The top-seeded University of British Columbia Thunderbirds capped off an undefeated season with a 3-0 gold-medal win over the No. 2 and tournament host Toronto Varsity Blues in the final of the 2012 FHC-CIS women’s field hockey championship, Sunday afternoon at Varsity Centre.
UBC has now claimed two straight McCrae Cup titles, three of the last four and a record 14 all-time, three more than Toronto and Victoria. The Canada West champions end the national tournament with a 4-0-1 record – including a 1-1 draw against Toronto in round-robin action – and their 2012 campaign with an overall mark of 12-0-1.
Second-year defender Sara McManus scored all three goals for the Thunderbirds to tie CIS player of the year Brittany Seidler from Guelph for the championship lead. The Delta, B.C., native opened the scoring in the fifth minute on the first short corner opportunity of the game, added an insurance marker on a penalty stroke in the 48th minute, and then completed the hat trick performance in the 60th minute.
“I couldn’t have had those chances without the team setting me up so it was really a total team effort,” said McManus. “We knew it was going to be a battle against Toronto and that we would have to fight really hard.”
Hannah Haughn, the CIS rookie of the year, earned championship-MVP status. The midfielder from West Vancouver, B.C., was ecstatic with her team’s performance.
“Getting MVP is just the cherry on top,” commented Haughn. “I think our team really deserved it from how we played all year long.”
“Absolutely satisfying,” said UBC head coach Hash Kanjee, who retired at the end of last season following the T-Birds’ 13th McCrae Cup triumph but eventually returned for a 20th campaign at helm. “I think the kids did an amazing job listening to us and taking in the information we were giving them. They let the ball do the work and used the width. They kept their structure and we just dug away. Defensively, we held tight even with Toronto looking very strong themselves.”
The Varsity Blues settle for silver to earn their 25th national medal since the inaugural CIS championship in 1975. In addition to their 11 titles, the Blues have won the silver and bronze seven times each.
The two teams have now met six times over the years in the championship game, with UBC prevailing four times (1978, 1982, 1983, 2012) and Toronto twice (1988, 2010).
Despite a few corner opportunities in the second half, Toronto was unable to convert and solve UBC goaltender Bea Francisco of Richmond, B.C., who registered her third shutout in five starts at the tourney.
“I thought our girls played really hard today,” said Varsity Blues head coach John DeSouza. “We gave up a goal early but then we started to play. I’m very proud of this team. They’re a very special group.”
UBC: 1-2: 3
TOR: 0-0: 0
UBC Sara McManus (4), 5th minute
UBC Sara McManus (5), 48th
UBC Sara McManus (6), 60th
UBC: Bea Francisco (W, 70:00, 0 GA, 4-0-1)
TOR: Kathryn Williams (L, 70:00, 3 GA, 2-2-1)
Players of the game
UBC: Katherine Gillis (Toronto, Ont.)
TOR: Kaelan Watson (Richmond, B.C.)
Championship MVP: Hannah Haughn, UBC
R.W. Pugh Fair Play Award: Victoria Vikes
Kate Gillis, UBC
Hannah Haughn, UBC
Sara McManus, UBC
Natalie Sourisseau, UBC
Tegan Stairs, Toronto
Kaelan Watson, Toronto
Amanda Woodcroft, Toronto
Brittany Seidler, Guelph
Megan Duffy, Western
Lauren Mackenzie, Western
Rosie Beale, Victoria
1. UBC (Canada West champions)
2. Toronto (OUA champions)
3. Guelph (OUA finalists)
4. Victoria (Canada West second place)
5. Western (OUA bronze medallists)
STANDINGS, SCHEDULE & RESULTS
Official championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/fh/index
Round-robin standings (FINAL after round robin)
GP W L T GF GA PTS
1. UBC 4 3 0 1 13 2 10
2. Toronto 4 2 1 1 10 4 7
3. Guelph 4 2 2 0 9 9 6
4. Western 4 2 2 0 6 11 6
5. Victoria 4 0 4 0 1 13 0
NOTE: 3 points for a win and 1 point for a tie.
Thursday, Nov. 1
9:30 Game 1: UBC 1 Toronto 1
11:50 Game 2: Guelph 5 Victoria 0
15:30 Game 3: Toronto 6 Western 0
17:50 Game 4: UBC 4 Victoria 0
Friday, Nov. 2
10:00 Game 5: Guelph 3 Toronto 2
12:20 Game 6: Western 3 Victoria 1
16:00 Game 7: UBC 5 Guelph 0
Saturday, Nov. 3
10:00 Game 8: Western 2 Guelph 1
12:20 Game 9: Toronto 1 Victoria 0
16:00 Game 10: UBC 3 Western 1
Sunday, Nov. 4
10:00 Bronze medal: Guelph 3 Western 1
13:00 Championship final: UBC 3 Toronto 0