The Lyford Cay International School Dragons boys and girls teams will look to come out on top after they advanced to the finals of the third edition of the Samuel P. Haven National High School Soccer Championships yesterday. Both teams won their semifinal games at the Roscow A.L. Davies Soccer Field.
The boys won 2-1 over the Aquinas College Aces in a rematch of the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) Championship where the Dragons prevailed, and their girls shut out the Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves, the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) Champions. The final score was 3-0 with Paige Smith recording a hat-trick for the Dragons.
Dragons 2, Aces 1
Aquinas Aces player Jordan Freemantle found the back of the net first as he was found with a one-one-one with the Dragons’ goalkeeper, but the Lyford Cay Dragons battled back, scoring two goals of their own.
The Aces caught the Dragons off guard with Freemantle’s goal early in the game. The game was very physical as the Dragons tried to claw their way back into the game.
They got an equalizer from forward Oliver Townend before the half-time whistle blew. He got a cross and found the back of the net with a well-placed header to tie the match at a goal apiece.
Townend usually plays as the goalkeeper for the Dragons but he suffered a hand injury on Monday night during practice and was forced to play forward. The score was 1-1 at the half.
Both teams came out the intermission looking determined to break the deadlock tie.
It was the Dragons who broke it on a penalty kick by captain Maclean Goodfellow that sent the Dragons’ fans into celebration mode.
The Aces had no answer as the Dragons closed the door on them.
Townend said: “It was awesome to score the first goal for my team. To come on the field and help my team with the victory feels good.”
Dragons Head Coach Craig Massey said that his team took a while to adjust.
“We started off a little shaky and everyone saw that. We did not start with our normal formation. We had two of our starters out. It took us 15 minutes to get those changes right. Once we settled the defense and plugged the midfield then we played more defense and controlled football,” said Massey.
In the finals, the Dragons will play the winner of the Tabernacle Baptist Academy Falcons and the C.R. Walker Knights.
That championship game will be played at 7.45 p.m. tomorrow.
The Aces will play the loser of the Falcons and Knights for third place. That game will start at 4.45 p.m. tomorrow.
The result of the Falcons and Knights game was unavailable up to press time.
Lady Dragons 3, Lady
It was the Lady Dragons’ Paige Smith who showed up in a big way for her team. She scored all three of the Dragons’ goals. Smith scored twice in the first half and then struck again in the second half to complete the hat-trick.
She said: “It feels obviously amazing. I honestly could not have done it without my team. I got a great ball from one of my teammates that led to a great goal.”
Lady Dragons Head Coach Nisa Albury said they were looking forward to this tournament, from last year.
“The girls play together a lot and we have been looking forward to this since we weren’t able to come last year,” she said. “Our girls play for each other, the school – they don’t play for themselves. I am just proud of them.”
Smith is only in the eighth grade and Albury said it is great to watch her grow and to be there to help her grow.
Albury was tight-lipped as to what adjustments they are going to make, but said that once they continue to play together, they will be successful.
Smith hopes she scores a hat-trick again on Saturday. The championship game is set for 6.15 p.m. Saturday. The Lady Dragons will play the winner of the game between the Tabernacle Baptist Academy Lady Falcons and the C.R. Walker Lady Knights. The result of that game was unavailable up to press time.
Timberwolves Head Coach Oliver Lynch said they will rebound for the third-place game and added that his girls are in good spirits.
“We did not utilize our chances and they did. It’s a tough loss. We had an injury to our right-back and they found the loophole and two goals scored on that side of the field,” he said.
The Timberwolves will play the loser of the game between the Falcons and the Knights for third place. That game will start at 3 p.m. Saturday.