By TENAJH SWEETING
THE Samuel P Haven Junior High Schools Soccer Nationals returned to the Roscow A L Davies soccer field for the third consecutive day.
Yesterday’s trio of games saw the girls of Lyford Cay International School take on the Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves.
In the day’s second matchup, the CR Walker Lady Knights faced off against the St Augustine’s College Big Red Machine.
The final game of the day saw the Queen’s College Comets versus the RM Bailey Pacers.
The day featured high-level soccer competition from the girl teams of both the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) and Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS).
Lyford Cay International School, the second runner-ups for the 2023 BAISS senior girls championships, took down the Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves 5-0 in the first game of the day.
In the first half, Dragons’ Delaney Mizell kicked the ball to the back of the net to advance 1-0 on the scoreboard.
Shortly after, her teammate Yasmin Kennedy followed suit, scoring another goal.
The Dragons went up 2-0 on the Timberwolves, leading into the second half.
In the second half, Leah Horton added another point to the total as she scored for the Dragons. The remaining goals for Lyford Cay came from Issa Bournas, who sank two goals to the back of the net to seal a comfortable win. She scored the most goals for her team.
Sara Ilgenfritz, head coach of the Dragons, talked about the team earning their first win. “I think the girls came out and showed a lot of grit. Our last game that we played here was not the way we wanted to end the season, so we came out hungry,” the coach said.
She added that despite the score, she does not think the win was an easy one but the girls did exactly what they talked about in practice since their last game in the BAISS championships.
One day ahead of their GSSSA championship game against the RM Bailey Pacers, the Knights’ senior girls defeated the Big Red Machine 3-0. For the Knights, all three of their goals came from none other than Valtinique Simmons. She scored her first goal in the first half and put two more in the net late in the second half to secure a commanding win over the BAISS soccer championship runner-ups.
Simmons talked about how it felt to amass a trio of goals in the team’s first win of the high school nationals.
“I had a good season but a few bad games. I am still proud of myself. I scored 22 goals for the season and I am proud of my team, if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have been here today,” she said.
With today’s GSSSA championship now at the forefront, she said despite a complicated first game against the Pacers, she expects the game to be an easy one and will leave it in God’s hands.
Knights’ head coach Dan Weightman said because it was a really hot day at the national field, the team really had to push and he gave his entire bench playing time.
He credited the next woman up mentality of his team for the win and it’s the team’s expectation to go deep into the nationals.
The coach acknowledged that the Lady Knights will have their work cut out for them following yesterday’s play and now championships today.
He added that the team’s ability to recover after yesterday’s match against the Big Red Machine will be the difference maker.
In the final game of the day, the QC Comets claimed victory over the RM Bailey Pacers 1-0. Both teams struggled during parts of the game.
However, Alexis Williamson scored the game’s lone goal in the first half.
Despite scrambling to get a score on the board late in the game, the Pacers were unsuccessful.
Comets’ head coach Deborah Humes talked about their first win of the high school soccer nationals.
“It was a good game. It was two really good teams against each other. Both teams played really well,” Humes said.
She said despite the game being a bit more physical than the Comets players are accustomed to, they were a bit more skillful in their approach as they had 10 shots on goal that were on target which translated to a goal.
The junior high schools soccer nationals will continue this Friday beginning at 4:30pm.