OWINGS MILLS, Md. - The Stevenson field hockey team will be preparing for the 2017 season on the Eastern Caribbean island of Barbados and compete in the Barbados Hockey Festival. The Mustangs will be traveling on Saturday, August 19 and will return on Saturday, August 26.
"I had done some abroad trips in the past and every year that I had done it I had found it was such a wonderful event for the girls," explained head coach Laurel Martin. "To see and learn about different cultures and to have team bonding was amazing."
The Mustangs will compete in three friendlies and have four training sessions on the trip. Teams competing in the tournament include club teams from both England and Ireland as well as the Barbados National and Junior National teams.
"We get to play on an AstroTurf, which is a true advantage because it is a faster surface and it will help sharpen our skills," said Martin. "It is a surface we very rarely get to participate on and it is one the top NCAA teams get to play on regularly.
It is a great opportunity to play on a preferred surface and grow and bond."
The team will also get to enjoy the island as they will partake in Cool Running Catamaran sailing where they will get to sail the crystal clear Caribbean Sea and swim with the tropical fish and green turtles.
"We have a hotel on the beach and we are going to some wonderful things off the pitch as well."
The Mustangs will have free time to explore the town of St. Lawrence Gap where they are staying. The town is one of the best known towns on the island of Barbados. Before the team returns home, they will have time in Bridgetown, the island's largest and most vibrant city.
"It is an advantage because you get to play more games and prepare for your regular season," Martin added. "So it is a win across the board."
Stevenson opens the 2017 season on Friday, September 1 when the Mustangs host local rival McDaniel at Mustang Stadium beginning at 7:00 p.m.