Hockey Coach Praises Team After Victory

April 15, 2022

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Coach Kovin Moodley hailed the Bermuda women’s hockey team’s fighting spirit after their comeback win over Jamaica in the Central American and Caribbean qualifiers at the National Sports Centre last night.

Bermuda found themselves trailing in the third quarter after Shareeka Elliot gave Jamaica the lead from a field goal, however they rallied in the final quarter, equalising through Georgia Harris before Maya Palacio scored to hand the home side a vital victory.

“I can only say that overcoming adversity was demonstrated in that game,” Moodley told Bernews.

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“They committed to fighting to the very end, and it was great to see we controlled so much of that last quarter which allowed the players to trust the process and get the result.”

Moodley, appointed as Bermuda coach in February on a short-term contract, said at no point did he feel his team could not claw their way back into a winning position.

“We had a few first-game jitters,” he said. “It was a very emotional and monumental moment for the players to represent their country, and, unfortunately, we conceded a goal.

“The talk at half-time and in between the quarters was to enjoy the fact we know what it’s like to be a goal down and to put in a process to try and equalise and go for the winner.

“I’m impressed with the fact the girls stuck to a game plan in moments when we could have succumbed to the pressure.”

The South African insists his side cannot afford to relax as they prepare to face Guyana in their second game tomorrow [Saturday] at 4 pm. Guyana lost their opening match 1-0 against Puerto Rico yesterday.

“There are still two games remaining in the qualifiers, but our spirit is positive,” Moodley added. “The players are open to ironing out some of those wrinkles and are looking to improve.

“Getting a positive result against Jamaica gives us a bit of momentum and validates all of the hard work put in. Things should only get better from this point.

“We will face a fresh style of hockey against Guyana, and it will require a different approach.”

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Meanwhile, the Bermuda men’s team followed up their encouraging 0-0 draw against Puerto Rico on Thursday with a 4-1 defeat against Jamaica yesterday.

Donovan Simmons scored the consolation goal for Bermuda after Jamaica had raced to a 4-0 lead.

Considering the men’s team had not played an international for about 30 years before the qualifiers, Moodley believes there has been plenty of encouragement to take from their opening two games.

“After a 30-year lay-off, facing some obstacles was an inevitability jumping straight into this,” Moodley said.

“But they delivered a solid display in the first game, holding Puerto Rico. In the second game against Jamaica, we played a strong, powerful and fit team.

“We could have swung the game when Jamaica weren’t as clinical; however, we couldn’t put them under any real pressure with a goal. It meant Jamaica could be patient and ride it out and make us pay.

“We did manage to get a goal at the end, which is never easy at the international level. It’s given us some perspective and belief we can put the ball in the net.”

The men’s team face Jamaica again today at 6 pm.

“We’re going to have a video session and analyse some of the things we need to work on,” Moodley added. “Hopefully, we can put on a better performance today.”

The top two teams in both competitions will advance to the CAC Games, which will be held in San Salvador, El Salvador, next summer.

The Jamaica vs Bermuda women’s match sheet follow below [PDF here]

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