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.

Meet the Athletes: Team BC U15 Boys

The Provincial Pathway Series

The Provincial Pathway is a series which will follow a select number of FHBC athletes on their journey from the Regional Program through to the National Championships.

U15 Boys BC Rams – India Club Tournament gold medallists

With the 2018 National Championships only two weeks away, we are excited to introduce the U15 Boys BC teams who will be travelling to Toronto to take on the top teams from across the country.

This year, BC will be sending two teams of 16 players each to the National Championships at the U15 Boys level. The BC Rams and the BC Lions are mostly made up of athletes from the Lower Mainland, with the exception of three players who have been travelling from Vancouver Island almost every weekend to train with their team.

As the last few weekends of training wrap up and the teams prepare for Toronto, we got the chance to hear from U15 BC Lions athlete, Calder Wheatley, with regards to his experience in training at the Provincial level.

“Training is going well; we’re working on fitness, agility and tactical skills,” said Wheatley. “I have lots of new teammates and I’m getting to know them well as we continue to practice in Vancouver.”

Calder Wheatley (right) in action at the India Club Tournament

Wheatley is in his second year as a member of the U15 BC Lions. As one of the U15 Boys Island athletes, the Provincial program is a rare opportunity for him to train exclusively with athletes of his age group. The boys field hockey community on Vancouver Island is quite small, therefore there is no club league at his age.

“Both the Regional and the Provincial programs build on fitness, tactical and technical skills, which really builds my hockey skills,” Wheatley explained. “The biggest differences are playing with athletes outside Victoria, having new coaches and travelling to Vancouver on a regular basis for practices. It’s a good way to play with other players my own age since we do not have this on the Island.”

U15 BC Lions during the India Club Tournament bronze medal game

Working with coaches Sujay Mehta and Graem D’Andrade, the U15 BC Lions are working on building up their team dynamic as well as individual skill sets leading into the National Championships. They had their first taste of competition this past weekend at the India Club Tournament, where they finished in fourth place in the U16 Boys division.

The U15 BC Rams, led by head coach and Men’s National Team member Adrien D’Andrade, had a strong showing at the India Club Tournament. In a tight Championship match, the BC Rams came out on top with a 3-1 victory over the U16 India Club to take the gold medal.

U15 BC Rams in action during the India Club Tournament gold medal game

The Rams will be looking for a repeat performance after taking the gold medal at Nationals in 2017. With only one weekend of training to go, both teams are gearing up to play their best hockey on the National stage.

“The intensity and competitiveness gradually builds up as we move thru the program. This helps to have us ready to play our best at Nationals,” said Wheatley. “It should be a good experience and I’m looking forward to the trip with my team.”

Click below for full for U15 Boys BC Team rosters and athlete bios:

U15 Boys BC Rams

U15 Boys BC Lions

Meet the Athletes: Team BC U15 Girls

The Provincial Pathway Series

The Provincial Pathway is a series which will follow a select number of FHBC athletes on their journey from the Regional Program through to the National Championships.

U15 Girls BC Rams – India Club Tournament gold medallists

The U15 Girls BC Teams have been hard at work over the last six weeks as they prepare to take on the rest of the country at the National Championships in Toronto, Ontario. With Nationals only two weeks away, we had the opportunity to hear from BC Rams’ athletes Laine Delmotte and Savina Purewal with a look into Provincial training and the road to Nationals.

“I feel that the Provincial training is really getting us prepared and allowing us to peak just in time for the Nationals,” said Purewal. “The training is intense and we are all getting to know each other as we train together.”

“The training has been awesome!  I love the high intensity in all of the sessions and the competitiveness with all my teammates,” said Delmotte. “Everyone pushes each other in training on the field and off while doing fitness. We all have already come together really well, and we are starting to get more comfortable with each other.”

Laine Delmotte in action during the gold medal game at the India Club Tournament

Delmotte, who has been training with the North Shore Academy for the last two years, is going into her second National Championships after finishing in fourth with the U15 BC White Lions last year. The BC Rams head coach, Jenn Beagan, is also Delmotte’s coach in the Academy Program.

Jenn Beagan, head coach of the BC Rams.

“Jenn has coached me for quite a while now,” Delmotte reflected. “She always keeps us focused and her talks and feedback motivates us, and keeps the sessions at that high intensity.”

Beagan, in her second year coaching the U15 Girls BC Rams, led the team to a National Championship Gold medal last year. Savina Purewal is one of only two players from the 2017 U15 National Champions who will be returning to the same BC team this year.

“I would describe Jenn as a knowledgeable and well-organized coach.  She makes sure that she gives positive feedback and is really connecting with each of the players,” Purewal explained. “From the beginning she has set high expectations. She’s great at motivating each of us and is always keeping the training sessions positive and productive.”

This year, the U15 Girls will be sending three BC Teams to the National Championships. The BC Rams are comprised of the top athletes from the Lower Mainland, the BC Stags are based on Vancouver Island, and the BC Lions have a range of athletes from all across the province, including the Island, the Interior and the Lower Mainland.

U15 Girls BC Rams

Throughout their two month period of Provincial training between the Regional Festival and the National Championships, the U15 Girls BC Teams are training an average of four hours a week as a team with added fitness components during the week.

Purewal and Delmotte describe their sessions as highly intense, with each session focused around specific skills and set team plays.

“The Provincial Program really builds on the training, fitness and coaching from the Regional Program so you can compete at your very best at the Nationals,” said Purewal. “ The training is really intense and the expectations are high.”

Savina Purewal, captain of the Rams for the gold medal game at the India Club Tournament

“I find that Academy is more focused on individual skills, but the Provincial program is more team based and we learn more field awareness and positional tactics,” Delmotte explained. “I think doing Academy prior to Provincials was good for me because it helped me get comfortable playing with better and stronger girls who pushed me to be the best I can be.”

The BC Rams and BC Lions got their first taste of in-game action this past weekend at the annual India Club Tournament in Surrey. Playing in the U17 Girls division, the teams had the added challenge of competing against older girls. The BC Lions had an exciting finish, with a shootout victory over SHC for the bronze medal. The shootout went into sudden death, where Navjot Mangat scored the game winner.

U15 BC Lions – India Club Tournament bronze medallists

The U15 BC Rams came out on top with an exciting 1-0 win in the final against India Club. The Rams goal came in the dying minutes of the game, when Laine Delmotte got the ball off of a short corner and fed Taylor Katsube who buried it to give her team the victory.

“I think my team is preparing well and that we will be ready on the day of competition,” stated Purewal. “What I am most looking forward to is hopefully with hard work and determination to come back from Nationals as Champions.”

“I am looking forward to playing games against tough competition and I’m also really looking forward to bonding and travelling with my teammates,” said Delmotte. “I think our team is very well prepared.”

The U15 Girls BC teams will take on the rest of the country at the National Championships from July 12-16 at the University of Toronto, Ontario. Click here to visit the National Championships website.

For full U15 Girls BC Team rosters and athlete bios:

U15 Girls BC Rams

U15 Girls BC Stags

U15 Girls BC Lions

Meet the Athletes: Team BC U18 Girls

The Provincial Pathway Series

The Provincial Pathway is a series which will follow a select number of FHBC athletes on their journey from the Regional Program through to the National Championships.

In this edition of the Provincial Pathway series, we introduce the U18 Girls BC teams and catch up with Tessa Johnston and Saneh Basra of the U18 Girls BC Rams.

Johnston and Basra discuss their progress in training thus far, the dynamic between coaches and players, their experience with the Provincial program and their objectives leading into Nationals. Click the video link to find out more!

For a full introduction to the U18 Girls BC teams click on the links below:

U18 Girls BC Rams

U18 Girls BC Stags

U18 Girls BC Lions

Meet the Athletes: Team BC U18 Boys

The Provincial Pathway Series

The Provincial Pathway is a series which will follow a select number of FHBC athletes on their journey from the Regional Program through to the National Championships.

In this edition of the Provincial Pathway, Field Hockey BC had the opportunity to catch up with Rowan Childs and Gary Mann to discuss their Provincial training with the U18 BC Boys Rams.

After a few weeks of training with the BC Rams, Childs and Mann describe their progress with the team, the structure of their training and their own personal experiences with the Field Hockey BC Provincial program. Click the video to learn more about these athletes on the road to Nationals!

For a complete introduction to the U18 BC Boys teams including rosters and athlete bios, click on the links below:

U18 Boys BC Rams

U18 Boys BC Lions

Club Championships: Week 3

Field Hockey BC is coming up on our third and final weekend of Club Championships, with the U18 Boys and the U15 Girls rounding out the action this weekend!

The U18 Boys Club Championships will be taking place at the Cowichan Sportsplex in Duncan, BC on June 16-17. We are excited to announce that live updates will be available all tournament long at https://fieldhockeybc.altiusrt.com/. Schedules, rules and field locations can be found here.

The U15 Girls tournament is being held in Chilliwack, BC on June 16-17.  The games will be split between two locations, Townsend Park and Chilliwack Secondary School. For schedules, rules and field locations, click here.

Field Hockey BC would like to extend a huge thank you to all of our hosting clubs:

– Chilliwack FHC (U15 Girls)
– Vancouver Hawks FHC (U15 Boys)
– West Vancouver FHC (U18 Girls)
– Richmond FHC (U13 Girls and Boys)

These events would not be possible without the support of you and your volunteers. We would also like to thank all participating players, coaches and umpires for your hard work and dedication to our great sport.

Good luck to all teams competing this weekend!

Vancouver International Tournament Recap

It was a great long weekend of hockey out at the Vancouver International Tournament May 19-21 at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex. Over the three day long weekend, we saw 22 teams across three divisions in action, with an age range over 5 decades! Field Hockey BC was thrilled to see such a fun and diverse group out playing the game and enjoying the atmosphere at the adult social event of the season.

We would like to extend our congratulations to the winning teams in all divisions:

Women’s Social Division

  1. Wildcats
  2. Storm
  3. Tri-City Eagles

Island Wildcats, Women’s Social winners

Mixed Social Division 

  1. Seattle Mixed
  2. Bored of Governors
  3. Okanagan

Seattle Mixed, Mixed Social winners

Women’s Masters Division

  1. CDN Masters
  2. Fossilizing Sharks
  3. Seattle Masters

CDN Masters, Women’s Masters winners

Spirit of Judy Broom Sportsmanship Award: Vancouver Hawks

Vancouver Hawks, Judy Broom Award winners

Thank you to all players, umpires and staff for making this event a resounding success. We can’t wait to see you all back out next year!

 

Vancouver International Tournament

The social event of the season starts tomorrow! We can’t wait for a fun, sunny weekend of hockey at the Vancouver International Tournament.

The event will take place May 19-21 at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex. Join us at the Vancouver Rowing Club at 6:30 tonight for the Friday Night Social! Refreshments will be provided as well as a free beer jug for each team.

We hope to see you all there!