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Oak Bay girls field hockey team scores silver in nail-biter provincial final

Defending champion Oak Bay High fall to Handsworth Secondary
Oak Bay High’s senior girls field hockey team are silver medalists after a nail-biter of a final that came down to a sudden-death shootout. (Courtesy Oak Bay High)

Provincial glory came down to a sudden death shootout for the Oak Bay High senior girls field hockey team.

“It was an amazing game for the team,” coach Meena Sran said. “The girls played hard, especially dominating the second half.”

The teams were locked in a scoreless tie at the end of regulation time in the final game against Handsworth Secondary on Nov. 11 in Surrey.

Last year, they defeated the same North Vancouver team in a shootout to win the provincial title.

This year, after five shots each the teams were again tied 2-2 thanks to goals from Maia Lawrence and Irene Morillas, and goalkeeping by Anais Chace.

“This led to a sudden-death shootout situation and a heartbreaking loss,” Sran said.

The team walked away with a hard-fought silver finish and earned the BC AAA Field Hockey Fair Play Award.

“It is rare to win this award, and even more rare to have a team win it and make the final,” Sran said.

The award winner is selected by the umpires through voting after each game. Teams are evaluated on interactions with opponents and umpires as well as how the team behaves and interacts with each other, including coach behaviour.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay High field hockey players snag national title

“We are beyond proud of this team. It is a huge feat to make the finals two years in a row, with such massive change on the team from last season to this season,” Sran said.

The team scored four wins to get to the final at provincials, defeating Centennial of Coquitlam 1-0 on a goal from Laighton Grahame-McMullen, then defeated Vancouver’s Eric Hamber 1-0 with a goal from Lawrence.

They defeated South Delta 3-0 in the quarter-final with goals from Monet Thurbide, Maddie Hunter, Helen Lesiuk. The semifinal gain came down to a single goal from Maryn Unger to defeat Vancouver’s Churchill 1-0.

The team started the season with seven returning players, with most playing different positions than last season, Sran explained.

The roster sported new coaches, manager and nine players, including five international students.

The team worked hard and seemed to gel quickly. Only one week into school, after two practices, the girls finished second at the Friendship Cup. They followed that by topping the John Ferreira tournament then won Island Championships with a victory over Cowichan Secondary.