For the ninth time in history and the first time on the new Back Campus field, U of T hosted the Canadian Intercollegiate Sport (CIS) field hockey championships. The field consisted of the top two teams from the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Canada West divisions.
The University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbirds have won the previous three championships and were named this year’s Canada West champions. This was the seventeenth straight and thirty-fifth overall CIS appearance for UBC. The team’s goalie, Lauren Logush, won CIS Rookie of the year.
The U of T Varsity Blues entered the tournament undefeated and as OUA gold medalists. This was the team’s thiry-seventh CIS appearance.
This season, fourth-year Amanda Woodcroft won CIS Player of the Year, and Blues coach John DeSouza won CIS Coach of the Year.
The University of Victoria Vikes made the tournament on an assigned berth by finishing second in Canada West. This was the team’s thirty-third CIS appearance.
The University of Guelph Gryphons were named the OUA representative by earning the conference silver medal. This was the team’s eighth-straight and ninth overall CIS appearance.
The tournament consisted of three days of round-robin games and one final day for medal games from October 30 to November 2.
The first game of the tournament saw Victoria beat Guelph 3–2. Victoria scored two goals in the first half and the eventual game winner early in the second half. Guelph never quit and ended the game with two goals in the last 12 minutes but ended short of the comeback.
Later than evening, the Varsity Blues played its first game of the tournament and shutout defending champion UBC 3–0.
The first half was evenly matched but the Blues were able to score two before halftime. In the second half, the Blues gained momentum and scored a third goal to secure the victory. Second-year Lauren Sudac scored the game-winning goal and was named the Blues’ player of the game.
The second day of games featured conference rivalries and rainy conditions. The Blues played in the day’s first game against OUA rival Guelph.
In the early minutes, Guelph put pressure on the Blues defence, but the Blues regrouped and went on to score three goals in the first half. In the second half, both teams exchanged goals, finishing in a 4–1 Blues victory. Heather Haughn was named the Blue’s player of the game for her playmaking contributions.
The rain continued into the evening match where UBC earned its first tournament victory by defeating conference rival Victoria. Both teams scored early and finished the first half tied. The second half featured strong performances by both teams’ goalies. The game ended in a 1–1 tie.
Championship rankings were finalized as the teams competed in the final day of round-robin games. In a close game, the Blues managed to score the game’s only goal in the second half and defend their lead to defeat Victoria 1–0. Midfielder Emma Wingrave was named the player of the game for the Blues. This victory clinched the Blues a championship berth. Meanwhile, Victoria’s fate would be decided by the final game of the day.
The final round-robin game decided who would face the Blues in the finals and Guelph in the bronze game. UBC had to score four goals to pass Victoria in the standings on goal differential. The team was ready for the challenge. UBC scored five goals in the first half and padded their lead in the second half to beat Guelph 7–1. UBC earned its sixth straight appearance in the championship game.
The Guelph Gryphons and the Victoria Vikes met for a second time in the bronze medal game of the tournament. After the tight encounter between the two teams on Thursday, both teams expected another close game; however, the Vikes came out on top with a 6–0 shutout.
The Vikes were off to a quick start scoring just two and five minutes into the game. The team added a third goal to the score just before the first half ended, allowing them to go into the second half with a comfortable 3–0 lead.
Guelph’s defense was stronger in the second half, holding the Vikes back until the fiftieth minute, but within the final thirteen minutes of the game, the Vikes managed to score three more goals, all on corners, to secure their win. The win marked a full team effort with defense strong and five out of the six goals scored by different players. Stefanie Langkammer and Sheridan Goodmason led the team with two goals and strong defense in net, respectively.
For the seventh time in tournament history, the Varsity Blues and the Thunderbirds met in the championship game. The first half of the game was scoreless after strong goaltending by U of T’s Madeline Cho who allowed only 15 goals throught regular season play, and CIS Rookie of the Year Lauren Logush.
The second half began with the same level of defence, but in the fourty-seventh minute, fourth-year midfielder Poonam Sandhu scored the go-ahead goal for the Thunderbirds. Nine minutes later, Sarah Keglowitsch scored a second goal for the Thunderbirds giving them their second goal which would also be the last of the game, as the Thunderbirds won their fourth consecutive championship title with a 2–0 shutout over the Blues and the Blues lost their first game of the season.
U of T’s Amanda Woodcroft was named championship MVP, and the Varsity Blues were named the winners of the R.W. Pugh Fair Play Award. U of T’s three CIS all-Canadians were also named championship all-stars: Alison Lee, Alex Thicke, and Woodcroft.