Elite, Scholars share women’s crowns

A pair of second-half goals, including one in stoppage time, saw Scholars International come from behind to defeat Elite Sports Club and lift the 2019/2020 Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) Women’s President’s Cup on 23 August. Elite had earlier claimed the league title.

It was the first competitive women’s match for nearly six months due to the suspension of play due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. It was also played at the Annex without spectators due to restrictions put in place by CIFA to comply with government regulations that were in place.

Scholars International won the final trophy on offer for the season.

Elite got the jump early, 10 minutes after the referee’s opening whistle, when prolific forward Tamoy Phillips found the back of the net. Solid play by Kiara Lemay (Elite) and Maritza Miller-McLaughlin (Scholars) ensured that was the only first half goal.

As the second half progressed, neither side exhibited dominance until a push forward by Scholars in the 64th minute that resulted in Tatiana Ramoon celebrating her equaliser. Kessie McCoy put the winner in the net one minute into stoppage time and just before the final whistle to give Scholars the 2-1 win.

Elite SC – 2019-2020 CIFA Women’s League Champions

“I think it is the heart of the girls,” said Scholars captain Kayla Ebanks about the comeback. “At halftime, our coach told us to hold the ball more, try to possess instead of lobbing and it worked. In the end, it just came down to heart.”

Elite was unable to pull off the double, having won the league by an 11-point margin after going undefeated through six rounds.

“We were heartbroken because we missed out on that particular trophy, so it does make a difference,” the Scholars captain said. “We worked hard for the last two weeks, so this is a big plus.”

Tyanna Jan, who captained Elite, was happy to have her side back in action, despite not being able to add to their league triumph.

“It was good to get back out on the field and I think the girls were missing it. It was nice to come back in and have a chance to compete for the cup. It was a disappointing result but I think that shows you with football, you have to play to the last second. You can’t get complacent and take anything for granted. I think we gave a good effort and got an unfortunate result,” Jan said.

The defender added that the cup final was evidence that despite a shortage of teams, there was still good competition in women’s football.

“It shows that the teams are still pretty evenly matched, and we can have good competition throughout the league. It is good to see that we can have good competition and fight for every game and every point that we win,” she said.

Elite’s Shanice Montieth was the league’s leading goal scorer with seven goals.

Latinos FC has signalled its interest in fielding a women’s team for the league that has featured only Elite SC, Scholars International, and Roma Fusion for the past two seasons.

The new season is expected to begin in September.

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