UVic defeats UBC in indoor final

Three’s a crowd off a short corner, as UVic’s Lizzie Yates of Shawnigan Lake moves in to thwart Duncan’s Caitlin Evans of UBC, with teammate Sara McManus joining the fray. - Don Bodger
Three’s a crowd off a short corner, as UVic’s Lizzie Yates of Shawnigan Lake moves in to thwart Duncan’s Caitlin Evans of UBC, with teammate Sara McManus joining the fray.
— image credit: Don Bodger

Some famous field hockey players from the valley and beyond came together at the Island Savings Centre gymnasium last weekend for the senior women’s B.C. indoor championship.

Valley high school grads currently at university and younger players still in the high school system were among those in the five-team competition. The most recognizable of the out-of-town contingent was Kate Gillis, 23, a national team player and the daughter of Vancouver Canucks’ general manager Mike Gillis.

Despite the star presence supplied by Gillis and Cowichan talent Miranda Mann, Katrina Waldron, Sarah Keglowitsch and Caitlin Evans on the UBC team, the defending champs went down to a 4-3 defeat in Sunday’s title game.

The lineup for UVic, coached by North Cowichan-Duncan Wall of Fame member Lynne Beecroft, featured Lizzie Yates of Shawnigan Lake and Cowichan’s Chelsea Morton.

Morton scored the opening goal of the final, with other UVic markers added by Kathleen Leahy, Kyla Kirby and Amanda Kurianowicz.

Keglowitsch had a pair of goals in vain for UBC. Abigail Raye scored the other goal.

It was great redemption for UVic from the outdoor season. UBC won the national university championship while UVic was a distant second in the Canada West standings in a rebuilding year and didn’t beat UBC all season.

“It’s always fun playing against them,’’ said Morton, a former star player in the Cowichan Secondary School program. “We’ve had time to build together.’’

The old hometown spirit was flowing in the gym, inspiring Morton.

“It’s always fun coming back — lots of fans,’’ she said.

UVic only started playing indoor again in January, Morton added.

“Just playing together and having fun is how we play best,’’ said Morton. “We all got in there.

“We’ve got a lot of rookies. Some had never played indoor before.’’

The Wildcats Black team won the bronze medal by beating the Valley Vixens — an all-Cowichan team — 4-1 in the third-place game.

Bunny Hughes (2), Sandy Zinkowski and Lena Euler scored for the Wildcats. Crystal Lockhart had the lone marker for the Vixens.

The Wildcats White team of younger players was the other tournament entry. Valley players Stefanie Langkammer, Chelsey Cleemoff, Claire Seeliger and Casey Crowley were members of the squad.

The White Wildcats bowed out after a tough 3-1 loss to the Black Wildcats in the opening playoff game Sunday. A great goal by Cleemoff pulled the White Wildcats into a tie, but the Black Wildcats won it with two late goals.

Langkammer couldn’t play due to injury and Seeliger was sidelined due to illness.

UVic then defeated the Vixens 8-1 en route to the final, with Morton scoring twice, and UBC nipped the Black Wildcats 4-3 for its final berth.

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