By John Philip Wyllie
Coming off of last year’s highly successful 17-10 season, Bonita Vista’s field hockey team would like to bridge the gap from a strong team to become one of the county’s elite. The Barons have shown solid growth in recent years under the guidance of coach, Ralph Carrier. Off to a 4-2 start in 2004, the Barons will be looking to their captain, Angelica Arenas, to provide on the field leadership and inspiration.
“Angelica is our stopper and if we have a jack-of-all-trades, she’d be the one,” Carrier said of his senior captain. “She plays in the middle of our midfield and she runs the defense, the transition play and serves as an additional attacker. She is also a big part of our short corner and long corner offense. We ask her to do just about everything that needs to be done during a hockey game.”
“I’d been playing softball for many years when I enrolled here as a freshman. Field hockey looked appealing to me, so I signed up not knowing anyone on the team,” Arenas said. Four year later, she finds herself in the running for an athletic scholarship in the sport. The fact that she is an equally solid student won’t hurt her chances. This season, Arenas will have her work cut out for her if the Barons are to replicate the success they have enjoyed in recent years.
“We have a very young team this year, but we get along better than the teams that I have played on in the past,” Arenas said. “We are young, but we are a very strong team. I think we will do a lot better than some people expect.”
Up front, Arenas will be counting on a lot of goal production from Lilian Zamora and Elizabeth Diaz, attacking players that Carrier calls his “scoring machines.”
“Lilian has great speed, a great stick and is just an all around outstanding player,” according to Carrier. Arenas calls her, “somebody that never gives up.”
“Elizabeth also has great stick skills and has great speed to the ball. She is very steady and calm in her transition game. She is very solid going from offense to defense and vice-versa,” according to Carrier. “Elizabeth is very aggressive,” adds Arenas. “She is always there to back up her teammates. I admire both of them.”
Priscilla Llamas rounds out the Barons quartet of Hispanic starters. A stalwart defender, Llamas contributes by intercepting passes to the left flank, shutting down the opposing left wings and preventing corner service from turning into goal scoring opportunities. Together, they form a strong nucleus for a team that hopes to continue its upward direction.
“If we just stick together, we will be fine,” said Arenas.