Senior Girls Win Field Hockey Friendship Cup
The Shawnigan Senior Field hockey team set the tone for this year's season with their first tournament victory at the 2011 Friendship Cup.
The Friendship Cup is an ideal tournament for any team to test the waters and pit themselves against other local Island teams in both the AA and AAA divisions. The Shawnigan team was anxious to test their skills and was rewarded early with a 5-0 defeat over Queen Margaret School followed by an equally strong performance against Mount Doug with the same scoreline. Having secured the first place position in their pool, the team then crossed over to face off against Glenlyon Norfolk at the Duncan Sportplex. The Shawnigan players notched two goals early in the first half to secure the upper-hand and did not relinquish it until the final whistle blew for a 4-1 victory leading into the final. In the final match Shawnigan faced-off against AAA Cowichan in a fast-paced game with talented players on both sides. Nevertheless, the Shawnigan athletes were a stronger cohesive unit, which allowed them to move the ball quickly in their tactical system and capitalize on their goal-scoring opportunities. The beautiful teamwork lead to a well-deserved 4-1 victory and the first ever Friendship Cup title for the team.
Coach Benjamin Koepp commented on his team's victory, "It was fantastic to see the girls working so well as a unit and implementing tactical elements that were introduced last season. It makes a big difference that the team can pick-up where we left off last year, without needing to rebuild basics. The structure and tactical awareness on the field is definitely better and exciting to watch when the girls are having fun and playing the game well."
In the true nature of the Friendship Cup, six junior Shawnigan players stepped up to keep Highland Senior Secondary in the tournament. Highland was on the verge of withdrawing from the tournament because of depleted numbers in the team but the Shawnigan juniors filled out the squad over the two day tournament. Highland coach, Colleen Schmidt was impressed with the performance of the younger Shawnigan players.
"They are such a skilled bunch, but also so unselfish - I noticed on more than one occasion that a Shawnigan player would pass off the ball to a Highland player even when they could have easily scored themselves. They are such nice kids, who really show their love for the game and were an excellent representation of the school and it's field hockey program."
-Kelly K 10/26/2011 3:51:26 PM