When the BC Rams and Ontario C played to an exciting, chance-filled nil-nil draw to start the day, it set the standard for what we expect to be a tightly contested U18 Women’s division.
Because of the early draw, both teams will be pushing for as many points as they can to get into the medal rounds. Ontario C took care of the BC Lions in the afternoon and the Rams rolled to a comfortable win in the afternoon over Ontario E solidifying their hold on number one in the pool for now.
Rams’ Coach Chris Tyrell said the morning game was frustrating that they couldn’t break the deadlock but gave credit to a tight Ontario defense.
“Ontario is a good team and they defended really well,” he said. “We created enough chances to win but needed more corners, but it is a learning process so you hope you get better the next game.”
According to Tyrell, the second-game 10-goal performance proved that this Rams team can fill the net and will give the team confidence heading forward.
“It was good confidence-wise to start scoring goals …We still have things to work on, it wasn’t a perfect performance but it was good improvement,” Tyrell said. “We have a lot of depth but our big challenge is to start to move the ball quickly and not over play with more touches than we need to.”
The BC Stags defeated Ontario W in the only Pool B game of the day and look to be the class of that group for now. Day two will answer a lot of questions as we start to close in on championship weekend.
The Men’s division is a 3-team tournament much like the women’s division for U23. They will play a triple round robin and the best record will take the title. Today’s game between Quebec and BC looked like the two top teams with something to prove. Although Quebec had good spacing and early ball movement, they couldn’t score. BC’s steady pressure and strong defense led them to a 3-0 win to start the event. This game definitely had plenty of feeling and you can imagine the games will continue to get more and more intense as they square off two more times.
Playing Career: Played at Guelph University for four years. Still holds the record for most goals as a player in the program with 99.
Coaching Career: Wanted to keep involved in the sport, and coaching was the next best thing to playing. She was an assistant coach at Guelph for 12 years, before becoming the head coach. Is starting her 14th season as head coach this fall.
Best Coaching Moment: In 2004, her first year as head coach, Guelph beat the University of Toronto for the first time in program history. It was an extremely memorable moment, winning the game 5-2.
Friday’s action featured a few of the tightest matches of the tournament as well as a handful of one-sided affairs. In the women’s division, PEI and Ontario E battled to a nil-nil draw and Alberta defeated Quebec at the end of the day 2-1 in a back and forth thriller. BC Rams and Ontario C cruised to thorough victories all but locking up the top-spots in pool A. The Island-based BC Stags look to be the class of pool B but lots is left to be determined.
In the men’s division, Alberta suffered heavy defeats against BC and Quebec. Alberta will look to avenge those losses tomorrow. Stay tuned to Field Hockey Canada’s social media and event page for updates each day!
Jenn Swagar (Alberta Women’s Coach)
Playing Career: Started playing when she was 17, and played for 5 years at the University of Calgary, serving as captain in her final year.
Coaching and Career: Served as an assistant, co-coach and started a head coach role with the Dino’s in 2007. Has taken a break from coaching to pursue her strength and conditioning career, opening her own gym. Started coaching again with the provincial programs in Alberta.
Best Coaching Moment: When she came in as a head coach, U of C had scored 1 goal in four years. Within four years she had brought her program to the CIS West finals, ultimately coming second to UBC.
Saturday’s games featured many high scoring matches across the board. Opening the day, the men’s Quebec team took a comfortable win over Alberta. On the other pitch, Ontario Central met PEI for a for another comfortable win. At 10, both the BC Lions and BC Stags took on Ontario East and Quebec, respectively, coming out on top, each scoring an impressive seven goals.
The afternoon showcased more high scoring games, with Ontario West topping Alberta, and BC Lions topping PEI in the women’s Division. While BC came out on top again against Alberta in the men’s division.
A look ahead for tomorrow: In the Men’s Division, Quebec looks to have an exciting match up again BC tomorrow, while in the women’s division, the semi-finals take place with teams looking for a seed in the finals!
Tonight the teams get together for a fun social event at local bowling lanes!
Playing Career: Played field hockey in high school before playing at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) for three years.
Coaching Career: After wanting to continue with the sport, Karleigh is now only in her second year of coaching, after beginning last year under her mentor and former coach Kellie Steele. “Field Hockey has always been my rock when times have been harder and I love the sport”.
Best Coaching Moment: “Last year when PEI scored their first goal at nationals was my favorite moment. It was so nice to see the girls super excited”