Scholars are women’s champs

“Yes! We did it!” was the shout as Scholars International players attempted to drench their coach, Mario Watler, with ice water from the Igloo on their team bench.

The team had just defeated George Town Sports Club 8-0 in their final encounter of the Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) Women’s League, and with that claimed the prize as the queens of local football a few weeks after their make counterparts won the CIFA Premier League title.

Coming into the encounter, Scholars and rivals Elite Sports Club were level on points with the latter sporting a better goal difference (35 to 32). A win was nearly a formality for Scholars against a side that suffered heavy defeats in all its prior eight league contests. What was needed was enough goals to make the score in Elite’s game against Sunset Football Club, playing at the same time, irrelevant.

Susani Lucas (10) led the league in goals scored.

It didn’t take long for Scholars to penetrate the George Town defence. Susani Lucas scored twice in back-to-back minutes to give Scholars a 2-0 lead after seven minutes of play. With her brace, Lucas took her league-leading tally to 17 goals.

Sabrina Suberan found the back of the net in the 19th and Scholars appeared to ease the intensity a bit. Another opportunity presented itself in the 32nd minute with Lucas unselfishly passing to Arie Smith for the finish when it was just the two attackers with the goalkeeper to beat. At this stage it was 4-0 for Scholars.

As if on cue, fireworks lit up the night sky from an unrelated event on the George Town waterfront. It might as well have been for Scholars, who were now destined for their first league title in more than a decade.

Three minutes later, captain Jetena Bodden collected the ball at the left elbow of the 18-yard box, made her way around a defender and blasted it home to give her team a 5-0 lead going into the half.

A rash of ugliness showed up about 20 minutes into the second half when Samantha Taylor of George Town and Sabrina Suberan failed to keep their emotions in check and a scuffle ensured. Both players, along with George Town’s Rossy Illa were shown the red card by referee Shurwayne Roberts.

Captain Jetena Bodden scored a hat-trick.

Then it was back to regular programming. Bodden added two more scores in the 74th and 80th minutes to record a hat-trick and Gabrielle Watler scored shortly after entering the game in the 89th minute to complete the 8-0 victory.

“It’s been a very long ride. I’ve been with Scholars for nine years and we’ve only won one major cup, so yeah, this is a pretty big win for us,” Bodden told

She said they knew coming in that the needed a big score to erase any chance of Elite retaining the title. “Our aim was 16 [goals] but we did half. The main thing was getting all the goals to bypass Elite on goal [difference],” she said, adding “on the field, we kept asking ‘what’s the score in West Bay’.”

It was tied 1-1 between Elite SC and Sunset FC at the half after goals from Shanice Monteith (Elite 7th minute) and Carly Dignam (Sunset 10th minute). Young star Stoyanna Stewart found the winner for Elite in the 86th minute but they would have to settle for a second-place finish.

Next up for the teams are the FA Cup and President’s Cup competitions.

Unofficial final standings

Pos. Team P W D L GF GA GD Points
1 Scholars International* 9 7 0 2 45 5 40 21
2 Elite Sports Club 9 7 0 2 42 6 36 21
3 Sunset Football Club 9 4 0 5 42 10 32 12
4 George Town Sports Club 9 0 0 9 108 0 -108 0


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