RIO DE JANEIRO – The Barbados national senior women’s hockey team opened their account at the Aquece Rio International Hockey Championship with a 2 – 1 victory over regional rivals and hosts Brazil this evening.
Playing at the newly opened Olympic Hockey Centre in Deodoro Olympic Park, the Barbados ladies started the match slowly while they felt out the playing conditions of the newly laid and ultra-modern “Smurf Turf”. It is so dubbed due to its blue surface, green border and white lines, which also reflect the national colours of Brazil.
At the half-time break, the scores were level at 0 – 0, with no team able to place the iconic Olympic yellow ball into the net of their opponents.
The match would continue into the second half without many scoring chances or clear advantages from either side. In the closing stages, however, the teams picked up the pace, which saw the creation of some scoring opportunities.
The Bajan ladies however were determined not to repeat their gold-medal match 3-1 loss to Brazil at the 2015 Pan American Challenge last month.
Their earnest efforts were finally rewarded through strikes from forwards Jada Prescod and Keisha Boyce.
However, Brazil also found the back of Barbados’ nets to narrow the margin. But the Bajan lasses maintained their advantage until the final whistle and came away with the well deserved victory at the end of regulation time.
Barbados’ other games are against Peru tomorrow at 5 p.m. and then against Paraguay on Friday at 12:30 p.m. The third place and final match will be at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The Aquece Rio International Hockey Championship is the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Test Event for Hockey, staged by the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee for the upcoming summer Olympic Games in Brazil.
It acts as an opportunity for the organizers, officials, staff, security and media personnel to test all aspects of the Games and in this case, the hockey events.
Barbados were extended an invitation for the women’s team to participate after Venezuela could not attend.
There are two changes to the squad that earned silver in Peru at the Pan Am Challenge last month. Young Massy United Insurance Empire forward Aleina Standford is not in the squad nor is Combermere School Old Scholars’ goalkeeper Dr. Kristina Hinds-Harrison. Making her senior international debut is young BUT player Tiffany Browne. Avengers’ defender Shakeira Sandiford is also on the team.
The players are accompanied by president of the Barbados Hockey Federation, David Rouse.
The full Barbados squad includes: Camille Pounder (captain),Takirsha Cambridge, Keisha Boyce, Shakeira Sandiford, Nakisha Downes, Tiffany Browne, Katrina Downes, Patrina Brathwaite, Tammisha Small, Amaris Chase, Shani Best, Cher King, Ayanna Wilson, Jada Prescod, Vanessa Chewitt, Tricia-Ann Greaves, D’Jamila Edwards, Sheena Nicholls (goal-keeper), Allison Archer (coach), Corlette Kellman-Thomas (manager).