Bajans bruised


It rained heavily on Barbados today.

But this deluge was overseas and it wasn’t as a result of nimbus clouds. This was caused by nimble attackers who collectively scored 22 unanswered goals against the Lady Tridents at the Indoor Hockey Pan Am Championship being played at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, Georgetown, Guyana.

The Barbadian ladies had two games today, first against the USA to whom they succumbed 10-0. Later this evening they took on Uruguay and were trounced 12-0 to complete a chastening day on the court.

In the first game and as early as the first minute, USA started moving the ball very quickly around the back and worked the ball up the right side with a quick cross that caught the Barbados defence a bit flat-footed and found an eager Sammy Popper at the back door to slap it home for USA and open the scoring. 

The USA kept the ball rotation up and utilized the high press against a slow Barbados defence. It wouldn’t be long before USA’s Anarose McDonough pushed up the center and took a quick shot, which was initially saved by Barbados keeper Sheena Nicholls but rebounded for a penalty corner, which USA captain Ali Campbell would net with a sharp drag flick. Campbell repeated her penalty corner sharp shooting in the 9th and the 12th minutes, completing her hat-trick, with Barbados having no response and struggling with the USA three-woman press. 

Barbados’ DJamila Edwards (left) and Katrina Downes (right) defend against the USA’s Katie Gerzabek during their match today. (PAHF)

The USA attacks kept flowing with their quick ball movements. A left side combination would see a waiting Paityn Wirth from the USA take an open shot, beating Nicholls between her right foot and the near post in the 18th. This goal gave the USA a 5 – 0 lead going into halftime.

As with the first half, within the first minute an unmarked Sammy Popper received a brilliant cross-court pass from captain Campbell, which she scored with a one-time shot beating Nicholls once again, and giving the USA their 6th goal in the 21st minute. 

Barbados held firm for the next few minutes, creating opportunities of their own and testing the USA defence on occasions, mainly through the hard work of Ayanna Wilson, but unfortunately, they were not able to find the back of the net on any attempt. With five minutes left to play, it seemed the score would close with Popper’s last entry, however she (Popper) had a different idea and worked the ball up her right side and took a quick shot from the baseline, which in a spot of bad luck, came off of the Barbados defender Edwards and into the goal for USA’s 7th in the 35th, completing Popper’s hat-trick. A minute later, USA would earn another penalty corner, that Campbell would flick high over the left shoulder of Nicholls and into the Barbados’ goal for Campbell’s beaver-trick.

With the Barbados team showing some fatigue, Mary Beth Barham weaved her way down the middle and into the Barbados D, where she worked her way across the goal and executed an excellent reverse goal past Nicholls scoring her goal of the match in the 38th minute. 

In the final minute of the match, USA’s Madison Orobono would be credited with the final goal of the match, after a questionable searching pass from captain Campbell took a deflection in the “D” and beat Nicholls in the 40th minute.

Wilson had a good game in both attack and defence, but unfortunately had nothing to show for it by the end of regulation time.

Against Uruguay, the Bajan girls seemed fatigued and slightly jaded. Uruguay capitalized on this, and in the 4th minute Uruguay’s captain Agustina Nieto finished a textbook combination giving Uruguay the early lead. Quickly after in the 5th minute, Maria Teresa Viana Ache copied Nieto’s example and netted one of her own past Barbados custodian Nicholls.

The Uruguay team were moving the ball well and like the team before them, challenged Barbados with the high press. Barbados played well for the next few minutes, with Nicholls making crucial saves and veteran Cher King using her skills to create some chances for the Barbados team. 

It wouldn’t be until the 13th minute that Milagros Algorta of Uruguay would convert a penalty corner and stretch the lead by one. Barbados continued from here to defend well and looked to match Uruguay play for play seeing out until half-time, with the score at 3 – 0 to Uruguay.

The second half would not favour Barbados, however, for as early as three minutes in, Camila de Maria and Carolina Multilva began their onslaught of the Barbados goal line, with de Maria scoring in the 23th, 27th, 28th and Multilva in the 24th. With 11 minutes remaining in the match, Uruguay found themselves in the comfortable position of being seven goals up.

It would not end there, however, Maria Teresa Viana Ache, who scored the second goal, featured again on the score sheet, scoring brilliantly when her team was down by one player in the 29th. Captain Nieto and Camila de Maria scored two more, one each from the run of play, both in the 37th, with Uruguay squarely in control of the match.

As with the USA match, the Barbados defence gave up position in the final minute, which saw Uruguay awarded a penalty stroke in the 40th which Camila de Maria easily slipped past Nicholls, taking her personal tally to five for the match and scoring Uruguay’s 12th. In the last seconds, Barbados would make one final run through King which saw the ball cross the Uruguay goal line, but too little too late, as it was judged to have crossed after the final horn.

Tomorrow the Barbados ladies face Trinidad & Tobago at 1:15 p.m. in their last round-robin match of the competition. 

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