Playing for the region’s third and final seat at the B.C. girls field hockey championships, the Eric Hamber Griffins defeated the Churchill Bulldogs 2-1 in a shootout.
The Griffins knocked off the defending city champs in the must-win game Oct. 24 to advance to the provincial tournament Nov. 13 to 15 at Burnaby Lakes.
Olivia Cabral put the Griffins on the board in the first minutes of the game when she scored off a penalty corner.
The Bulldogs spent the rest of the half looking for an answer. They got it in the final minutes from Thora Rae, one of three Grade 9s on the Bulldogs’ young roster.
“Unfortunately, we let in an easy goal in the first five minutes and it was just about trying to play catch up,” said Churchill’s head coach Andrea May. “They had many scoring opportunities and it wasn’t until the second half that we scored our only goal.”
Hamber controlled more of the play in the first half but after the break, Churchill came on strong, said the Griffins co-coach Indy Sehmbi.
“Both teams had a number of field chances and earned some penalty corners. Churchill looked the most dangerous on PCs but weren't able to hit the net,” said Sehmbi, who coaches with Jill Polukoshko.
The game remained tied 1-1 after 10 minutes of overtime and for the second year in a row, Hamber pull off the shoot-out win in a do-or-die game.
With a provincial spot on the line, rookie goalie Shyann Gilmour stopped the first and then the third Churchill shooters. Her clutch performance opened the door for Hamber’s shooters and all four scored: Emma Pattle, Antonia Pardos-Rupp, Maddie Friesen and Olivia Cabral again.
Kitsilano and Richmond’s McMath secondary also advance to the AAA provincials.
Although the zone championship wrapped up last week, the city championships begin Tuesday with a double-header at Hamber.
Churchill (4-0) finished first among Vancouver schools and plays David Thompson (0-4) at 3:45 p.m. followed by Kitsilano (1-2-1) and Hamber (0-3-1) at 5 p.m.
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