Soraya Toppin-Herbert was able to rally GWG's to win the inaugural BFA's Women's Futsal Challenge
Girls With Girls (GWG) saved the best for last, and in a thrilling semi-final game, upset Females Can Ball (FCB) to advance to the finals, and take the title and the grand prize of $5,000 in the inaugural Barbados Football Association’s (BFA) Women’s Futsal Challenge.
Led by Soraya Toppin-Herbert, GWG defeated the tournament favorites 3-2 to advance to the finals at the Wildey Gymnasium, and in the final match of the tournament, GWG and Futsal Shottas took to the court one last time.
Both teams went on the offense very early, but GWG drew first blood in the third minute. However, 15 minutes later the Shottas came back and equalized courtesy Patrina “Pixie” Brathwaite. To add the icing on the cake, Rianna Cyrus pulled away less than a minute later, to end the first half on a high note, after GWG’s goalkeeper allowed a ball to slip straight through her grasp.
As the second half continued, GWG regrouped and came back fresh stopping Futsal Shottas in their tracks when Joelle Gibson scrambled the first goal of the second half over the line. That was all the invitation they needed, as Daphne Watson-James pocketed the third goal in the 24th minute.
While the Shottas came back and equalized in the 37th minute via Cyrus, GWG made sure they were the winners, sealing the deal off the boots of Gibson in the fading seconds of the game.
GWG’s captain, Toppin-Herbert said while the tournament started frustrating for them, they were able to regroup and come out the eventual winners.
“We’re a team that can fight and we’re a team that plays as a team. I think our team developed during the tournament and the girls came in today and really helped us out. It feels great considering how the games started. It looked like we were going to just play the games and be done, so to have the start that we had and to finish the way we did today, I am just really happy for the girls on the team because we played as a team and it’s a team win,” she said jubilantly.
On the other side of the court, Futsal Shottas, managed a 2-1 victory to also advance to the final round of the tournament.
Following two very exciting matches, FCB, who earlier had their chains rattled, came back with the spirit seen throughout the tournament and walked over Pride of Lioness Ballers (PLB) 7-2 to take the third-place spot and $1,500.
PLB opened the scoring, but FCB would have none of it and shortly thereafter equalized with the opponent. PLB came back in the tenth minute and took the advantage via a shot from Marissa King. But FCB, less than 30 seconds later, levelled the playing field following a shot from distance by top goal scorer Shanice Stevenson, who ended the tournament on 25 goals.
The rest, as they say, was history, as FCB blocked every attack and attempt at goal by PLB, who all but gave up, to walk away with the third place victory.
Following the game, FCB’s goalie Kamillah Burke said she was happy the girls put in the effort at the end.
“We were confident and wanted to get to the finals, but unfortunately, football plays on the day, but we are contented with third place. Overall, it was a great tournament. Me personally, I had a fantastic tournament conceding no goals; it was only in the end that some [goals] went through. The team overall, the girls really put up a fight,” she said, adding that the Futsal Challenge should continue.
The Golden Glove – Kamillah Burke (FCB)
Most goals – Shanice Stevenson (FCB)
MVP – Soraya Toppin-Herbert – (GWG)
Team Fair Play Award - Pride of Lioness Ballers