're going to get back to practice to work on a few things. We can do a better job keeping possession but I think in terms of our defensive structure, we did very good job of making sure we were shutting down any sort of opportunity they had deep in our end."

Beecroft said her team is progressing well.

"I thought we moved the ball a bit better today," she said. "I know UBC was down a woman 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.

Victoria will head east for a Saturday-Sunday doubleheader next weekend at Hawkings Field. UBC will have a week off before playing the Dinos Sept. 29-30 in Calgary.

UVic 0-0 -- 0
UBC 0-0 -- 0

UVic – Robin Fleming, 70 MP, 0 GA
UBC – Rowan Harris, 70 MP, 0 GA

32' – UBC – No. 7 Emily Martin, GC
41' – UBC – No. 8 Hannah Eborall, GC

PHOTO: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds