T&T senior women’s hockey team will have to do without the service of the USA-based quartet of the Olton sisters Samantha, Kaitlyn and Saarah as well as Felicia King, all of Long Island University (LIU) for the upcoming Women’s Pan American Challenge.
The four-team tournament will comprise Brazil, Paraguay, the host Peru and T&T and will take place at the Villa Maria del Triunfo Pan American Complex, Lima from September 25 until October 2.
The top two teams at the end of the competition will qualify for next year’s Women's Pan Am Cup from January 20- 30.
Last month, the LIU quartet of players represented T&T at the Junior Pan American Women’s Hockey Championship in Santiago, Chile where T&T placed sixth for as many teams.
However, T&T's participation was not a smooth one mainly due to trying to work around problems created by the coronavirus pandemic.
This as the quartet first missed its original flights from the USA to South America and was unable to feature in the team’s opening match, a 15-0 loss to the USA after having to quarantine for the mandatory 48 hours o arrival there in Chile following a negative PCR test result.
They were then involved in the team’s 11-0 loss at the hands of Chile as well as a similar drubbing from Argentina in their fifth-placed playoff.
Upon their return to their US college, King netted the decisive goal in her university’s 2-1 win over Georgetown University on September 5 while Olton (K) netted in a 3-1 loss to Columbia University on Friday last (September 9).
Reached for comment, T&T Hockey Board national team administrator Cindy Martin-Faustin confirmed the unavailability of the four LIU players for the upcoming competition.
She said, “The girls and unavailable due to school commitments so we will be going with an all-locally based pool of players for this tournament and we are confident in the group selected as well.”
Asked what was the status of the booking of the team’s travel arrangements on the heels of the problems faced by the junior teams for their recent tournament in Chile, which saw the teams being stuck there for close to two weeks after the completion of their qualifiers Martin-Faustin said she expects there to be a much smoother and easier process this time around.
She added, “Right now we (T&THB) are in the process of booking the team’s flight with Copa Airlines.
“We have targeted an arrival date of September 22, four days before our first match but we will have a little waiting time to get out of Chile, probably on October 5, as flights out of that country are very hard to secure at the moment.”
The squad to be coached by Anthony “Bumper” Marcano features seven players from Paragon Hockey Club led by long-serving national player Avion Ashton, Zene Henry, Gabrielle Thompson, goalkeeper Arresia Sandy, and the trio of Sampson sisters, Sarah, Kyona and Naomi.
In addition to Ashton, the other experienced members of the team are Brianna Govia, former captain Teresa Lezama, Amanda George, Brittney Hingh, Zene Henry, and Savannah De Freitas.
The team under the guidance of coach Marcano will continue to train at the St James Police Barracks Hockey Ground, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 7 am to 10 am.
T&T senior women’s hockey team: Arresia Sandy, Sarah Sampson, Kyona Sampson, Avion Ashton, Naomi Sampson, Teresa Lezama, Shaniah De Freitas, Brianna Govia, Amanda George, Brittney Hingh, Giann Sealy, Zene Henry, Nicole Whiteman, Daniella Martin, Mia Otero, Danielle Cabralis, Amie Olton, Gabrielle Thompson, Savannah De Freitas.
Technical staff: Anthony Marcano (coach), Christabella George-Ford (manager), Ellis Chance (assistant coach), Jude Mc Knight (doctor), Kevin Mac Intyre (physiotherapist), Dennora George (physical trainer/nutrition/rehabilitation therapist)
Brazil vs Paraguay, 9 am
Peru vs T&T, 12 noon
T&T vs Paraguay, 9am
Brazil vs Peru, 12 noon
T&T vs Brazil, 9 am
Peru vs Paraguay, 1 pm
First Round Robin vs Fourth Round-Robin, 10 am
Third Round Robin vs Second Round Robin, 12 noon
Third place: Semifinal Losers, 10 am
Final: Semifinal winners, 2 pm.