Valley field hockey players bring home gold from nationals

Cowichan U18s help Island to unprecentend first-place finish

The Cowichan Valley was well represented at the U23 and U18 Field Hockey Canada National Championships in Surrey in late June and early July, with local athletes on both gold-medal teams, including an unprecedented win for the Island U18 team.

Sara Goodman and Hannah Craig won gold at the U23 tournament with the BC Rams. Both players were also named to the Tournament 11 all-star team. The tournament consisted of three teams — the BC Rams and Lions, and Ontario — in a double round-robin, with the top two teams meeting again for gold on Canada Day. The Rams prevailed 2-0 in the final.

Another Cowichan product, Ashton Aumen, suited up for the BC Lions. Aumen and Craig are teammates with the University of Victoria, while Goodman plays for the University of British Columbia.

Seven Cowichan Valley players helped an all-Vancouver Island BC Stags team to gold at the U18 nationals a week later, the first time an all-Island team has won gold at nationals.

The Stags faced the BC Rams in the final. The Island team went up 1-0 in the first quarter, and goalkeeper Niki Leech of Frances Kelsey Secondary made some big saves in the second half to preserve the narrow margin.

Representing the Valley along with Leech were Melanie Robertson, Sophie Miranda, Ava Smith, Birkley Anderson, Jenna Goodman and Chloe Langkammer. Arica Windsor played for the BC Lions, who won the consolation bracket, beating Alberta 5-1 in the final.

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Sara Goodman and Hannah Craig won gold with the BC Rams at the U23 Field Hockey Canada nationals. (Heather Goodman photo)

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