First Field Hockey took to the skies early on Thursday morning heading out of Hamilton airport – their destination Victoria, BC to attend CAIS Invitational Field Hockey tournament hosted by St. Michael’s University School and Glenlyon Norfolk School. The girls were greeted with snow when we arrived in Calgary and feared the worst but were oddly pleased when cloud and rain were in the forecast for Victoria and would remain so for the duration of the trip. Their spirits could not be dampened as they took to exploring downtown Victoria and making the most of their time in the beautiful city.
The games of the opening day of the tournament were held on the world-class water turf at the University of Victoria. After a period of adjustment to the new surface, Ridley showed real promise and were thrilled to have the opportunity to play the game at such a great facility.
We had two round robin games this day and lost our first game against the eventual tournament silver medalists, St. Michael’s University School and then tied the eventual tournament gold medalists, The York House Tigers.
One of the highlights of the day included a visit from past faculty member Rick Cicchine and his daughter Michaela who came bearing home baked treats for the team and lots of Ridley pride. Before leaving the University of Victoria after their games, the girls were given a tour of the campus by Jon Chisholm OR ’12 and one of his new rowing crew mates. On the tour, Jon was quick to show the girls the wall of fame in the athletics building featuring a photo of Robin Meagher (wife of rowing director, Jason Dorland) for her accomplishments on the track.
After a busy day, the team hunkered down for a hearty family meal in the hotel, catered by Coach Darby and Coach Scott, and then went off to bed in preparation for another big day.
The final game of round robin play saw Ridley play perennial rivals St. John’s Kilmarnock (SJK), this time at Glenlyon Norfolk School (GNS). The Tigers came out on top in an exciting match. Captain Kennedy Farr ’13 scored the lone goal of the game on a beautiful short corner play. Keeper Sophie Ward ’14 made a number of key saves to secure the win for the Tigers. The whole team worked well together and showed more confidence in their game and in each other.
This win put Ridley in a position to play the hosts, GNS, in the first round of the play-offs. The girls continued their momentum from the previous match and scored three beautiful unanswered goals (Arwyn Workman-Youmans ’16, Emily Bidochka ’14, and Elizabeth Gross ’14). During this game, the sun shone and the girls had a great time playing a game that they love.
In high spirits, the girls traveled to a favourite west coast hot spot, The Red Robin Gourmet Burger Restaurant, to partake in a well-earned celebratory meal. Good food, good laughs, good friends.
We awoke to torrential rain and tired, achy bodies as the girls prepped to leave the hotel before the sun got up for the final game of the tournament against SJK.
Though the Tigers ended on the short side of a 2-1 score (goal scored by Emily Bidochka ’14), the girls finished the tournament feeling like they had learned a lot about field hockey.
To mark the end of a great trip, we ventured out into the waters, through the pelting rain, from Victoria Harbour in two zodiacs and dressed in our red survival suits. We were treated to views of sea lions resting and barking at the lighthouse station and a humpback mother and calf feeding off the coast. The boat ride was a thrill in itself and the squeals of delight could be heard across the bay.
Tired and happy the girls bid farewell to Victoria and boarded the plane bound for home with fond memories of the west coast and their time together. Their coaches, Ms. Lech, Mrs. Darby, and Ms. Scott were so proud of the girls and the wonderful way that they represented Ridley.
Written by Coach Scott and Coach Darby