Defending Under 13 girls’ high school football champions Cayman Prep secured their second title in as many seasons as they defeated Cayman International School (CIS) 4-3 in a thrilling ‘sudden death’ penalty shootout at the Camana Bay Sports Complex on Friday, November 20.
This deciding game was played after both schools agreed to play a final game due to their identical records and points following the culmination of the 2020 Cayman Youth Football Leagues (CYFL) Dart Under 13 Girls’ high school football regular season.
The regular season encounter finished in a 2-2 stalemate but both squads knew going into this final game that there would be no draw, no sharing of points, no replay – one school would walk off the field as champions.
The game itself was a very cagey affair with play largely restricted to the midfield area. Home field advantage and possessing the majority of student and parental support seemed to invigorate the young ladies from CIS as they probed and prodded, searching for that all-important breakthrough. Cayman Prep’s defence was unforgiving as they held fast, not allowing the CIS forwards many clear-cut shooting opportunities or any one-on-ones.
It was the same scenario for CIS. Their defence was limiting the physically smaller Cayman Prep forwards to any room in the penalty area and goal-mouth threats were few and far between.
Still, both teams gave it their all, hoping for that one chance that could break the game wide open. CIS came close in the first half as they hit the post but the Cayman Prep defence cleared the danger.
The second half played out much the same as the first half and it appeared as if this game would be decided in extra time or penalties. 0-0 after full time and both schools prepared for extra time.
As extra time came to a close, both schools became cautious, not wanting to make the mistake that could lose them the championship.
The dreaded penalty shootout would be the deciding factor. Three regular penalties apiece would be taken and if the score was still tied, a sudden death penalty shootout would take place where both schools would take penalties until one school missed. Certainly not the most ideal and fair way to decide a championship, but nevertheless, necessary all the same.
Both sets of penalty takers were perfect through the first three penalties but during the first round of sudden-death penalties, Cayman Prep scored while CIS missed and it was all over – Cayman Prep had clinched the 2020 Dart Under 13 Girls’ championship.
Following the celebrations and the now customary ‘elbow-bumping’ between the players and coaches, the Dart Cup was presented to the Cayman Prep team and the runners-up trophy to CIS by Dart representative and CYFL director Chloe Tatum.
St. Ignatius Catholic finished in third place.
Congratulations to Cayman Prep’s coaching staff headed by Phill Thompson and to Gisela Gamba, head coach at CIS for a truly wonderful season for both schools
Special thanks to Dart who have sponsored the Under 13 high school football leagues since its inception in 2017.