Elite women celebrate title, chase more glory

Elite S.C. starters for the President's Cup final

To say it’s been a good season for the women of Elite Sports Club would be an understatement. So far, they’ve won the CIFA President’s Cup and more recently, the CIFA Women’s League. But their work isn’t done yet, as they chase history on 8 April when they chase a third piece of hardware.

Standing in their is Sunset FC, whom they meet in the FA Cup final on Saturday. Sunset’s women have had the joy of winning the league the past four years and will have no greater joy than denying Elite thay joy.

“From the beginning, we spoke about winning all three cups,” said head coach of the women’s team, Martha Godet, who is also the president of Elite Sports Club. “We cannot rest until we complete the job,” she told CaymanSportsBuzz.com when we visited a training session earlier in the week.

Godet noted that while there were solid contributions up and down the roster, there were some players she singled out for their leadership roles. “Our central defender, Tyanna Jan, she did an extremely great job on the back line, dictating and directing the team, as well as Shenel Gall and Shanice Monteith – they had a very good work rate in the midfield.”

A surprising change with a positive outcome was moving Shanelle Frederick from her usual position as forward to goalkeeper, bringing out a skill of hers that hasn’t gotten the attention that her goal-scoring prowess has earned in the past. The team also boasts the league’s leading scorer, Tamoy Phillips.

Monteith credited the team’s success on match-days as a testament of the work they put in when no one’s watching.

“We did a really good job, coming out to training and getting the work in,” she said. “We had a slow start to the season but we kept encouraging each other to come out to training and work hard, then just going out and trying to beat everyone.”

While there have been many bright spots along the way, Jan fondly recalls the second leg of the President’s Cup semifinals against Scholars International. “I scored a goal in that game when Scholars was leading 1-0 and gave the team motivation to come on and score two more goals. That was the highlight of my season,” she said.

Among the wave of younger players taking regular spots in the starting line-up is Brianna Poy-Fong.  “I am very pleased with all the hard work that everyone has put into training and the effort everyone has made to come out. It wasn’t easy and it is great to know that all our training paid off,” she said.

Poy-Fong, who captained the national U15 team at the CONCACAF championships last year, relished the opportunity to play in the women’s league. “I look at them as equals but I admit it is a lot of pressure playing in an older league. It’s also a great challenge because playing against your level isn’t going to improve your game; playing against older players helps you to think faster and improve your skills overall,” the young midfielder added.

With the FA Cup final looming, the team hasn’t quit training despite its earlier success. “We’re just trying to stay focused and not to be too complacent. Some of the team because we won the league and the President’s Cup are putting on the brakes a bit. We need to be careful of that going into this weekend against Sunset,” Jan said.

“They’re going to be coming strong. They’re going to want to take something from this season. We have to remember that. If we win this, we will have all three titles this season, which is a big deal,” she added before returning to the training pitch.

The captain also has her eyes on the final prize. “It is very important not only for the team but for the club – Elite Sports Club. It’s something we’re looking towards and working on for Saturday,” Monteith said.

Godet agreed: “We cannot rest until we complete the job.”

With 90 minutes of football left, Sunset FC is expected to come out firing and Elite will look to preserve their red hot season. If their earlier match-up this season are anything to go by, it should be a great game. Kickoff is 8:00 p.m. Saturday, 8 April at the Annex.


Correction: An earlier version of this story said  Elite would have been the first to win all three titles in the same season. Sunset has in fact achieved that feat before.

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