Drew University hockey team and the New York City Ladies Club have given a further boost to Cayman’s sports tourism development with a visit this week.
The Drew team here for a week’s pre-season training camp at the Cayman International School, Camana Bay, under the direction of their head coach Felicia Cappabianca.
The university’s athletics department, under National Collegiate Athletic Association rules, is permitted once every three years to have an overseas training camp.
The team play in the Landmark Conference League East, their assistant coach is Olympian Euclid Mahon.
Cayman Hockey Club is providing Drew’s 15-member women’s team, three coaches and supporters with friendly opposition, the first encounter took place on Tuesday evening.
With holidays affecting player availability, Cayman were unable to raise a full women’s side so a few males were called up.
The evening games saw a regular 11-a-side game followed by a 15-minute seven-a-side game just to build up fitness.
After an initial quick opening attack, Drew’s speed was countered by some solid midfield tackling.
Cayman gradually exerted pressure on the visitors’ defence, resulting in Ian Rotsey crashing the opening goal from just inside the area after 10 minutes.
Quickly back on the attack, Cayman scored with a fearless Sarah Pinches slipping in the second goal, though she had to immediately leave the field to receive medical attention.
Drew gradually got more into the game but left gaps in their defence and were caught on the counter attack when Gisela Gamba broke away and scored the third with a superb finish.
Drew continued to have lots of possession in midfield but were unable to create scoring chances. Another quick break by Cayman resulted in Pinches scoring her second with a neat near – post goal for Cayman to lead 4-0.
Finally, after some pressure in the heart of Cayman’s defence, Drew were awarded a short corner and, with a well worked routine, Brooke Gagliano crashed home their only goal. Ivan Burges stepped in for a while in goal and showed his immense class.
The seven-a-side game immediately followed and, with a quick break and a good turn of speed, Drew quickly scored with Danielle Waleko slotting home a neat cross.
Despite a couple of opportunities, Cayman were unable to grab an equaliser so left the young Drew side with a pleasing victory and something to show for their hard work and battling performance over the two games.
Cayman field hockey is having a busy few days as New York City Ladies Hockey Club provided the opposition on Thursday evening and again on Saturday, starting at Camana Bay at 5pm.