The Cedar Boys U13s team arrived back in the BVI on Monday after securing the Championship trophy in the Boys U13 tournament at Lyford Cay in the Bahamas. Eight Caribbean based teams competed in the KPMG Football Fest including squads from Turks & Caicos, Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Bahamas were fighting for the same trophy.
It was the 5th time Cedar would send a boys team to the tournament. Last year saw real progress made when the Cedar Boys managed to break into the top 4 by winning 3rd place. This year the hunger was there for more and they gave themselves a chance to compete for the top prize by coming in 1st place in Pool A after securing two wins and a key draw against heavily favored Lyford Cay from Bahamas.
An extremely hard fought and well deserved 1-0 semi-final victory against an extremely aggressive and talented Cayman Prep team gave them the ticket to play for the top prize against an extremely well organized Turks & Caicos U13 National team. The solitary goal in the semi-final win came from Michael Palladino from a sublime cross from Scott Kirk. The final came down to penalty kicks after Turks & Caicos managed to claw back an early goal from Cedar’s Michael Palladino from a delightful cross by Luka Chalwell.
“Penalty Kicks…What a way to end such a gripping match” noted one Bahamian organizer. The penalty takers were chosen and the tension was high. Both Luka Chalwell and Luca Reich scored their goals while Lawton Green, Cedar’s MVP Keeper saved two of three in spectacular fashion to give Cedar bragging rights to the 2016 KPMG-Lyford Cay Football Fest Championship Trophy.
“What a journey” remarked Cedar’s UEFA A certified football coach John Reilly who followed up that statement by saying “the boys had worked so hard with many of the boys training 3 to 5 times a week in preparation for the tournament”.
Assistant coach Walter Reich added “They played with courage and with trust in each other and stayed true to the beautiful style of football embraced and taught by Coach John”
All the boys managed to get on the scoresheet in one game or another. Luka Chalwell would grab a team leading 5 goals in total including penalty kick goals, Luca Reich and Scott Kirk would each score a treble, RJ Wong, Michael Palladino and Nathan Haycraft each adding a brace, Alejandro Santos and Jesse Cooke each adding one. As noted earlier, Lawton Green would pick up a well-deserved tournament MVP award while securing 4 clean sheets and saving 4 of 6 penalty kicks.
Cedar Girls U13s come in 4th place.
The Cedar Girls U13s team were looking to improve on last year’s performance at the tournament that saw them finish 7th – and improve they did! Their try-outs began in early September with the intensity of the training increasing to 3 to 5 training sessions a week for most players including Saturday morning training at Sea Cows Bay.
The girls team exceeded all expectations by breaking into the top 4 of the tournament. “Their technical development has been exponential” remarked Coach John Reilly. “They have all been so dedicated to their team and in their training”. Their hard work in the preliminary games secured them second place in the A side of the Draw with two wins and a loss. They competed well in the semi-finals but lost to eventual and deserved repeat champions Cayman Prep girls while the 3rd place match was a hard fought loss 3-0 to Lyford Cay International School.
Scorers for the girls team during the tournament included MVP and team captain Tola Broderick with 2 goals, Darci Reich with 3 goals and several fantastic assists, Gabbi Jermyn with 2 goals and two sublime assists, Hailey Chomiak with two and Alisha Ayers with a highlight reel goal and two wonderful helpers. Arial Mohammed and Tinia Van Zoost played solid defense with Arial playing a breakout game in Game 3 and Tinia scoring on a solo effort in game 2. Libby Morris was terrific in goal as she kept two clean sheets in the tournament. Freya Childs, playing in her first KPMG Football Fest tournament played solid defense as she provided much needed breathers to both Arial and Tinia on defense. Georgia, also a tournament rookie played well and did a great job as she looked to act as provider up front.