UBC trio embraces national championship repeat
Miranda Mann and Caitlin Evans are three-for-four and Katrina Waldron two-for-two in Canadian Interuniversity Sport national field hockey championships.
The Cowichan products playing at UBC enjoyed sweet success again during the nationals in Toronto. All three played key roles in UBC’s march to a successful title defence and third in the last four years.
UBC survived a scare in its opening game when Mann scored with no time left on the clock to salvage a 1-1 tie against Toronto. That saved a record-setting undefeated season for UBC and set the tone for the tournament.
“Toward the end there, we had a lot of pressure,’’ said Mann. “It was nice to get that goal in the last few seconds.
“For the tournament, it could have changed something with standings and everything else.’’
UBC went on to defeat Victoria 4-0, Guelph 5-0, Western 3-1 and Toronto 3-0 in a rematch in the final. Waldron was the UBC player of the game against Guelph.
It took a while for UBC to adjust to the field turf in Toronto compared to the water-based surface it’s accustomed to. Once the adjustment process kicked in, there was no stopping the team.
“It was pretty hard to adjust to just in terms of the ball speed,’’ said Waldron. “A lot of girls were slipping all over the place.’’
“I think we dribbled in the first game a bit too much maybe,’’ said Evans, who was a standout throughout the tournament.
Winning the title again required a total team effort.
“Every year is a different team,’’ said Evans, “really, really exciting.
“I think we all just had a lot of heart for the whole tournament. We all really wanted it. We really needed to base it on team skills. We just had to make sure when we had our opportunities, we capitalized on our opportunities.’’
“I really think we just came together as a team,’’ offered Waldron. “Even in our pre-game, I think we had a really good team dynamic this year.’’
“It’s a real cool feeling,’’ added Mann. “There’s a few girls on the team we’ve played together from the start.’’
Mann and Evans have one season each of eligibility left. Waldron has a chance to rack up three more titles.
“I want five-for-five,’’ said Waldron.
“It would be awesome if Kat can one-up us on this,’’ said Mann.