NORTH Vancouver's Amanda Bird scored the game-winning goal as the Princeton Tigers defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 3-2 to win the first NCAA Div. 1 National Field Hockey Championship in team history last month in Norfolk, Va.
The Carson Graham grad's 60th-minute penalty stroke goal was the deciding marker in a battle between the two top-ranked teams in the United States.
"This is just unreal right now. My heart is still racing," Bird told Princeton Athletics communications moments after the game. "It wasn't the best stroke I've ever taken, but I was relieved. I mean it was the game-winning goal, so how could I not be happy?"
The goal provided Bird with relief in more ways than one - earlier in the second half the Tar Heels scored the go-ahead 2-1 goal with the junior sitting out a five-minute penalty after receiving a yellow card. The Tigers, however, evened the score in the 56th minute, setting up Bird's historic stroke.
"A school like Princeton deserves the best, and I think we proved today that our team really had it all," said Bird. "We have an amazing attack, we have midfielders that can score, strikers who work so well together, and we came through in those clutch moments when we needed to."
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West Vancouver's Alex Kerfoot helped the Canada West hockey team to a silver medal finish at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge held last month in Yarmouth, N.S.
The 19-year-old forward from the BCHL's Coquitlam Express scored two goals and three assists in four games to finish second on the team in scoring as Canada West battled all the way to the championship game. In the gold medal final the Westerners lost to the United States 6-3.
The Canada West team was made up of players from junior A leagues in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba as well as the Superior International Junior Hockey League. Other teams at the tournament included the Czech Republic, Russia, Canada East and Switzerland.
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West Vancouver super senior Christa Bortignon was named Athletics Canada's Biosteel Top Performer for the Month of November.
The 75-year-old track and field star was also recently nominated as the North American representative for World Masters Athletics' Athlete of the World award, finishing second in a global vote. Bortignon won eight World Masters Athletics gold medals and set seven world records during the 2012 season.
- Compiled by Andy Prest Email information about your sporting events to aprest@ nsnews.com.