By TENAJH SWEETING
Tribune Sports Reporter
The Baha Juniors women’s team will now join the Western Warriors men’s football club (FC) as Hummel Cup title winners. The team secured their championship hardware after defeating the defending champions, United FC at the Roscow AL Davies new soccer field.
Despite a delay due to inclement weather, the matches rolled on and saw the Western Warriors finish fifth, Dynamos FC in fourth place, Cavaliers FC claim third, and United FC as runner ups this time around.
In a tightly contested match, the Baha Juniors women’s team was able to topple the defending champions United FC. Both teams battled for a score in each of the 15-minute halves.
However, neither were able to score a goal which led to a penalty shootout.
Annisa Albury, first Bahamian woman to officiate at CONCACAF Beach Soccer Pre-World Cup, was the first to sink the ball to the back of the net for her team.
The next score came from Alyssa Franklin. Hadassah Knowles of United FC was able to put a point on the scoreboard for her team to keep their championship window open. However, the Baha Juniors’ Sydney Hector shut out the defending champions after nailing the final penalty kick. The penalty shootout ended 3-1.
Julian Smith, Baha Juniors head coach, said the team’s goal was to limit the passing ability of United FC.
“The whole point of the game was to try and contain them as much as we could because they are really good at making passes so we just had to keep holding on,” Smith said.
The head coach added that he would have liked the team to score but he was confident in his team’s ability to win the penalty shootout because they are good with spot kicks.
Ellianne Higgs, goalkeeper for the Baha Juniors, played an integral role in the team’s win. She talked about how it felt to contribute to the victory.
“I think my team played really well United [FC] has always been one of our top competitors so we tried really hard to play them today and beat them… I was really glad I got those shots because I know my team wanted this cup so I worked as hard as I could to save them,” Higgs said.
After failing to repeat as Hummel Cup title winners, Samuel Thibaud, head coach of United FC, talked about the loss.
“It feels terrible because the game was set up to be 20 minutes-20 minutes. We had a strategy to play our second team in the first game and save our energy for the championship game but we didn’t get a chance to wear them down,” Thibaud said.
He added that the loss was also disappointing because they fell to the team in the Bahamas Football Association’s (BFA) Women’s Futsal Championship as well.
In the battle for bronze, the Cavaliers FC took down the Dynamos FC, last year’s runner ups, 2-0. The Cavaliers’ Jankea Edey was instrumental in the team’s win over their competitors. In the first half of play, Edey sank her first goal of the contest to put the team up 1-0 going into half-time.
Although the Dynamos tried to score on multiple occasions, they remained scoreless. Ultimately, the midfielder scored again off an assist by her teammate late in the second half to solidify the victory for her club.
She said the win was a tough one due to the frequency of games.
“This game was a rough game considering we had two games prior to this so our team was tired so it took them a lot to keep pushing through to get to win… I am really proud of them because we came a long way and we did good as a team,” Edey said.
Another bright spot for the Cavaliers was the play of their coach, goalie, and BFA vice president Daria Adderley. She said being in the trenches and knowing what the players want helps with the guidance of the executives in the BFA. She added that it’s fun to wear multiple hats in soccer and it’s a joy for her.
The Western Warriors secured fifth place in the BFA’s women’s football Hummel Cup after defeating the Future Stars 3-0 this past Saturday. The men’s Western Warriors FC earned their Hummel Cup victory after beating United FC 2-0 in April.