Skip to content

Cowichan Cougars play host to Orcas ahead of Cal Cup trip

Both teams are headed to the 52nd annual international field hockey tournament

Gearing up for their trip later this month to Moorpark California for the Cal Cup, the U14 Cowichan Cougars field hockey team played host to the West Van Orcas in a pair of showcase matches at the Cowichan Sportsplex’s Ferreira Field.

Both teams are headed to the 52nd annual international field hockey tournament that begins May 24. The teams had met last month when the Cougars went to West Vancouver for a handful of friendlies with the final scores mattering less than the situational training both teams benefited from.

The first game exposed the Cowichan athletes to skills and pace by one of the strongest U14 teams in the province. The Orcas currently sit atop the Tier I mainland league. The final score was 6-1 in favor of the touring side, with Kaelyn Batty scoring the lone Cowichan goal. Despite the lopsided score, the Cougars continued to battle and adapt to the higher standard of play. The Cowichan athletes began to play faster and with improved skill execution and team patterns.

The second game was a more balanced and defensive competition that finished 2-2. Batty scored both goals at the end of more dynamic attacking play by the home side.

Coach Peter Luff was excited by the development he saw.

“I am extremely proud at the level of play our athletes displayed in the two games against the Orcas. Our team was initially overwhelmed by the speed that the Orcas’ started the first game on Sunday. However, our resilience was on full display in the second game and we were able to score a fourth quarter goal that tied a much more defensive game. I am honoured to work with a special group that is able to rise to a challenge.”

The development of the Cowichan team throughout the day was acknowledged by parent Nicole Ronald-Jones.

“Today was a great day of field hockey. Our girls rose to the challenge and played hard against a strong team from Vancouver. I’m so appreciative of the opportunity for my daughter to play on this tournament team. It is great that Peter, Amanda (Gonclaves) and Sheila (Batty) are looking to further develop field hockey in Cowichan,” she said.