The second-seeded UBC Thunderbirds claimed their second win of opening day at the CIS – FHC women’s field hockey championship with a 2-0 shutout over the Alberta Pandas, Thursday afternoon, at the University of Calgary’s Hawkings Field.
Newly-crowned CIS player of the year Robyn Pendleton scored the game-winner for the Canada West champions in the 22nd minute on a fabulous individual effort. The Victoria native made a long run down the right wing before slicing her way into the circle and cracking a backhanded shot past Pandas goalkeeper Tory Spencer from the top of the circle.
“That was great to see, and I think that just might set the tone for a few more from her this tournament,” said UBC head coach Hash Kanjee, whose team kicked off the tourney Thursday morning with a 2-1 upset of defending national champion and top-seeded Toronto.
Pendleton, the MVP of the 2009 CIS championship, nearly added another just before the end of the half, but her redirection attempt went just wide of the post as one of several near-misses for the T-Birds in the match.
“We just couldn’t put the ball in the net, and it seemed to be a bit of an issue, but we were much better in the second half,” said Kanjee. “Their goalie was called to make two really good saves, we hit the post on one, missed two narrowly, so we’re getting the shots and chances. I’m not upset about not getting more goals because think we were doing the right things and if we keep doing that the goals will come.”
Abigail Raye finally scored UBC’s second of the game in the 62nd minute off her own penalty corner. After she put the ball in play it eventually found its way back to her at the side of the net, and she swatted it home out of midair to seal the victory with eight minutes left in regulation.
It was only the second CIS match of the campaign for Raye – with the first coming a few hours earlier – as she has been battling a rib injury all season.
The UBC defence that puzzled the defending champion Varsity Blues in the tournament opener was back in fine form against Alberta. The ‘Birds allowed just one shot on goal in the match, and the Pandas’ lone penalty corner chance was their best scoring opportunity of the game.
Bea Francisco earned her first shutout of the competition, while Spencer made five saves for the Pandas, all in the second half.
The T-Birds are the early frontrunners after day one thanks to their 2-0 record. They will take on the host Calgary Dinos (1-0) on Friday at 10 a.m. Mountain before finishing their round-robin schedule against Guelph on Saturday at 12:20 p.m.
Alberta starts the preliminary round 0-1 and will look to bounce back tomorrow against Guelph at 12:20 p.m. The Pandas close out round-robin play with matches against Toronto and Calgary on Saturday.
UBC: Robyn Pendleton (1), 22nd
UBC: Abigail Raye (1), 62nd
UBC: Bea Francisco (W, 70:00, 0 GA, 2-0)
ALB: Tory Spencer (L, 70:00, 2 GA, 0-1)
Players of the game
UBC: Abigail Raye
ALB: Jacqueline Trautman
1. Toronto (OUA champions)
2. UBC (Canada West champions)
3. Calgary (Canada West second place)
4. Guelph (OUA finalists)
5. Alberta (Canada West third place)
STANDINGS, SCHEDULE & RESULTS (All times local: Mountain Time)
Round-robin standings (after 3 of 10 games)
GP W L T GF GA PTS
1. UBC 2 2 0 0 4 1 6
2. Calgary 1 1 0 0 3 2 3
3. Guelph 1 0 1 0 2 3 0
4. Toronto 1 0 1 0 1 2 0
5. Alberta 1 0 1 0 0 2 0
NOTE: 3 points for a win and 1 point for a tie.
Thursday, Nov. 3
9:30 Round-Robin Game 1: UBC 2 Toronto 1
11:50 Round-Robin Game 2: Calgary 3 Guelph 2
15:30 Round-Robin Game 3: UBC 2 Alberta 0
17:50 Round-Robin Game 4: Toronto vs. Guelph
Friday, Nov. 4
10:00 Round-Robin Game 5: Calgary vs. UBC
12:20 Round-Robin Game 6: Guelph vs. Alberta
16:00 Round-Robin Game 7: Toronto vs. Calgary
Saturday, Nov. 5
10:00 Round-Robin Game 8: Calgary vs. Alberta
12:20 Round-Robin Game 9: UBC vs. Guelph
16:00 Round-Robin Game 10: Toronto vs. Alberta
17:30 Tie-Breaking Strokes (if necessary)
Sunday, Nov. 6
10:00 Bronze medal
13:00 Championship final