An offensive explosion led by four goals from Molly Kehoe including a hat-trick in three minutes led the Cayman Islands National Women’s Under-17s to an 8-1 victory over Dominica Wednesday (21 August) in the opening game of the CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championships qualifying stage.
In the first half, Cayman’s offense broke through the Dominica defense for a multitude of chances including two posts off the foot of Kehoe. In the 21st minute, Darlington School freshman outpaced the defense down the right-wing, slotting low and left past keeper Dezra Clarke for a 1-0 lead into the half.
In the 56th minute, Kehoe continued to puzzle the Dominica back line, drawing multiple defenders in the near box with a dribbling clinic before crossing to a wide-open Shay Windsor who rung her shot off the post. Alexia Bromfield gathered the rebound and headed home for a 2-0 lead.
Dominica answered in the 58th minute when midfielder Britney Dennis finished low past Cayman keeper Satiah Miller on a counterattack to cut the deficit to 2-1.
In the 61st minute, another offensive rush from Cayman caught Dominica flat-footed when Bromfield back-heeled a pass onto the foot of a trailing Kehoe who fired home from outside the box for a 3-1 lead. One minute later, Kehoe stole the ball off the Dominican midfielder on the restart, outpacing the remaining Dominican defenders to tap in her third of the game for a 4-1 lead.
Just one minute after that, Cayman continued it’s offensive pressure with Kehoe firing from outside the near side box and passed the Clarke for her third goal in three minutes, and a 5-1 advantage.
In the 76th, minute Kehoe would play creator again, dribbling through the Dominica box to set up an unmarked Shay Windsor for her first of two second-half goals and a 6-1 lead. Substitute Shywayne Fyne would add another in the 81st minute.
“We are pretty pleased,” Assistant Head Coach Noel Kane said. “That the first half was a very tough game, we should’ve been three or four-nil, but we went into halftime and told them to just keep doing what they were doing and we knew we’d score more goals. They are a big physical team, and we knew they were gonna run out of energy sooner or later so we just kept playing.”
Cayman will play Martinique Friday (23 August) at 7:30 p.m. who defeated Antigua and Barbuda 4-2 in the early game.
“It’s great for the confidence,” said Kane. “This team has trained for the last eight months together, they put the effort, and now you’re seeing now is the fruits of the labor. We weren’t very happy with the defense in the first half, but we got it together and had a great performance in the end.”
The Under-17s featured players from the Under-14s that finished top of group in the Caribbean Football Union Challenge Series two weeks ago. They include starting midfielder Alexia Bromfield, forward Kayla Bradley, and reserves Ashlyn Evans and Kalie Ebanks.
“We told him when we were playing Under 14s there was an opportunity,” said Kane.”They might not be starting, but they could play 10 or 15 minutes if they were been selected. You can see the difference. It’s more physical, but we are very happy for them.”