Today was somewhat of a leisure day and was started out right by a team yoga session – led by Ashlee, the newest member of the superfan team. After an early morning wake up call, the team ran out to the park by the bay one last time and set our towels down on the ground prepared for a good stretch. Overlooking the bay, Ashlee began the session with power yoga accompanied to fun hip-hop background music, chosen previously by the team. Really stretching us out and pushing us to our limits, Ashlee had us in an amalgam of shapes that forced us to focus and breathe. The last half of the session was more of stretching yoga that helped us loosen our muscles, made tight from all the work we have been doing this week. The team really appreciated the yoga session and all felt so much more relaxed and loose afterwards. Thanks again Ashlee for your soothing motivation and much needed stretches!
Speaking of thank you’s, the team wants to give a quick shout out to our faithful bus driver, Paul! Thank you Paul for your witty comments and continual support! We hope we’ve converted you to a field hockey fan! We wouldn’t be going anywhere without you….literally!
After yoga, the team got breakfast and headed out to the suspension bridge. The suspension bridge wasn’t the only attraction, as we got to walk on some mild trails. We all made sure to document the walk to the –nth degree and take a plethora of team photos. At the end of one walk, we came upon a natural pool. Bridget Gibbons and Mary Hobbs, the only brave souls on the team, dove into the pool and after no more than 3 seconds they sprinted out of the water shocked by how cold the water was. Near the pool, Coach Cox gave the team different team bonding exercises for us to complete all of which included standing on different sized rocks. Attempting to work together, the team had to complete exercises quickly, like ordering ourselves tallest to shortest or from youngest to oldest. After hiking to overlook the some falls, the end of the walk required us to walk up a couple flights of stairs, which not only left us sore, but also terrified for the next day, which included a hike on ‘nature’s natural stair master.’
The team arrived back at the hotel with more than enough time before our game. Everyone broke off to get their own lunch and then had a couple hours to spare. Some girls took this time to do shopping, while others fell face first into their pillow and attempted to catch up on some much needed sleep. I know I can speak for the team when I say that all of these activities this week have left us exhausted and sore.
Around 4 PM, the team left for the field for our game. We headed to a new field that had a beautiful landscape of Vancouver’s skyline and mountain range overlooking it. Every field we have encountered thus far has been water based, which means that every hour or so sprinklers turn on all around the field and spray the whole turf down with water. The wet turf is both cooler and allows for the ball to move at a much faster pace.
With a solid warm-up, HCFH took the field against Vancouver’s Jokers. The Jokers was made up of veteran players that provided great competition. While the game would end in a loss for Haverford, it illuminated important skills that needed to be worked on during preseason that could only make us better. It is always exciting to play a good team that pushes us and each player held their own throughout the whole game. This trip has truly been a learning experience and playing the Jokers was definitely a step in the right direction.
The Jokers invited us to their club house for dinner. The club house, situated in Stanley Park, was directly on the water and overlooked the city and local marina. HCFH chowed down on some burgers and had a few laughs while we sat on the club house’s dock. We also got the chat with the other team and compare notes on field hockey and every day doings. At the end of dinner, the coach of the Joker’s presented the captains with a team jersey to commemorate the game and thanked us for the competition.
When we arrived back to the hotel, the players quickly showered and headed up to the roof of the hotel to have a quick nosh and enjoy the view of the city at night before heading to bed. Tomorrow the team takes on the much anticipated Grouse Mountain and our final game against the Vancouver Hawks. From everyone we have talked to, Grouse Mountain, or nature’s natural Stairmaster, will be challenging, but hopefully worth it due to the breathtaking views it provides!