Sunset U16 girls win overseas tournament

| 07/05/2019
CNS Local LIfe
The winning Sunset U16 girls team

(CNS Local Life): Playing in its first-ever international tournament, the Miami Cup and Showcase, the Sunset FC U16 girls were more than up to the challenge, eventually taking the final 3-0 against last year’s winners, Okeeheelee Heat. Sunset’s Shay Windsor also took MVP honours at the competition, which ran 27-28 April, and Artemis Deslandes-Hydes captained the team.

Phill Thompson, who coaches Sunset along with Anna Boughey and Gisela Gamba, said competing overseas was a great experience for the players. “Many of this team have experienced lots of football success both in Cayman and around the Caribbean so this tournament was a great opportunity for all the girls to play competitive football outside of the Caribbean and see how they measured up,” Thompson told CNS. “A few of the girls are looking at scholarships in the USA next year and hopefully this trip can be the stepping stone to their continued success,” he added.

The team did not drop a match on the way to the final. The first game, held Saturday during the heat of the day, resulted in a 1-1 draw against Miami Shores Soccer Club. Down a goal at the halftime break due to an unfortunate own goal, the team dominated in the second half, tying the game early on through a goal by Molly Kehoe, but were unable to find the back of the net for the winner, recalled Thompson.

On paper their second game looked an easier match against SK Sunblazers, said Thompson, and the team quickly established a two-goal lead. However, after a few decisions not going their way the girls struggled to keep their momentum, letting the Sunblazers back into the game. The second half was much of the same and the effects of a late night and two games in one day meant there was a lot of tired legs by the end of the match. But Sunset hung on to win 4-3 on goals from Kehoe (2), Chloe Bentick-Lalli and Tracey Campbell.

After the first day of play, three teams, including Sunset, were in the running to qualify for the final. To advance, Sunset needed to win by the same score or better than Miami Shores.

The team started the second day much better and played some great football, Thompson said. Tonka United couldn’t compete, with Sunset first to every ball, outplaying Tonka in every area of the pitch, eventually running out 3-0 goals winners on goals from Riley Doyle, Bentick-Lalli and Ashlyn Evans. With other results going their way, Sunset qualified for the final in the team’s first-ever international tournament, going up against 2018 champions, Okeeheelee Heat.

The girls really “turned it on in the final playing some of their best football of the weekend”, Thompson said, with the team grabbing two early goals which enabled them to control the match and notch a 3-0 victory. Goal scorers in the final were Jenna Edwards, Kehoe and Kalie Ebanks.

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Category: Football, Sports

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