Teams advance in high school soccer nationals


Tribune Sports Reporter

Three teams kept their quest of winning the 2024 Samuel P Haven Jr High School Soccer Nationals alive yesterday at Roscow A L Davies Soccer Field while another trio of teams were eliminated from the tournament.

The Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves clobbered the St John’s College Giants 7-0 in the second matchup of Wednesday’s triple header.

The 2024 GSSSA senior girls champions CR Walker Knights were in top form against the Queen’s College Comets to eliminate them 2-0.

The St Andrew’s International School Hurricanes narrowly edged out the RM Bailey Pacers 1-0 in the penalty shootout.

Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves vs St John’s College Giants

The Timberwolves came out strong against the Giants in the first half and left the team demoralised the rest of the way. The reigning GSSSA senior boys’ champions scored on five separate occasions in just the first half of the game to take control 5-0 at halftime.

Head coach Cleon Carnegie said the strategy was just to stick to their identity. “The strategy was just to keep our identity and stick to our game plan of keeping the ball away from them as much as possible. We knew they had a good goalkeeper and many of the plays didn’t work out well but our plan was to play the ball away from him and many of the ideas came into fruition,” Carnegie said.

Within the first 10 minutes of gameplay, the trio of Djino Bazam, McKenzie Chery and Arayshio Green all connected on goals against the Giants.

Chery would pull off the hat trick as he scored his second and third goal at the 17:00 mark of the first half and 57th minute of the second half.

The Timberwolves also got goals from Carlos Marcelian and Clayton Townsend.

The latter put the stamp on an already dominant win when the Timberwolves misfired on a penalty kick which resulted in him sneaking the ball past the Giants’ goalkeeper in the game’s final minute.

Carnegie is hoping the team can build on the positives observed on day one of the soccer nationals.

“We just want to work on the things that didn’t go so well and keep the things that went well because our plan is to go all the way and win this thing,” he said.

CR Walker Knights vs Queen’s College Comets

The GSSSA reigning senior girls’ champions pounced on the Comets early in the match. They got their first of two goals in the first half from an unlikely source, La’Varanique Knowles.

Her coach Dan Weightman displayed confidence in the 16-year-old, who is a bench player, slotting her into the lineup as a striker and she delivered.

The eleventh grader helped the Lady Knights to a 1-0 lead at the halftime break and continued the momentum in the second half.

“It feels amazing to make my team proud. I never really thought I had it but I came out and I accomplished it for them,” Knowles said.

She fired from just inside the middle of the penalty box to sink the second ball to the back of the net giving the Lady Knights a 2-0 advantage in the victory.

In just her first time playing in the striker position, she credited mental willpower and Coach Weightman’s confidence in her for the heroic performance.

“My mental strength has to be at 100 per cent right now because the energy I am feeling is up there. I never played that position before and I thank him for putting me out there to actually show what I am capable of,” she said.

St Andrew’s Hurricanes vs RM Bailey Pacers

The Hurricanes and Pacers played each other closely the entire game leaving both teams scoreless to prompt a penalty shootout. Ultimately, it would be River Smith who saved the day for St Andrew’s as both teams struggled to connect on their attempts in the penalty.

Head coach Marisa Mustard was proud of the effort displayed by the group.

“It was a very close game. I was very impressed and very proud of the girls with how they have come this season and to get to nationals was a big achievement. The fact that we have now managed to go out and win this game is really good,” coach Mustard said.

She described the moment as “exciting”, especially for the girls in their final year at the school.

“It is really exciting. I am really happy for the girls. For some of them this is their last season for St Andrew’s,” she said.

The Samuel P Haven Jr High School Soccer Nationals elimination rounds will continue today at the RALD Soccer Field starting with the girls’ division featuring the Lyford Cay International School Dragons versus Anatol Rodgers. Matchups begin at 4:30pm.

Tickets are priced at $5 for adults and $3 for students. All-access tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students.

Log in to comment