With the Cayman Islands Football Association youth leagues all but completed and preliminary rounds in the girls and boys youth FA Cups decided, semifinal games were the focus of attention Saturday.
Globally, the FA Cup is a very famous annual event, the showpiece of a nation’s favorite pastime signifying the end of a long season, and a spectacle for all to enjoy … football’s big day out. In the Cayman Islands, it is no different.
In the semifinals of the Girls Under 13 FA Cup, Academy SC downed George Town SC 2-0 thanks to goals from Eva Bothwell in the 1st minute and Gabrielle Rouse in the 20th minute.
After Eva scored the opener in the 1st minute, what looked to be an easy game for the young ladies from Academy SC turned out to be a tough, physical battle with their George Town challengers, who never gave in.
Gabrielle’s goal in the 20th minute settled the game and a place in the final for Academy SC, but George Town SC made sure that their opponents worked very hard for the victory.
In the Girls Under 13 final, scheduled for Tuesday, June 19 at 4:30 p.m. at the Annex Field, Academy SC will play Sunset FC, who defeated Elite SC 1-0 in the first semifinal played earlier in the week.
In the Boys Under 11 FA Cup semifinals, Future SC defeated 345 FC A 2-1 and Academy SC Stingrays squeezed past newly crowned 2018 Boys Under 11 league champions 345 FC B 1-0.
In the first semifinal, 345 FCs Jaden Verhoeven capitalized on a defensive mix-up in the 1st minute to start the game off with a bang. Future SC were soon level as Josiah LeBlanc equalized in the 13th minute for the West Bay outfit and Calyb Fredricks, surely a candidate for the Most Valuable Player award for the season, blasted an unstoppable 20-yarder in the 43rd minute to secure the win.
An exceptional performance between the posts from Future SCs goalkeeper Kevin Ebanks kept his team in the game. Two truly world-class saves in the second half preserved the victory for the West Bay boys.
In the second semifinal, Academy SC Stingrays outlasted newly crowned league champions 345 FC B 1-0, thanks to a tidy finish from Ned Thorpe in the 9th minute.
Much like the first semifinal, this game would go down to the wire as both teams left it all on the field. Ned’s finish in the 9th minute against the run of play drove the 345 FC B offense on, but the precise passing spectators have come to expect from 345 was not always there. This, combined with unusually poor finishing, the cross bar and post, determined defending from the Academy rear-guard and impressive goalkeeping from Academy’s Peyton Corbin, ended the season for the 2018 league champions.
The Boys Under 11 final between Future SC and Academy SC Stingrays for the coveted prize, will take place on Saturday, June 16 at 10 a.m. at the Annex Field.
In the Boys Under 13 FA Cup semifinals, 345 FC defeated Sunset Stingrays 6-5 in a penalty shoot-out and Academy SC Jaguars got past Academy SC 1-0 thanks to a Jayden Whittaker strike.
The Boys Under 13 FA Cup final between 345 FC and Academy SC Jaguars is scheduled for Saturday, June 16 at 9:00 a.m. at the CIFA Centre of Excellence.
In the first of two Boys Under 17 FA Cup semifinals, Academy SC ran out 4-0 winners over Future SC thanks to three goals from Under 17 National Team forward Gunnar Studenhofft and a goal from Under 17 National Team midfielder Jonah Sigsworth.
In the Boys Under 17 final scheduled for Saturday, June 16, Academy SC will face the winner of the second semifinal between Bodden Town FC and Cayman Athletic SC, which will also be played on Saturday, June 16.