UBC Thunderbird Sophie Jones

UBC Thunderbird Sophie Jones

Vikes face Guelph to start CIS Nationals, Leahy named to All-Canadian team

Canada West champion UVic Vikes enter CIS Nationals as hosts, face Guelph Gryphons on Halloween

Created with flickr slideshow.

Looks can be deceiving as the UVic Vikes enter this week’s Canadian Interuniversity Sport national field hockey championships at UVic as the No.1 seed.

The Vikes did well to claim its first Canada West title since 2002  defeating the UBC Thunderbirds 2-0 UVic on Saturday. It ended a 10-year championship reign by the T-Birds. Amanda Kurianowicz and Kira Starr scored and goalkeeper Sheriden Goodmanson posted eight quality saves to earn the shutout.

But the T-Birds of Saturday, as good as they were, are not the T-Birds fans will see at UVic from Thursday to Sunday.

“Saturday was an awesome game and it felt good to get the win but (UBC) will be different,” said Vikes midfielder Kathleen Leahy.

The Guelph Gryphons are seeded second, Waterloo Warriors third, and Thunderbirds fourth. However, the Thunderbirds are known for doubling as the home club for many of Canada’s national team regulars and this year was no different. Upwards of 10 Thunderbirds are part of the national program and this fall eight of the Thunderbirds were away, finally returning from touring Australia and South America this week.

“UBC had a few national players (Saturday) but not the numbers we’re expecting this week. It’s unfortunate not knowing what they’ll be like, but we’re doing our best to prepare for it.”

Leahy was named to the CIS All-Canadian team during the pre-tournament banquet and awards on Wednesday (Oct. 30).

Leahy, an Oak Bay High grad, is one of three Vikes selected as a Canada West all-star, with forward Amanda Kurianowicz and midfielder Kyla Kirby. Leahy is the only Vikes player who trains with the national team. It’s been a fast trajectory for the former Oak Bay High athlete of the year. It was just three years ago Leahy accepted the Oak Bay High award on crutches.

She switched her focus from soccer to hockey in Grade 12 but a torn ACL kept her out for nine months. The last two seasons Leahy has played for the junior and senior national teams.

The Vikes and Thunderbirds don’t meet until Saturday, their third and final game of round robin. The top two seeded teams will play in Sunday’s championship final for the McCrae Cup. The Thunderbirds won last year’s championship in Toronto, its 14th McCrae Cup. The Vikes won its 11th in Victoria in 2008.

The Vikes play Thursday at 6:30 p.m. vs. Guelph, Friday at 4:30 p.m. vs. Waterloo and Saturday at 3 p.m. vs. UBC. The bronze final is 1 p.m. on Sunday and gold at 3 p.m.

PHOTO INSET: UBC Thunderbird Sophie Jones, left, is checked by UVic Vike Stefanie Hatch during the final 2013 regular season Canada West game at UVic on Saturday, Oct. 26. The Vikes won 2-1. Sharon Tiffin/News staff

2013 CIS WOMEN’S FIELD HOCKEY AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS

Liz Hoffman Award (player of the year): Anna Easty, YorkJoyce Slipp Award (rookie of the year): Samantha Spooner, DalhousieGail Wilson Award (outstanding contributor): Miranda Mann, UBCMarina van der Merwe Award (coach of the year): Mary-Anne Reid, Queen’sUmpire of the year: Keely Dunn, Canada West

All-Canadian Team

Pos.     Athlete         University     Year     Hometown         Academics

GK Kathryn Williams   Toronto      5     Burlington, Ont.     Arts & Science

D Rachel Donohoe       UBC           2     Vancouver, B.C.         Kinesiology

D Katherine Koughan  UPEI          2          Stratford, P.E.I.          Business Admin.

M/D Kathleen Leahy    Victoria            2          Victoria, B.C.             Education

M Nikki Burge            Dalhousie        3          Vancouver, B.C.         Arts

M Anna Easty             York                5          Toronto, Ont.              Law

M Erin Houle              Guelph             3          Burlington, Ont.         Architecture

F  Tegan Stairs           Toronto            4     Kitchener, Ont.           Criminology

F  Kate Gillis              UBC                4          Toronto, Ont.              Arts

F  Hannah Haughn     UBC         2      West Vancouver, B.C. Kinesiology

F Kate Roganowicz     Western      4     Burlington, Ont.           Health Sciences

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