Lakers girls field hockey team advances to Valleys

A late goal by Ginger Herbert has put the Pen High Lakers senior girls’ field hockey team into the Valley championship.

ASPEN DIRK (left) of the Penticton Secondary School Lakers checks Mount Boucherie Bears forward  Emmalee Howanyk during girls field hockey action this week at Pen High. The Lakers scored a late

ASPEN DIRK (left) of the Penticton Secondary School Lakers checks Mount Boucherie Bears forward Emmalee Howanyk during girls field hockey action this week at Pen High. The Lakers scored a late

A late goal by Ginger Herbert has put the Pen High Lakers senior girls’ field hockey team into the Valley championship.

The Lakers hosted the Mt. Boucherie Bears on Tuesday in AAA Okanagan Valley Senior Girls Field Hockey league action. Christy Grandbois assisted on Herberts winner, while Kyra Anderson earned the shutout in the 1-0 win.

The South Kamloops Titans finished first in the league, while Kelowna Secondary School Owls were second. Pen High finished third and play the Owls in a 9 a.m. semifinal match Saturday at Kelowna’s Mission Sports Fields. The Bears will face the Titans at 10:30 a.m.

“Pen High hasn’t beaten KSS all season, so it would be an upset for us to knock them off at the Valleys,” said Lakers coach Shaun Johnston. “We will have to be really tight defensively and take advantage of what scoring chances we get.”

The bronze medal game is at 3 p.m. and the gold medal match is at 4:30 p.m.

Johnston said she was pleased with how her team played against the Bears.

“The players have shown marked improvement since the beginning of the season, especially those in Grades 10 and 11,” said Johnston. “They have increased confidence to carry the ball and a better sense of when to send a pass. Defensively, they are stepping up to challenge an oncoming opponent or to beat the opponents to a loose ball.”

“I feel my team played extremely well,” said Bears coach Leslie Park. “Last time we played, the Lakers won 3-1 and this time we had many opportunities to score and just could not put the ball in the goal. I think both teams were very evenly matched and they just had a bit more experience around the net and some luck that late in the game. “We should have a great match in the valleys on Saturday.”

Heading into the weekend, Johnston wants to see her players finish more of their chances in the circle.

“The best opportunity to get shots on goal is during a penalty corner when all but five of the defending team are sent to centre,” she said. “When we play in the Valley Championships it is on artificial turf, so it will be easier to use our penalty corner set plays.”