Four graduates of Cowichan Secondary School helped the University of Victoria Vikes to their third consecutive USports field hockey national championship.
Ashton Aumen, Robin Fleming, Melanie Robertson and Chloe Langkammer were members of the UVic team that beat the University of Toronto two games to one in the best-of-three series that wrapped up on Nov. 12, with Fleming also taking home the championship MVP crown and Langkammer being named national Rookie of the Year.
All three games against U of T went to a shootout, with Toronto winning the opener and Victoria taking the next two.
“We put in a lot of work over the last two years to get here and we didn’t give up,” goalkeeper Fleming said in a release from UVic Athletics. “I’m so proud of all of my teammates. They made my job easy today. They made me not have to do much in the second half. I’m not a fan of shootouts but I’m just so happy and proud that it all paid off.”
It was the third consecutive national title for Fleming and Aumen, the second for Robertson and the first for Langkammer. UVic previously won the USports championship in 2018 and 2019. The 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID-19.
In the first game of this year’s championship, the teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation, and Toronto prevailed 3-2 in the shootout. The score at the end of regulation was the same in game two, with Langkammer scoring for the Vikes, but UVic dominated the shootout 3-0. Langkammer scored both goals for UVic as the third game was tied 2-2 after regulation, and Fleming was near-perfect in the shootout, with UVic winning 3-1.
“I am so proud of our team and how hard we worked all season to be able to get to this point,” Aumen told the Citizen. “We gave it our all for every single game and left everything out on the field. Having such an amazing goalkeeper like Robin also gives us confidence when heading into shootouts cause we know how good she is at them.
“Every single player on our team did their part to help us win this championship and that is something that makes our team so special. Our team is like a family and everyone is so supportive of each other on and off the field and I think that’s another factor that helps us be so successful. I am just so happy and grateful that I was able to end my final season with the Vikes winning our third straight national championship.”
The win also marked the 14th national title for Vikes head coach Lynne Beecroft, a member of the North Cowichan/Duncan Sports Wall of Fame, and the first time that she has won three titles in a row.
“I’m just super proud of our athletes,” Beecroft said on the UVic Athletics website. “It was a great tournament. We are obviously very equal teams and it came down to three shootouts. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that so I’m very, very proud.”