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GNS Alum Wins National Championship with Vikes

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Congratulations to alumna Brooke Taylor ’21 for being part of the University of Victoria Vikes comeback at the USPORT field hockey national championship! Brooke, who is a first-year rookie on the Vikes Field Hockey team, played in all of the best-of-three games, which ended up with the University of Victoria Vikes coming from behind to defeat the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 2-2 (3-1) in a shootout.  

“It was a really tight tournament,” said Brooke. “Every game ended in a shootout, which is very rare and intense.” 

In the first game, the Vikes lost in a shootout but came back in game two for another shootout win to force a final match.

“I was really excited going into the first game, but then after we lost I got a bit more nervous, but I was still really excited to play,” said Brooke. “To be selected on the team like that, I can only really go into it with confidence and assurance with my skillset—there wasn’t any room for doubt.” 

The Blues opened the scoring early in the first quarter, but UVic was able to tie it in the 17th minute. By halftime, the Blues had regained the lead. However, the Vikes came back to even the score in the 48th minute, and this is the third straight year they have won the McCrae Cup. 

“It was really exciting,” added Brooke. 

The team competed in two other tournaments throughout the year, and Brooke notes that she wasn’t playing her usual position of defense and had less playing time in the first tournament. She wasn’t expecting to play in nationals at the time. 

Brooke has been playing field hockey since Grade 3 and says a lot of her success at this level of the game has come from the years of practice, being in tournaments around the province and her various coaches, including GNS Field Hockey Coach Bunny Hughes. 

“She has always been supportive, and she just made field hockey so much fun especially in high school,” she said. “Even if we weren’t the best team, when things were going our way, it was because everyone was having fun doing it. She made me love field hockey so much.” 

Since graduating in June, Brooke has come back to GNS to help coach Senior Girls Field Hockey and the Middle School Ultimate team. 

“It’s nice to be involved,” she said. “Even though I have graduated already, everybody is so nice and the teachers made my experience at GNS so amazing. It’s nice to still keep those connections. Also, I like to promote the sports I love at GNS and make sure everyone else has a fun time as I did.” 

Way to go Brooke!