T-Birds dominate Dinos, take commanding Canada West lead

The UBC Thunderbirds women’s field hockey team continued their regular season unbeaten streak — which now extends over three seasons — this past weekend with two commanding wins against the University of Calgary Dinos.

The ’Birds have not lost to the Dinos since October 9, 2009, when they fell to the Calgary side 2-1.

Looking to snap the streak, the Dinos went into Saturday’s game determined to find a way past the ’Birds. Play was close throughout the game but the ’Birds moved ahead 1-0 in the 26th minute thanks to a goal from second-year forward Margaret Pham. The rest of the game saw play remain close with the Dinos getting numerous chances on goal but all were stopped by a strong UBC defence.

The ’Birds opted for a change in goaltending this week, with Gabriella Switzer getting the start over fourth-year veteran Rowan Harris. Switzer held her own in her first game of the season as she held off constant attacks from the Dinos for all 70 minutes of game time.

The second game of the doubleheader, played bright and early at 10 a.m. Sunday morning, was more of a one-sided match-up in favor of UBC. The ’Birds scored three times in 11 minutes in the first half to make it a 3-0 game. Sara Goodman would add two goals to her season tally at the 16th and 27th minute of the game while Margaret Pham added her second goal of the weekend at the 20th.

The Dinos attempted to launch a comeback midway through the second half, scoring two goals of their own within four minutes at the 50th and 54th minute marks. However, the ’Birds responded quickly with a goal from veteran fifth-year midfielder Sarah Keglowitsch in the 60th minute, giving UBC a cushion of two goals with just 10 minutes left in the game. Unable to respond, the ’Birds closed the weekend with a commanding 4-2 win.

Now 3-0-1 this season, the ’Birds will return home to UBC to play their final two weekend doubleheaders against both the Dinos and the Vikes before embarking on what’s sure to be another long playoff run. They’ll play the Vikes two weeks from now on October 7 and 8, and then the Dinos the following weekend.