Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 17 Women’s Team got their qualifying campaign off to a triumphant start with a comfortable 13-0 win over US Virgin Islands at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Wednesday night.
Grenada dumped Curacao 6-2 in their earlier game of the double header.
Aaliyah Prince led the scorers with four goals in the 11th, 17th, 28th and 43rd minutes. Afiyah Cornwall grabbed a hattrick with goals in the 49th, 62nd and 78th minutes with team captain Kara Trotman netting in the 16th and 35th minutes.
Other goals were struck by Chrissy Mitchell in the 43rd, Natifah Hackshaw in the 52nd, Maria-Frances Serrant in the 70th and Annika Daniel in the 77th.
Action resumes on Friday with T&T meeting Curacao from 7:30 pm and Grenada taking on USVI from 5pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
Highlights - T&T U-17 Women vs US Virgin Islands
Shabazz makes winning return to Women’s Football as U17 Soca Princesses beat USVI 13-0
Morvant Caledonia United head coach Jamaal Shabazz marked his return to Trinidad and Tobago Women’s Football with a victory on Wednesday when the Under-17 Soca Princesses whipped the US Virgin Islands 13-0 in their opening FIFA 2018 Under-17 Women’s World Cup qualifier.
Trinidad and Tobago attacking midfielder Aaliyah Prince led with a beaver-trick (11th, 17th, 28th & 43rd minutes) while forward Afiyah Cornwall grabbed a hattrick (49th, 62nd & 78th minutes) against USVI in the second game of a double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
Team captain and defender Kara Trotman, nice of the late Mikey Trotman, who like many of her teammates made her national debut on Wednesday, grabbed a first half double (16th & 35th minutes).
“We all had a lot of nerves building up inside [ahead of the game] and to come out so strong and powerful was really great for all of us,” said Kara Trotman.
Chrissy Mitchell (43rd minute), Natifah Hackshaw (52nd, minute), Maria-Frances Serrant (70th minute) and Annika Daniel (77th minute) were also on the scoresheet for the Soca Princesses as they aim to advance into the Caribbean Finals in Haiti.
“I really think the change of coach to Jamaal Shabazz was really helpful to us,” continued Trotman. “He was able to bring a new fire, a new spirit [and] a new way of play for all of us and it was really beneficial.
“We need to be confident but not cocky (in the remaining games). We can’t be complacent either.”
Shabazz, who held a similar post as various levels of the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s football, was re-installed last July as the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) Head of Women’s Football as a replacement for Italian coach Carolina Morace, who, along with her assistants Nicola Williams and Elisabetta Bavagnoli spilt with the TTFA due to a fall-out over salaries.
“Certainly the girls stepped up to the plate [against US Virgin Islands],” said Shabazz, who is expecting a tougher test on Friday against Grenada who defeated Curacao 6-2 in the opening game on Wednesday.
“(Our girls) showed good grit, good determination and most important, good discipline,” continued Shabazz. “I was very impressed in our play although USVI still have some way to go. It wasn’t just a good result for us but also a decent performance.
“We understood we were a superior team to the US Virgin Islands and we said to the players ‘let’s focus on keeping the ball and maintaining the shape’ and I thought they did that with good discipline and good technical ability.
“Grenada [however] showed by beating Curacao that they are formidable opponents and I think fans will see a different match (on Sunday). The Grenada team are no walkover (and) it’s going to be a tough game. I think the game against Grenada will determine who goes forward out of the group. Against Grenada it’s going to be a different kettle of fish and I look forward to see how (our players) would handle a game against a team who are on the same level as (us).”
Trinidad and Tobago U-17 Women footballers will tackle Curacao from 7:30pm on Friday at the Ato Boldon Stadium before wrapping up first round group play against Grenada on Sunday at the same venue from 7:30pm.
Shabazz’s Morvant Caledonia United, meanwhile, will return to action in September following a month-long Pro League break to facilitate the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s Senior Team preparations for the resumption of FIFA 2018 Men’s World Cup qualifying.