Historic achievement by UBC women’s field hockey player Poonam Sandhu



Photo: UBC
Photo: UBC

UBC women’s field hockey player Poonam Sandhu has become the first player in Canadian university sports history to win five women’s field hockey national titles in a row. This has been achieved in other sports but not in women’s field hockey until Sunday.

Sandhu won Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) titles with UBC in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. She sat out the 2010 season to play for Canada at the Commonwealth Games.

The UBC Thunderbirds claimed their fourth-straight McCrae Cup with a 2-0 victory over the previously unbeaten and host Toronto Varsity Blues in the gold-medal game of the 40th CIS-FHC field hockey championship Sunday afternoon at Back Campus Fields in Toronto.

Fifth-year midfielder Poonam Sandhu of Vancouver scored the game-winner in the 47th minute and became the first player to win five CIS field hockey titles. The 2014 CIS all-Canadian was also named a member of the tournament XI all-star team.

“Scoring that goal was the most amazing feeling ever,” said Sandhu. “My team played so well, so it was so easy to just put it in for them. Coming into this tournament, we were definitely an underdog because of the age difference. Coming out of last year we lost 11 players and this year we had a really young team but I think we did so well from the beginning of the season to now.”

SPORTS Field Hockey Poonam SandhuThe T-Birds also add to their own record with a 16th national banner in program history. UBC is now 16-6 all-time in the CIS title match, while Toronto, who is tied with Victoria for second place with 11 national banners, drops to 11-6 in CIS finals.

It was the seventh meeting between UBC and Toronto in the gold-medal game, with UBC now holding a 5-2 advantage.

Sandhu was also named Canada West 2nd Star of the Week for her play over the weekend.