FINAL CIS championship: Host Vikes win record-tying 11th McCrae Cup
VICTORIA (CIS) - The tournament host and No. 4-seeded University of Victoria Vikes edged the No. 5 Alberta Pandas 2-1 Sunday afternoon in the final of the 2008 CIS women's field hockey championship to capture a record-tying 11th McCrae Cup.
Championship web site:
The Vikes, who had not tasted CIS gold since 2002, their longest drought since they claimed their first McCrae Cup back in 1984, are now tied with UBC for most national titles in history, one more than Toronto.
Victoria had settled for silver three times since its last McCrae Cup triumph, losing to archrival UBC in 2006, 2004 and 2003.
Sunday's championship game between the two lowest-seeded teams in the tournament marked the first Victoria-Alberta final since 1997 when the Vikes also prevailed, 1-0.
"I'm so overwhelmed, our team just pulled it together. I've dreamt about it and it happened," said four-time all-Canadian defender and Victoria native Alexandra Lee, who was named to the tournament all-star team following her last game as a Vike.
The CIS rookie of the year in 2004 and player of the year in 2005, and last year's national championship MVP, Lee has been the heart and soul of the UVic program over the past five seasons.
Tournament all-star Katie Collison, a fourth-year midfielder from Duncan, B.C., opened the scoring seven minutes into the game when her shot bounced off the inside of Alberta goalie Tory Spencer's foot and into the net.
Freshman Dani Hennig of Kelowna, B.C., doubled the Vikes lead in the 47th minute when she redirected a pass off a short corner that beat Spencer on the short side.
Rachel Sanders, also from Kelowna, pulled the Pandas to within one with six minutes remaining in regulation with her fourth goal of the weekend, tying her for the championship lead.
The contest ended going past 70 minutes when Alberta received two short corners with zeros left on the clock. After a few tense seconds, UVic cleared the ball from the arc and the final whistle was heard, announcing the Vikes as CIS champions.
"I don't think I saw it. I was praying," said Victoria coach Lynne Beecroft on the short corners.
"We've had our ups and downs this season and luckily we played well enough to win this game. Alberta played their hearts out," added Beecroft, who was in her 25th season at the helm of the UVic squad and has led the Vikes to each of their McCrae Cup titles.
"I'm really proud of our team," said seven-year Alberta coach Carla Duncan. "This whole week for us has been kind of magical. We scored seven goals in this tournament after scoring 11 all season. We surpassed everything we did all year. We couldn't be happier, except of course for winning gold."
Guelph's Jessalyn Walkey of Rockwood, Ont., who was named CIS rookie of the year prior to the championship, received tournament-MVP honours.
UVIC: 1-1: 2
ALB: 0-1: 1
7th, UVIC, Katie Collison
47th, UVIC, Dani Hennig, PC
64th, ALB, Rachel Sanders
UVIC: Kaitlyn Williams, (W, 70:00, 1 GA, 3-1-1)
ALB: Tory Spencer (L, 70:00, 2 GA, 2-2-1)
Players of the game
UVIC: Ali Lee (Victoria, BC)
ALB: Erin Mason (Kelowna, BC)
Championship MVP: Jessalyn Walkey (Rockwood, Ont.), Guelph
R.W. Pugh Fair Play Award: Guelph Gryphons
Katie Collison (Duncan, B.C.), Victoria
Lisa Fay (Regina, Sask.), Alberta
Tyla Flexman (Vancouver, B.C.), UBC
Bunny Hughes (Victoria, B.C.), Alberta
Ali Lee (Victoria, B.C.), Victoria
Erin Mason (Kelowna, B.C.), Alberta
Cailie O'Hara (Oakville, Ont.), Toronto
Robyn Pendleton (Victoria, B.C.), UBC
Brienne Stairs (Kitchener, Ont.), Guelph
Jessalyn Walkey (Rockwood, Ont.), Guelph
Kristine Wishart (Hamilton, Ont.), Guelph
CHAMPIONSHIP SEEDING, STANDINGS & SCHEDULE (all times LOCAL: PACIFIC)
1. Toronto Varsity Blues (OUA champions)
2. UBC Thunderbirds (Canada West champions)
3. Guelph Gryphons (OUA finalists)
4. Victoria Vikes (second place Canada West)
5. Alberta Pandas (third place Canada West)
Final round-robin standings (after 10 of 10 games)
GP W L T GF GA PTS
1. Victoria 4 2 1 1 5 3 7
2. Alberta 4 2 1 1 6 5 7
3. UBC 4 2 1 1 4 3 7
4. Guelph 4 1 2 1 7 9 4
5. Toronto 4 1 3 0 5 7 3
Thursday, Oct. 30
Round-Robin 1: Toronto 1, UBC 0
Round-Robin 2: Victoria 3, Guelph 1
Round-Robin 3: UBC 2, Alberta 1
Round-Robin 4: Victoria 2, Toronto 1
Friday, Oct. 31
Round-Robin 5: UBC 2, Guelph 1
Round-Robin 6: Alberta 1, Victoria 0
Round-Robin 7: Guelph 3, Toronto 2
Saturday, Nov. 1
Round-Robin 8: Guelph 2, Alberta 2
Round-Robin 9: UBC 0, Victoria 0
Round-Robin 10: Alberta 2, Toronto 1
Sunday, Nov. 2
Bronze medal: UBC 3, Guelph 0
Championship final: Victoria 2, Alberta 1