U15 girls upbeat after CONCACAF championships

Cayman’s national Under-15 Girls football team has returned home from their recent CONCACAF Championships upbeat about their performance and looking to the future with optimism.

The team went 2-1 at the tournament in Orlando, Florida, having lost their opener to Bermuda 3-0 before reversing that score line in their next two matches against Antigua & Barbuda and Bahamas. Their second place finish was not enough to advance to the quarterfinals but team members and officials were pleased with the showing on the field.

image2“I think we did really [well]. It’s just unfortunate that we did not make it through but we picked up ourselves in the second game and we just carried on from there,” said Brianna Poy Fong, the team’s captain.

“We just wanted to make it through to the second round and we pushed harder, giving everything we had on the field,” she added.

Team Manager Shanice Monteith looked at the big picture when assessing the girls’ performance.  “I think they did a really good job, especially since for most of them it was their first tournament. It’s just for them to gain the experience and develop for the Under-17 tournament next year,” she told CaymanSportsBuzz.com upon arrival at Owen Roberts International Airport on Monday, 15 August.

Monteith said after the loss to Bermuda, team officials offered this bit of advice to the players: “We told them to keep their heads up, that you can’t win every game you play and learn from your mistakes.”

image1Well, they won their next two games in convincing fashion, even though from the outset, they might have been a bit intimidated by the Bahamian girls. “One of the games was more nerve-racking than the others because they were much bigger – Bahamas, they were much bigger,” recalled Molly Kehoe, who started in the two matches that Cayman won.

“It was exciting and fun. It felt good representing my country,” Kehoe said of the experience.

Martha Godet, the coordinator of the Cayman Islands Football Association’s women’s programme, was on hand for the team’s fixtures at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

“I’m very pleased with the team’s performance. Our first game was a bit jittery. We came back in the second and third games, especially against Bahamas it was an exceptional performance, stringing passes together and great teamwork,” she told CaymanSportsBuzz.com.

“This is just the beginning. We did not go through. However, we are in the process of working with these young ladies for the Under-17 World Cup qualifiers,” Godet explained.

Daniella Gourzong and Sabrina Suberan led the team with two goals each. Ashley Ebanks and Arthemis Deslandes-Hydes also scored a goal apiece at the tournament. Ericia Burke recorded two clean sheets in goal for Cayman.

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