Women eye semis as U20 tournament approaches

| 03/12/2013

(CIFA) The Head Coach of the Cayman Islands Women’s Under 20 Team Joe Supe believes his side has the players and ability to reach the semifinals of the CONCACAF Women’s Under 20 Championships here in January. The Cayman Islands competes in Group B of the competition with neighbours Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago and CONCACAF perennial champions Mexico. Supe said, “I am pretty excited about the group. Mexico is going to be challenge but on paper we can qualify for the semifinals.”  Focusing on his team’s opening fixture against Mexico, Supe believes a strong outing will strengthen Cayman’s chances of reaching the final four.

“If we have a good showing against Mexico and then dominate Honduras and Trinidad then we will be in a prime position to go into the semifinals and then potentially get into the World Cup.”

Supe is a resident of California in the United States and Head Coach of the Irvine Valley College team. He was hired by the Cayman Islands Football Association to prepare the women’s team for their biggest challenge yet. After a week of assessments, Supe is pleased with the quality of players and their capabilities ahead of the tournament.

“Technically we have players who can make a difference. In leadership players like Brianna Hydes and Jetena Bodden can push the ladies forward into believingthat something is doable and achieving our goals,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hydes who is the captain of the team scored the winning goal in a warm up match against a Cayman Select Team on Saturday at the T.E. Mcfield Sports Complex. Hydes took a break from her studies at Southern Wesleyan University in South Carolina to participate in Coach Joe Supe’s week long training camp, organized to prepare the team for the CONCACAF Women’s Under 20 Championship January 9-19.

The nineteen year old capped off a hectic trip with a goal in the 61st minute which set up Cayman’s 2-1 victory over the select side. Shanelle Frederick opened the scoring for the National team in the 32ndminute, before Hydes doubled the lead sixteen minutes into the second half. Kimberly Pitta pulled one back in the 75th for the select side.

Hydes expressed her desire to lead by example when she takes the field in January.
“To be able to lead these young ladies is an extreme privilege”, Hydes said. “I was once the little girl of the team but being one of the senior players comes with a lot of responsibility. I have to be the role model and set the standards.”

She confessed that playing the last few seasons in the United States first at the Rabun Gap Nacoochee High School and now Southern Wesley has improved her temperament on the pitch. “Playing in the United States has helped me mature as a player. I control my temper a lot better and the physical nature of the game in the United States is vastly different.”

The CONCACAF Women’s Under 20 Championship kicks off on 9 January 2013 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. Cayman opens the tournament against Mexico before matches against Trinidad and Tobago and neighbours Honduras. The top two teams from the Group advance to face the best of Group A with the top three teams advancing to the Women’s Under 20 World Cup in Canada.

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