Ravens on revenge mission
Ravens will be looking to avenge their 2-0 defeat by Budgies last week as the sides clash again at the National Sports Centre this evening.
In an even contest between the two traditional heavyweights of Bermuda field hockey last Friday, Budgies came out on top 2-0 thanks to goals from Jasmine Patterson and Kascia White.
Jess Hollis, of Ravens, acknowledges that her team must do better in the shooting circle if they are to reverse the defeat.
“[The difference was] mainly confidence in the top third,” she said. “Just strength on the ball, protecting it, being able to take the shot and not being afraid to do it.”
Nine Budgies and three Ravens players were part of the Bermuda squad that finished fourth in the Central American and Caribbean Games qualifiers last November. Wingers Chrysda Smith and Tihanna Booth and goalkeeper Xela Swan were Ravens' who represented their country in Jamaica and are part of a squad that has a blend of youth and experience.
Midfielders Hollis and Georgia Harris played NCAA Division I field hockey for Richmond and LaSalle respectively, while youngsters Connie Betts, Isabel Roe, Alivia Venning and Jenna Ferreira are impressing for the side and getting valuable experience.
“At the moment, there are about four or five players who are over 20 years old, so we have a lot of juniors, but they're doing a really good job,” Hollis said. I'm quite impressed with them. Isabel, Alivia, Jenna, Connie; they've really stepped it up.
“It's a really good blend. We're missing a few of our crucial players, who also have a lot of experience playing for Bermuda and just playing as a team together.
“I've been playing for Ravens since I was about 12 or 13. I went away to university and Georgia went to a school who I played against in the US, so there's a lot of experience. That's something you don't see very often on the island. So that's an advantage we have.”
And the rivalry with Budgies, which Hollis relishes, continues at 6.30pm today at the NSC.
“It's always a great game to play, just having the competition,” Hollis said.
“They have a lot of national team players, which is awesome and we have a bunch ourselves.
“It's always fun and it's been like that for years. It's become a really fun rivalry.”
• Bermudian Isabella Boonstra has committed an early decision to Babson College in Boston to play field hockey.
Boonstra has been in the starting line-up for Suffield Academy's varsity team, in Suffield, Connecticut, for the past four years.
For the past two years, Boonstra has been team captain and voted Most Valuable Player. She finished last season with 13 goals and eight assists and her team went undefeated at 17-0. They went on to the New England Prep School Athletic Conference Tournament and Isabella was named first team All-NEPSAC.
Babson College was ranked No 2 in NCAA Division III for most of last season. As Babson's top recruit for class of 2018 she is projected to have an immediate impact on their programme.