(CNS Local Life): Cayman Prep and High School (CPHS) recently took a group of 27 students to the American International School of Kingston (AISK) and made a strong showing at the six-a-side SoccerFeva tournament, which hosted schools from all over the region. In addition, CPHS student Molly Kehoe, member of the winning girls’ team, was named MVP of the tournament.
In addition to fielding a boys’ and girls’ team, CPHS sent nine additional students (five girls and four boys) to play on two Caribbean select teams, which comprised players from British Virgin Islands, Jamaica and Cayman.
Phill Thompson, head of physical education at CPHS, noted the importance of the event, held 8 and 9 February. “The SoccerFeva tournament is a great opportunity for our talented football players to test their abilities against students from the region,” he told CNS Local Life.
“The nature of the tournament allows our students to experience a sharing of Caribbean cultures and develop lifelong friendships and links throughout the Caribbean.”
On the first day of matches he said it took the select teams a while to gel “but once they did, both teams finished strongly”. The girls made it to the semi-finals of the “Champions Cup” on the second day of the tournament and the boys earned a place in the Shield semi-finals.
The Caribbean select squad finished third overall with goals from Lydia Smith and Kate Young in their final game. The boys select team went undefeated on day two to lift the shield with goals from Evin Johnson and Jack Lomax helping them on their way. “It was a fantastic achievement for both teams who walked away with not only some silverware but many new friendships,” Thompson said.
The CPHS boys team started slowly, losing to a strong Campion (Jamaica) side, which meant they had to win their next two matches to reach the Champions Cup on the second day. They dispatched a Hillel ‘B’ (Jamaica) side 4-0 with goals from Josh Small (2), Aaron Jarvis and Victor Thompson, with Small scoring again in the third match, as the team beat a competitive Lyford Cay School (Nassau) 1-0.
Describing the next day’s semi-final as a “great match”, Thompson said the players were evenly poised until the boys switched off at a set piece allowing the Hillel ‘A’ to score from a free kick. “Hillel defended resolutely for the final 10 minutes to see out the game,” he recalled, adding, “The CPHS boys bounced back defeating AISK (Jamaica) to secure third place overall.”
The girls team started out very strongly and won all of their group games, beating Campion 4-0, Lucaya (Freeport) 2-0 and Hillel 4-0. “Favourites going into the knockout stage they defeated the Caribbean select team (containing five CPHS girls) in a tense semi-final that finished 1-0,” Thompson said, leading to a match-up in the finals “against their old rivals and former hosts Lyford Cay (Nassau)”.
Recounting that last match, Thompson said, “The girls played their best football in the final and proved to be too strong for everyone, running out winners 3-0.” The goals came from Jenna Edwards, Zahra Powell and Kehoe, who was also top goal scorer and voted MVP of the whole tournament.
This is the third victory at this international tournament and the sixth international tournament victory for most of the girls. “We are very proud of their outstanding achievement and the way they are role models both on and off the field,” Thompson said.