Lord Dorchester Beavers enjoy successful return to field hockey
Thursday, October 19, 2017
LONDON, ON - It is another chapter in the storied rivalry and the Parkside Stampeders are the stars of the recent sections.
Kendra Hulst scored the game's lone goal, midway through the second half, allowing the Stampeders to repeat as Thames Valley Region Athletics (TVRA) field hockey champions, blanking the Medway Cowboys, 1-0, in the final, at City Wide Fields.
"They've been our rivals for a long time. To win this game was important for us and now we go to WOSSAA," said Hulst. "We knew this game would be tough, but at half-time we said, ok we better get our stuff together. We got more determined, more confident as the half went on and had a lot more chances."
Goalie Vanessa Johnston picked up the shutout, without needing to stop a shot. Medway did have some field possession in the first half, but it was all Parkside in the second half.
"We knew what we had to do to win. When we had the ball we were in full control," said Hulst.
Parkside dominated the regular season, winning all seven games via shutouts, while scoring 26 goals, before silencing Strathroy in the semi-finals.
"We tend to put our expectations pretty high because we always want to go undefeated. This was the expectation," said Hulst, in her third year with the team. "We have a lot of strong people on this team. We're aggressive and our defence is solid."
The Stampeders move on to the one game WOSSAA championship, October 26, in Goderich, to face the host Vikings. The winner moves on to OFSAA, held in Burlington, November, 2-4.
A year ago, Parkside beat Medway, 3-1, in the TVRA final, before losing the WOSSAA final, to the Goderich Vikings, 2-1.
"We have stay confident and believe in ourselves. They (Goderich) are definitely tough and we should be prepared to get scored on. We need to realize that they are as good as us."
In their first season in six years, the Lord Dorchester Beavers won five games, including the TVRA B flight final, with a roster full of players all new to the sport.
Madison Wright scored, while Toni Hermans posted the shutout in net, in the Beavers' 1-0 win over the East Elgin Eagles.
"This is one of the best teams (co-coach Jen) Halliday and I have ever coached. They're the most athletic and probably the most enthusiastic," LDSS coach Leanne Gill said. "They showed they taken everything they learned in the season and applied it today. They have come miles since their first game and they're a totally different team. Today they showed their skills and played with so much more confidence."
The Beavers chewed up on the Central Elgin Titans, 7-0, in the B flight semi-finals. Hannah Vickers and Emma McKnight, each had hat tricks, while Wright scored once.
Dorchester opened the regular season with a pair of 1-0 wins, over Central Elgin and East Elgin. Then Beavers gained valuable experience when facing the perennial top teams, Parkside, Medway and Ingersoll.
"Our expectations at the beginning of the season, was just to
have fun and learn new skills. As we went through the season, we had a sense
today could happen." Gill said. "When we played the harder teams that helped us
grow, because our girls were very good at watching those stronger teams and
figuring out what they were doing right. They taught us a lot and we got