T-Birds bring home provincial bronze

T-Birds bring home provincial bronze


Cowichan Valley Citizen

One team seemed to haunt the Cowichan Secondary School Thunderbirds throughout the 2017 field hockey season: the Mount Douglas Rams.

The T-Birds lost to the Rams both times the teams met at tournaments during the fall. So of course they ended up squaring off again in the bronze-medal game at the AAA provincial championships in Richmond last week.

“It’s kind of funny we ended up playing them,” Cowichan coach Caitlin Erickson admitted.

The T-Birds went into provincials as Island champs, and they were happy to get another shot at the only team to beat them at the Island tournament.

“We knew we could beat them,” Erickson said. “And this was the game to do it in.”

Mount Doug opened the scoring in the first half of the bronze-medal game. It wasn’t until late in the match that Cowichan struck back.

“In the last kinda 15 minutes, we put a lot more pressure on them,” Erickson said. “We needed a goal, and you could tell the girls really wanted it.”

With less than five minutes left to play, the ball went across the top of the circle, and co-captain Hanna Murray one-timed it into the top corner to tie the score. Erickson described it as “a beautiful goal.”

“The entire team was up on their feet,” she said. “All the fans were screaming.”

Murray’s goal sent the game to a shootout. Under immense pressure, Cowichan keeper Emily Chernoff made a ton of saves, and the Cowichan shooters put the ball in the net enough times to secure the win and the bronze medal.

“It’s always interesting to win in a shootout,” Erickson. “It can go either way.”

Cowichan ended up playing for bronze after a shootout loss to Kelowna in the semifinals. That game was also tied 1-1 after regulation. Kelowna scored first, but another T-Birds co-captain, Jenna Berard, scored on a stroke to even it up before the Owls won in the shootout. Kelowna went to the final, where they lost to Handsworth in a shootout.

Both semifinals and both medal games went to shootouts, showing just how close it was between the best teams in B.C.

“It could have gone any way with the top four teams,” Erickson noted.

Cowichan went unbeaten in pool play. The T-Birds beat Eric Hamber 4-0 and Charles Best 5-0, and tied South Delta 0-0, taking top spot in the group because they scored more goals. They beat West Vancouver 2-0 in the quarterfinal to make the final four.

Although they were the two-time defending provincial champions, the T-Birds weren’t expected to contend this year after losing nine players to graduation and two more to other reasons — essentially a whole team.

“Going in, we were thinking this would be a rebuilding year,” Erickson admitted. “But once we got the group together, from the beginning they impressed us with how they came together as a group.”

Co-captains Berard, Murray and Jillian Wallace, all midfielders and the only Grade 12 players on the roster, were instrumental in keeping the team united this season.

“They were phenomenal leaders, on and off the field, especially at provincials,” Erickson said. “This was a young team with a lot of new players, and they kept them together and got them excited for games.”

Other standout players at provincials included Chernoff, who only allowed two goals in regulation play during the entire tournament, the backline of Jenna Goodman, Melanie Robertson and Anya Hermant, who remained solid and composed throughout, and Chloe Langkammer and Erica Windsor, who put a lot of pressure on the other teams up front.

Just Posted

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Mariah Segee (centre) was named 2021 Lady of the Lake last Saturday, with Megan Rowbottom (left) as first princess, and Macey Anderson (right) as second princess. (Submitted)
Lady of the Lake returns to Lake Cowichan

Mariah Segee takes the crown in first pageant since 2018

Darren Campbell's truck was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch (pictured) on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
UPDATE: Cowichan Bay Good Samaritan’s stolen truck recovered

‘Very much appreciated the help from so many people. I hope the very best for all of you’

Threads N Tails owner Lee-Ann Burke’s pet clothing has been featured on the cover of the June/July issue of Pet Connection Magazine. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan business featured on magazine cover

Lee-Ann Burke hopes the extra publicity will increase sales

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read