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It was not Aruba, nor was it Jamaica, the Bahamas, Key Largo or Montego, but it was Bermuda.

The Beach Boys had no idea that the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Seahawks field hockey team would choose one if its famous locations sang in “Kokomo” for a team-bonding experience, but head coach Katie Lange and the Seahawks did just that in choosing the tropical locale for a preseason bonding experience.

“Every team is allowed an international trip every four years,” Lange said. “The field hockey program here at St. Mary's had never done one and I wanted to change that. … The purpose of that trip, I believe, more so stemmed from wanting to do a team-bonding trip while incorporating field hockey to prepare ourselves and bodies for the incoming season.”

Taking the trip in early August in preparing for the season, the Seahawks played in three exhibition games, worked out and took time to explore the country in preparing for the 2012 season.

Senior defender Ali McIntosh was on the five-day Bermuda trip and appreciated the fact that the team was able to get away, get together and come together.

“I think that the trip was essential in bringing together team on and off the field,” McIntosh said. “Experiencing a new place and new culture with the team created memories that will never be forgotten.

“It was also key in preparing ourselves for the physical demands of the looming preseason the week following the trip. It was a good gauge for those that needed to practice on certain aspects of their game or fitness before preseason.”

McIntosh was second on the team in scoring last season with five goals as a forward, but the position switch to defender this season may decrease that production, but does not change the goal and task of the Seahawks, a Capital Athletic Conference championship.

“The mission of the St Mary's field hockey team this season is to always put our best effort forward and from that, goals and wins should accumulate,” McIntosh said. “That being said, we as a team would to be a strong force in the CAC, as well as outside of the conference with a winning record, so we can hopefully make it to the CAC final.”

The Seahawks started that quest to a CAC final on the right track with a 3-1 victory over 3-1 victory over Delaware Valley in its season-opening contest on Aug. 31.

McIntosh and the Seahawks will aim for its second win in as many games today on the road at Stevenson.

The first conference game of the season will come eight games into the season, a home contest with Salisbury on Sept. 22.

But with the bonding that has gone on through the preseason, McIntosh, Lange and company are ready to tackle the 2012 season.

“People underestimate team bonding, but it is really important because your relationships off the field reflect how you and teammates work together on the field,” McIntosh said. “The tight bond between the team always drives every individual to give their best effort so that they never disappoint their team.”

jmccray@somdnews.com