BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 8, 2016–The semifinals: The best-of-2 games semifinals series in the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) high school football playoffs came to a dramatic end on Friday at the MCC, where both the female and male games went to overtime, the former even to penalties, before a series winner was decided.
The semifinals started on Monday of last week at 3:00 p.m., when SCA won, 3-0, over Wesley in the females, and Wesley males dropped Ladyville Tech, 2-1.
On Tuesday, the females of Gwen Liz and Ladyville Tech played to a 0-0 draw; while in the male match-up, SJC edged ACC, 3-2, with goals from Carlos Guerra (2) and Erick Rodriguez. ACC goals were by Christian Ancona and Darrell Flowers.
The same teams would clash again in game 2 of their semifinal series on Thursday and Friday.
In the female opener on Thursday at 3:00 p.m., it was again SCA prevailing over Wesley, this time by a 1-0 score, on a goal by Zulema Ayala, to win the series by an aggregate 4-0 margin. And in the male encounter, Wesley clipped Ladyville Tech again, by the same 2-1 score. Wesley got a goal from Kermit Sutherland, and benefited from a Ladyville own goal by Isaac Dominguez; while Eric Gomez got the only goal for Ladyville Tech. Wesley therefore advances to the finals with a 4-2 aggregate win.
On Friday, February 4, it was a dramatic finish in the last two semifinals. In the female opener, Gwen Liz and Ladyville Tech again ended their 20-20 regulation in a 0-0 stalemate; and it remained the same after the overtime period. In the penalty shootout that followed, Gwen Liz emerged the winner, 2-1, as Daneka Meighan and Ofelia Flowers converted for Gwen Liz, while only Lorraine Stephens scored for Ladyville Tech. And it was drama again in the male game, as ACC edged SJC, 1-0, in regulation on a goal by Trevaun Rhaburn, which resulted in an aggregate tie of 3-3, since SJC had won game 1 on Tuesday by a 3-2 score. So, it was on to overtime, and again ACC was victorious by a 1-nil margin, on a goal by Darrel Flowers. ACC therefore won the series, 4-3, and was on to the finals.
The finals: The finals are also a best-of-2 series for the females and males, with game 1 being played today, and game 2, to decide the CSSSA championship, scheduled for Wednesday at the MCC.
In today’s female finals game 1, SCA cruised to a 3-0 victory over Gwen Liz, and looks poised to take the championship on Wednesday. Goal scorers for SCA were Jada Myvett, Jodi Pott and Renisha Martinez.
The male finals game 1 was much more competitive, and it promises to be the same on Wednesday. It’s still anybody’s championship, as Wesley came away with a slim 2-1 victory over ACC today, after trailing 1-nil. It was scoreless up to half time in a very even match-up. ACC appeared to have a decided edge in goalkeeping, as Alvin Mangandi seemed quite capable and comfortable between the sticks; while his counterpart for Wesley appeared uncertain. ACC got on the score card 5 minutes into second half (they play 35-35 regulation), on a long looping free kick from the right side by Trevaun Rhaburn, that the Wesley keeper appeared to misjudge as it sank into the top left corner. But the equalizer came 6 minutes later when Wesley captain Deandre Pitter got a break through and beat the ACC keeper at close range. What turned out to be the game winner came 10 minutes later from Wesley striker Kenyon Lewis, after a corner by Pitter glanced off a defender’s head and found Lewis lurking near the far post, and he thrust his head into the ball with force and direction into the right corner. 2-1, Wesley boys over ACC in game 1 of the CSSSA finals.
The finals game 2 are set for Wednesday with the same teams meeting to decide the championship for CSSSA females and males. Game time is 3:00 p.m. at the MCC for the female opener, with the male nightcap expected to kick off around 4:00 p.m.