Two weeks ago, I wrote what I then felt was a story of hope. Or, perhaps, what I then felt was the story that should be told.
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St Louis nets hat-trick
This country’s Soca Princesses will be confident of securing a second win from as many Group B matches in the inaugural Caribbean Football Union Women’s Cup, and a spot at the Concacaf Women’s finals, when they meet Antigua & Barbuda from 7.15 tonight at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo
Two hours earlier, Martinique will also have a chance to book a spot in the Concacaf tournament carded for the USA from October 16 to 26 when it faces St Kitts/Nevis from 5 pm.
On Wednesday night, when Group B kicked off at Mucurapo with a double-header as well, Martinique blanked Antigua & Barbuda thanks to a double from Prisca Carin, in the 12th and 65th while T&T hammered St Kitts/Nevis 10-0.
Leading the way for the Soca Princesses was veteran striker Tasha St Louis with a first-half hat-trick while Seattle Sounders foward Kennya “Yaya” Cordner and Janine Francois added two each and captain Maylee Attin-John, Mariah Shade and Dernelle Mascall, the others.
In the build up to the match, T&T’s head coach, US-born, Randy Waldrum, formely of Notre Dame University, said he wanted his players to attack their opponents.
Despite his absence from the opener due to club commitments in the USA, his team stuck to his command as within seconds of the kickoff Cordner had the St Kitts/Nevis defence on the back foot, only to waste the chance created.
However, two minutes later, USA-based Cordner, the 2013 T&T Football Association “Women’s Player of the Year” awardee, opened T&T’s account when she collected a right sided centre from Attin-Johnson, cheekily “capped” a defender and then casually lobbed goalkeeper Tynetta Mc Koy for a 1-0 lead.
It did not take long for the Soca Princesses to add to their tally and in the sixth minute Lauryn Hutchinson of Richmond United in the USA put the speedy Cordner through down the left flank and she squared to the onrushing St Louis to guide in her first and the team’s second.
A minute later, Cordner extended the advantage to 3-0 as she gathered a loose ball from a St Louis run at goal and fired a left-foot shot past two defenders and Mc Koy.
The goal rush now seemed on as St Louis was then upended in the opponents’ 18-yard box by defender Rozel Liburd. She easily slotted in from the penalty-spot for a 4-0 lead in the tenth minute.
It was then the turn of Attin-Johnson to get her name among the scorers two minutes later for a 5-0 cushion.
At the other end of the field, Caroline Springer finally got St Kitts/Nevis’ first attempt on goal a minute later, from a free-kick, which proved no trouble for goalkeeper Kimika Forbes of Boston Breakers.
St Louis then completed her first-half hat-trick in the 22nd.
With a comfortable 6-0 advantage, the Soca Princesses began to toy with their opponents, before former youth team captain Mariah Shade rifled home a left footer for a 7-0 lead at the break.
In the second half T&T got goals from midfielder Francois in the 54th minute, Francois got another in the 58th minute for and substitute Dernelle Mascall in 68th.
Speaking after the win, Attin-Johnson was satisfied with the outcome, but at the sametime not entirely pleased with the overall display.
She added, “We talked about scoring a lot of goals which we did, but I believe we lost our focus by doing that and did not stick to our game plan.”
“We knew coming into this tournament that we were better than these teams, and our main focus was to play better football as a team in terms of ball possession and tactical awareness as we look ahead to next phase of the competition. This is a stepping stone for us and while we still want to score goals, we have to play much better collectively and maintain our focus.”
Last night, Group A continued at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva with Jamaica and Haiti hunting their second win from as many matches to cement a spot in the Concacaf Final round ahead of their potential group decider on Sunday and the final and third place playoffs at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, on Tuesday.
2014 CFU Women’s Cup
Yesterday’s Group B results:
Martinique 2 (Prisca Carin 12th, vs Antigua & Barbuda 0
T&T 10 (Tasha St Louis 6th, 10th pen, 22nd, Kennya Cordner 3rd, 7th, Janine Francois 55th, 59th, Maylee Attin-Johnson 12th, Mariah Shade 44th, Dernelle Mascall 68th) vs St Kitts/Nevis 0
T&T: 1. Kimika Forkes (GK), 2.Ayanna Russell, 3. Mariah Shade, 4. Rhea Belgrave, 5. Arin King, 9. Maylee Attin-Johnson (Capt) (18. Annalis Cummings 62nd), 10. Tasha St Louis (7. Dernelle Mascall 53rd), 11. Janine Francois (Shenelle Henry 71st), 12. Lauryn Hutchinson, 14. Karyn Forbes, 19. Kennya Cordner.
Subs not used: 6. Khadidra Debesette, 15. Patrice Superville, 16. Jo-Marie Lewis, 8. Afiya Matthias 21. Tinesha Palmer (GK).
St Kitts/Nevis: 1. Tynetta Mc Koy (GK), 3. Rozel Liburd, 4. Shandor Wilkinson (Capt) (9. Kerisha Powell 47th), 5. Shirmel Johnson, 6. Charnel Arthurton (2.Tyra Wilkinson 67th), 7. Caroline Springer, 8. Lavern Francis, 10. Leranja Wilkinson, 11. Pheonetia Browne (20.Shamekah Isacc 56th), 12. Chelsey Harris, 14. Shinell Mc Calla, 16. Astonia Carey.
Subs notr used: 10. Leranja Wilkinson, 13. Kerrise Hanley, 15. Tishuana Stanley, 17. Kidedra Henry, 18. Keshanna Huggins (GK), 19. Shirris Edwards.
St Kitts/Nevis vs Martinique, 5pm
T&T vs Antigua & Barbuda, 7.15pm
Bermuda vs Puerto Rico, 5pm
Haiti vs Jamaica, 7.15 pm