Game 1: CIS championship : Defending champ UBC upsets top-seed, host Guelph
Photo credit Guelph Athletics
GUELPH, Ont. (CIS) – In the opening game of the 2010 CIS
women’s field hockey championship, the No. 2-seeded UBC
Thunderbirds kicked off the defence of their national title with a
2-1 upset win over the top-ranked and tournament host Guelph
Gryphons, Thursday morning.
The Gryphons, still looking for the first McCrae Cup in program history, were losing at home for the first time this season. They came into the championship sporting a stellar 15-1 overall record, with their lone loss a 3-1 setback to Toronto on Oct. 16, in Kingston.
The reigning champion Thunderbirds opened the scoring early when Kira Graham of North Vancouver, B.C., slotted a rebound past Guelph goalie Kaye MacLagan of Mitchell, Ont., in the third minute of play.
UBC scored what proved to be the game-winning goal on a penalty corner just before the half-time break, in the 35th minute, when Canada West scoring leader Victoria Pearson of Tsawwassen, B.C., received a pass across the edge of the circle and pushed the ball past the boot of an outstretched MacLagan.
Second-team all-Canadian Tegan Stairs of Kitchener, Ont., brought Guelph back to within one goal in the 59th minute, but the Gryphons couldn’t complete the comeback.
“We treat everybody more or less equally, we have to separate them a bit from the rest of the team,” said UBC assistant coach Kimo Linders of the Gryphons high-scoring forwards. “But if they don’t get the ball too much they can’t score. That’s more or less the strategy.”
Guelph’s top line of Brittany Seidler of Oliver, B.C., and sisters Tegan and Brienne Stairs – the two-time reigning CIS player of the year – combined for 60 goals in 14 games in the regular season but were held to the lone marker by the younger Stairs in the championship opener. The trio made a push in the second half but the UBC defence was able to clear the pads of goaltender Bea Francisco of Richmond, B.C.
The Stairs sisters did connect on Guelph’s tally when Brienne kept the ball in the circle on a penalty corner and got a shot away, which Tegan tipped past Francisco.
MacLagan kept the Gryphons in the game in the second half when UBC earned a partial breakaway but the charging Guelph keeper stopped the chance at the edge of the circle.
The all-Canadian goalie was named player of the game for Guelph.
MVP honours for UBC went to CIS rookie of the year Natalie Sourisseau of Kelowna, B.C., who assisted on the opening goal.
Defending champion UBC (1-0) will play their second game of the opening day at 3:30 p.m., when they face the No. 5 Waterloo Warriors (0-0). This is the first appearance for the Warriors since a fourth-place finish in 2004.
The top-seeded Gryphons (0-1), first-time hosts of the CIS championship, will continue to push for their first McCrae Cup when they face the No. 4 Victoria Vikes (0-0) in the later Thursday match at 5:50 p.m.
GAME NOTES: UBC hopes to add to its record 12 McCrae Cup titles... A year ago, when Guelph and UBC were also seeded No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, the T-Birds beat the Gryphons 3-1 in the 2009 tournament opener... UBC has only lost once to Guelph at the CIS championship, a 1-0 loss in round-robin play in 2007...
UBC: 2-0: 2
GUE: 0-1: 1
3rd, UBC, Kira Graham (1)
35th, UBC, Victoria Pearson (1)
59th, GUE, Tegan Stairs (1)
UBC: Bea Francisco (W, 70:00, 1 GA, 1-0)
GUE: Kaye MacLagan (L, 70:00, 2 GA, 0-1)
Players of the game
UBC: Natalie Sourisseau (Kelowna, B.C.)
GUE: Kaye MacLagan (Mitchell, Ont.)
1. Guelph Gryphons (OUA champions)
2. UBC Thunderbirds (Canada West champions)
3. Toronto Varsity Blues (OUA finalists)
4. Victoria Vikes (Canada West second place)
5. Waterloo Warriors (OUA bronze medallists)
STANDINGS, SCHEDULE & RESULTS
Round-robin standings (after 1 of 10 games)
GP W L T GF GA PTS
1. UBC 1 1 0 0 2 1 3
2. Toronto 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2. Victoria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2. Waterloo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5. Guelph 1 0 1 0 1 2 0
Thursday, Nov. 4
9:30 Round-Robin 1: UBC 2, Guelph 1
11:50 Round-Robin 2: Toronto vs. Victoria
15:30 Round-Robin 3: UBC vs. Waterloo
17:50 Round-Robin 4: Guelph vs. Victoria
Friday, Nov. 5
10:00 Round-Robin 5: Toronto vs. UBC
12:20 Round-Robin 6: Victoria vs. Waterloo
16:00 Round-Robin 7: Guelph vs. Toronto
Saturday, Nov. 6
10:00 Round-Robin 8: Toronto vs. Waterloo
12:20 Round-Robin 9: UBC vs. Victoria
16:00 Round-Robin 10: Guelph vs. Waterloo
17:30 Tie-Breaking Strokes (if necessary)
Sunday, Nov. 7
10:00 Bronze medal
13:00 Championship final