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/.