Trading tradition for travel Field hockey spends a summer in Bermuda to bond

Hunter O. LyleSports Editor


In collegiate athletics, teams meet before the start of the regular season in order to forge bonds and build team chemistry. For Southern’s field hockey team, they chose to take an alternative method to the traditional training camp.

While most teams congregate on the same field they play their entire season on, the Owls chose to venture to an entirely different country: Bermuda.

“[The trip] was excellent. It was just a great opportunity, not just for [the athletes] to be able to play in an international setting, in a sense, with other players and meet other people,” said head coach Kelley Frassinelli, “but it was the culture, it was the experience of being there and learning what the culture of that island is.”

Partnered with a group called Zag Tours, which boasts their motto “Travel, Play, Give Back,” on their website, the field hockey team spent four days traveling around the island. From cliff-jumping at Cathedral Cave to swimming with dolphins, the team enjoyed relaxing while simultaneously getting to know each other better.

“It was such a cool experience to have with a team, and it was such a great bonding experience for us,” said senior goal- keeper Brianna Craft. “It was something that no team really gets to do often, so it was rare but so fun.”

Part of the deal made between the field hockey team and Zag Tours was that while on the trip, the team would participate in a community give- back program. However, Frassinelli said due to poor weather and scheduling difficulties, the team was unable to participate.

Also, while on the trip, the Owls were able to face off against two Bermudian field hockey teams. On the first day, the team played against Bermuda’s Senior

Mixed team, an adult league team comprised of both male and female players of various ages. “The first game we played was the mixed team, and that was really fun. That was the first game we’ve played as a team with the freshmen,” said Craft. “I thought we were finding our spots, we were finding our places. The freshmen were picking it up, finding their little groove in it.”

The team lost to Bermuda’s Senior Mixed team but found a silver lining to the night in freshman forward Bella Migliaro’s first recorded goal.

On the third day, Southern’s field hockey team went against the U21 National team, which consists of elite talent selected from Bermuda’s club teams. The game was a scrappy battle before the Owls fell short during shoot-outs. Even though they lost, Frassinelli said the second game gave them hope for the regular season.

“I think the second game that we played actually was really a moment where things seemed to click for them, which was a really great thing to see,” said Frassinelli. “The core of them play together [throughout previous years], but the six, seven new players that came in had no idea what was going on, and they blended nicely.”

Frassinelli also said the team does not ordinarily have a lot of time during preseason to bond off the field and the trip abroad solved that problem.“They’re going back to their dorms afterwards and they’re kind of just resting – secluded in a sense, you know. Eating, coming and playing and that’s the only aspect that they’re really engaging in when they’re in preseason camp, because there isn’t a lot of time for other activities,” said Frassinelli. “We try to do other activities, but I think this really gives them opportunity to really experience, also, another culture.”

Photo Courtesy: Kelly Frassinelli


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