U18 Nationals Day 2 Recap

All Three BC Girls Teams Advance to the Semi Finals

The success for the BC Girls continues as all three teams advanced to the semi-finals of the 2018 U18 National Championships.

After a hard fought battle with the BC Rams last night, the BC Stags finished day 1 with a 1-1 record, making their game against Alberta this morning a must-win in order to advance to the semis. Stags’ forward, Libby Hogg, scored in the first minute and they kept the lead for the rest of the game.

Their 2-0 victory over Alberta punched their ticket to the semi-final, where they will face the BC Lions.

Despite having a bit of a tough game this morning, the Rams squeaked out a 1-0 win over Ontario East to finish the round robin undefeated. The Rams goal scorer, Bronwen Rees-Wiedemann, said despite having a tough game today, they are happy with their position going into their semi-final against Ontario West.

“It was more of a relief than anything, because we really needed it,” explained Rees-Wiedemann. “Our coach, Bubli, said every team has a game like this where we can’t really finish so it’s good that ours has passed. Moving forward we want to play like we did yesterday, because that was probably the best we’ve ever played as a team.”

The BC Lions continue to impress, with an 11-1 victory over Quebec to clinch their berth in Thursday’s semi-final. Their final match against Ontario Central, a tight one which ended in a 2-1 Lions victory, put them first in their pool, set to face the BC Stags.

“I’m excited that we made the semis, that was a big goal of ours,” said Lions captain, Nora Struchtrup.

The Lions, the BC team with the least expectations on them coming into this tournament, have definitely turned some heads with their undefeated round robin performance.

“I think it’s going to be a huge advantage being the underdogs,” reflected Struchtrup. “I know we can do it if we play as a team. We’ve got a goal scoring team, I think Cam [Camryn Haines] scored her ninth goal in three games, it’s crazy. Anything is possible and I’m really excited to see where those games take us.”

BC Boys Rams Edge BC Lions to Advance to the Semi-finals

After the BC Lions had a disappointing round robin, finishing 4th in their pool with an 0-3 record, they left it all on the field in their quarter-final match with their provincial rivals, the BC Rams.

The Rams, who finished first in their pool and are among the favourites for a podium finish, got a bit of a scare from the Lions who, despite being underdogs coming in, believed they had it in them to take the Rams out of contention.

“We know them, we know their skill set, we’ve played against them before,” said BC Lions forward, Sahjun Sehmi. “I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, they’re easily probably the best team in the tournament, we know it’s going to be a tough battle.”

After Amraaz Dhillon gave the Rams an early lead off of a shortcorner, the Lions answered back with two quick goals late in the first half, giving them the advantage going into halftime.

The Rams poured on the pressure early in the second half and on the last play before the quarter break, managed to tie it up with yet another shortcorner goal by Dhillon.

“I felt like I owed it to my teammates because they put faith in me, and my coach Kevin Pereira, he’s the one who chose the flicking option on the shortcorners,” explained Dhillon. “I just have to thank my teammates for getting the corner and my coach for giving me the opportunity.”

A quick goal after the quarter break by Naman Sharma gave the Rams the lead, and despite a strong push by the Lions in the final minutes, the Rams were able to hold on for a 3-2 win. The Rams victory puts them in the 1:30 PM (EST) semi final against Ontario Central, a team that has won the last two U18 National Championships.

After winning both of their round robin games quite handily, Dhillon believes it is a positive for their team to have overcome some adversity in their quarter final match-up, as the competition heats up going into the playoff rounds.

“My friend and teammate Rowan Childs always says adversity sparks greater opportunity,” said Dhillon. “It really woke us up because we were down for a long time in that game and for us to build up and come back and win I think that shows how good of a team we are and how good we can be.”

All four BC semi-finals will take place between 11:30 AM and 3:00 PM EST.  Follow @fieldhockeybc on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates throughout the day, and follow along for live scores at https://fhc.altiusrt.com/

U18 Nationals Day 1 Recap

BC Starts Strong With 3 Teams Going Undefeated on Day 1

Many of BC’s U18 teams got just the start they were looking for on Day 1 of the National Championships in Toronto, Ontario. Both the Boys and Girls BC Rams came out of the day with two wins, as did the BC Girls Lions, who pulled off a bit of an upset against a very strong Ontario team.

The Girls Lions started the day with a massive 15-0 win over Prince Edward Island. 16 year-old Camryn Haines of Trail, BC led the team with six goals in this blowout game.

“It feels good to score, but I’m not going to let it get to my head,” said Haines. “I’m just going to go back out there and see what happens, stay by the net and hopefully get a few more. Coming into the game against PEI we didn’t know anything about them so we just wanted to play our best and see what we can do.”

“Our plan going in was not to take any team for granted no matter what they’re reputation is, just play your hardest, don’t underestimate anybody and give it your all,” explained first year BC Lions midfielder, Leah Fourie.

The Lions carried that momentum into their second game against Ontario West, a much tougher match-up in which the Lions proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. BC never trailed in that game, but Ontario brought it to a tie twice before Allison Kuzyk gave her team back the lead off of a short corner late in the game. With a 3-2 win over Ontario, the Lions are currently tied for first in their pool with Ontario Central, who they will face tomorrow afternoon.

On the Boys side, the BC Lions did not have the start that they’d hoped for, with a 6-2 loss to Alberta and a 4-1 loss to Ontario Central. They will have their final round robin game tomorrow morning before heading into the quarter-finals tomorrow afternoon.

The BC Boys Rams had a very strong start to their tournament with two decisive victories over Ontario East (4-0) and USA (10-0).

“It’s definitely a great result to start off. Everyone was working really hard, it was really impressive,” said 18 year-old Rams midfielder, Rowan Childs. “We have some things to clean up and there’s still a long way to go, we’re taking it one team at a time.”

In a pool of only three teams, the Rams have already concluded their round robin play and have clinched first place, which lands them in the first quarter-final against the fourth place team in Pool A.

“Preparation is going to be huge. Nutrition and hydration, that sort of thing,” said Childs. “The biggest thing is making sure you’re taking care of your body between games.”

The BC Girls Rams had a big day as well, with a commanding 6-1 victory over Alberta in the morning. In their second game, they took on their Provincial rivals, the BC Stags, in what was a very close and exciting match-up. The Rams took the lead early with a goal from Mia Zurkovic and they held onto it for the rest of the game, leading them to a 2-0 victory, despite the push back from the Stags.

“It was a super nerve-wracking game,” reflected BC Rams captain, Tessa Johnston. “We were able to score in the first two minutes which helped us to let go of the nerves and build on that to keep going harder and harder, because they pushed so hard and played so well. They made it a really good game.”

With one round robin game left to play against Ontario East, the Rams look to continue building on their early success and come out strong in every game.

“Our first game we had a bit of a groggy start, it took us a while to get into it,” said Johnston. “The first five minutes is a huge thing for us. We want to go out hard and maybe scare the other team a little, keeping possession and communicating really well as a team.”

The BC Stags, despite their tough loss to the Rams, are still in a great position thanks to their 9-0 win this morning over Ontario East. The Stags and the Rams currently sit first and second in their pool with one round robin game remaining. Only the first two teams in each pool will advance to the semi-final on Thursday.

The girls and boys BC teams are back at it bright and early tomorrow, with the BC Boys Lions kicking things off at 9:45 AM EST against Quebec. Follow @fieldhockeybc on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updated throughout the day, and follow along for live scores at https://fhc.altiusrt.com/.

 

 

U18 National Championships Preview

BC Teams Chase the Elusive Gold Medal at U18 National Championships

The 2018 U18 National Championships begin tomorrow, running from July 17-20 at the University of Toronto, Ontario. BC has a total of five teams competing in the tournament, with three on the girls side and two on the boys side all fighting for the National Title.

After two consecutive silver medal finishes at the U18 National Championships, the BC Girls Rams have one thing on their minds going into this tournament: first place. Their Ontario rivals took home the gold medal at the 2016 and 2017 Nationals, a streak they hope to break this year.

BC Rams senior and 5 time Team BC athlete, Tessa Johnston has never won gold in her Team BC career and in her last year playing at the junior level, she is hungry for it.

“There’s so much drive there from each team, I think everyone is so competitive and pushing for it so hard,” said Johnston. “It’s really exciting. Even watching the U15 game today, everyone was so excited and just ready to start.”

Eve Carrothers, midfielder for the BC Rams, is also chasing her first gold medal victory. In her second year with the U18 Rams, the 17 year-old Tsawwassen native has embraced her position as both a mentor to the younger players and one who can learn from the seniors on her team.

“Last year I was a bit nervous being the youngest and now that I’ve gotten that over with it’s fun to get to know the younger girls, they’re all really confident and nice to have around,” explained Carrothers.

The BC Stags, who finished third at the 2017 National Championships, are looking to improve on that result with a trip to the finals this year. The Vancouver Island team has no shortage of young talent, with only three seniors on their roster, including Victoria natives, Cara Butler and Stefanie Sajko.

“It’s cool to see the different perspectives of the game,” reflected Butler. “I think they’re learning from us as well as we’re learning from them and I think they want it as much as we do even though we’ve been around a bit longer.

With the two Vancouver Island teams finishing first and third at the BC Regional Trials back in April, the Stags are feeling confident that they can push for a podium finish and contend for the gold medal this tournament.

“It gives us some motivation, I think we have a really strong team,” said Sajko. “We’ve meshed really well together and trained really hard. I think we have a really good chance at getting a medal this year.”

The Lions, BC’s mixed team with athletes from the Interior, Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and the Lower Mainland, narrowly missed the semi-finals at last year’s Nationals and ended up in fifth place.

On the U18 Boys side, the BC Rams are hungry for revenge on the Ontario team who has come out on top at Nationals the past several years. For senior players Rowan Childs and Gary Mann, the rivalry with Ontario has been developing since their years at the U15 level.

“It’s our last year at U18’s so I just want to give it my best,” said Mann. “We want to make sure we come out of the tournament strong and get that gold.”

For all of the U18 Boys seniors, this is their last chance as junior players to finally capture the gold medal that has eluded them each year at the National Championships.

“Watching the U15’s today brought back those painful memories of always getting silver,” Childs explained. “For me, it just gives me that drive and pure excitement.

Also in strong medal contention are the BC Lions, who took the bronze medal at last year’s U18 National Championships. Lions forward Sahjun Sehmi is one of two players on the Lions who has been travelling from Vancouver Island every week for the past two months to train on the Lower Mainland with Team BC.

As a player who has faced adversity through injury and the added challenge of travelling from the Island to play field hockey, Sehmi embraces the underdog status that his team holds.

“We know what we’ve got to do, stick to our strategies and play our game,” said Sehmi. “Everyone loves a good Cinderella story, the other teams might come in underestimating us. I’m used to it, I like being an underdog.”

With so many strong and determined teams competing for a common goal, we can’t wait to see how this tournament unfolds for our BC teams. You can follow the action live at fhc.altiusrt.com and follow the official tournament website at http://www.fieldhockey.ca/2018-national-championships/

For recaps, news and updates on all of our BC Teams, make sure to follow @Fieldhockeybc on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also get updates directly from www.fieldhockeybc.com.

U15 National Championships Recap

U15 Girls Rams take Gold at the National Championships

The U15 Girls BC Rams had a dominant performance at the 2018 National Championships, taking the gold medal for the second consecutive year. After going undefeated through four round robin games, the Rams faced their provincial rivals, the BC Lions, in the semi-final.

Thanks to two goals within two minutes both scored by Brooke McCusker, the Rams advanced to the final with a 2-0 semi-final victory, where they took on Ontario West for a re-match of the 2017 U15 Girls final. Once again, the Rams came out on top with a 3-0 victory, with goals by Brooke McCusker, Polly Campbell and Ahria Dhillon.

14 year-old North Vancouver native Brooke McCusker led the Rams with six goals in six games.

BC Rams, gold medallists

The Lions had an outstanding performance, finishing with a bronze medal. After going 2-0-1 in the round robin, they had a tough loss to the Rams in the semi-final. However, they bounced back to take a 3-1 win over Ontario Central to take home the bronze. Olivia Huebner led the Lions in scoring with three goals.

BC Girls Lions

The BC Stags had a 1-2-1 record through the round robin, which put them into the consolation bracket. They finished in a tie for 6th place with Ontario East. Victoria native Julia Berk led the team with 5 goals.

U15 Boys Rams Claim the Silver Medal

The U15 Boys Rams took second place with a tough 2-1 loss to Quebec 1 in their final game. After going undefeated through the round robin, the Rams had resounding victories through the playoffs, including a 5-0 win over the BC Lions in the quarter final and a 7-0 win over Ontario in the semi-final.

However, Quebec 1 got the better of them in the gold medal game. After going up 2-0 early in the second half, the Rams cut the lead in half, but were unable to complete the comeback. The silver medallists were led by Harvir Mahli who had nine goals. Goalkeeper Armaan Bagri only allowed two goals in five games.

BC Boys Rams half time chat with coaches Adrien and Ali

The BC Boys Lions ended up in sixth place. After being eliminated in the quarter-finals by their provincial rivals, the Rams, they tied both of their consolation matches against Alberta and Quebec. The Lions were led by Finlay O’Callaghan who scored four goals in five games.

In Memory of Megan Scraper

Photo by Western University

 

Field Hockey BC is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of former FHBC athlete, Megan Scraper.

Megan started playing field hockey when she was 10 years old as a member of the West Vancouver Field Hockey Club. Between 2005 and 2009, she was a member of the Field Hockey BC Regional and Provincial High Performance Programs.

She took part in multiple National Championships during this time and went on to play varsity field hockey at Kent State and Western University. After University, Megan became a successful social media influencer and consultant.

Megan’s untimely death is a tragedy that can be felt throughout the entire field hockey community. Field Hockey BC offers our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.