RIO DE JANEIRO – Barbados’ senior women’s team are currently playing the hockey of their lives.
Fresh from their exhilarating 2-1 win over hosts and nemesis Brazil on Monday, the Bajan lasses crushed Peru 5-0 today in their second match of the Aquece Rio International Hockey Championship at the Deodoro Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Barbados seemed intent from the touch-off to show their regional peers that their best is yet to come as a growing contender in women’s Pan Am Hockey. The Bajans dominated the majority of the match. They started against Peru with much more intensity than in yesterday’s match against Brazil and were rewarded with a convincing victory.
Patrina ‘Pixie’ Brathwaite was the first out of the gate and into the goal score sheet from as early as the fifth minute, giving Barbados the early lead in the first quarter and creating real pressure for the Peruvians. Play continued as it would for the next 16 minutes, with both sides trading possession, though Barbados seemed to be steadily establishing their role in the match as primary shareholders of the ball.
Six minutes into the second quarter, Keisha Boyce would skillfully net the yellow ball past Peru’s starting goalkeeper Chiara Conetta, giving Barbados a comfortable 2-0 lead heading into the half-time interval.
The second period would get no better for the South Americans. In a spectacular show of apparent dissatisfaction with her first goal, power forward Keisha Boyce expressed her dominance over Peruvian custodian Conetta and scored only what can be described as a tremendous world-class reverse stick shot, whistling the yellow ball into the Peru nets, only three minutes after the half-time restart.
Now three goals down, the Peru team looked to be struggling to gain any hold on the match and the Bajan juggernaut continued to exert their dominance. Barbados captain Camille Pounder was issued a two-minute suspension in the form of a green card and even though Barbados were down to 10 players for two minutes, Peru could not find the resolve to gain any ground from their numerical advantage.
In the final quarter of the match, Peruvian coach Luis Pacheco substituted his starting goalie Conetta for a game fresh custodian in Ana Palomino. The move would prove of no consequence or concern to “Team 246”, as three minutes after the substitution in the 49th minute, fourteen-year-old Barbados forward Jada Prescod would score the team’s fourth goal and her second of the tournament past Palomino.
Palomino would again be beaten in the 56th minute by a shot off the stick of Barbados’ veteran Tricia-Ann Greaves from
a penalty corner play, closing the match off in style in favour of the very confident Barbadian women.
Now comfortably perched at the top of the standings, the Barbados team will rest tomorrow and then face Paraguay at 8:30 a.m. in their final round-robin match this Friday.
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.
The tournament is acting as an opportunity for organizers, officials, staff, security and media personnel to test all aspects of the Games and in this case, specifically the hockey events.
The Barbados women’s team were extended an invitation to participate after Venezuela could not attend.
The full Barbados squad is: 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).