Assistant coach of the Women Soca Warriors Anthony Creece says his team has no intention of easing up when it faces St Lucia in their second-leg of their Group Two Caribbean Football Union Women’s Olympic Qualifier at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, from 6 pm today.
This after the Women Soca Warriors crushed St Lucian 6-0 led by a beaver-trick from Tasha St Louis at the same venue on Friday night.
Former European-based striker Ahkeela Mollon opened the scoring for the Women Soca Warriors as early as the third minute and added a second in the 66th. St Louis, who married long-time soulmate Kareem Joseph of Morvant Caledonia United recently, got the other goals in the tenth, 33rd, 38th and 58th minutes.
Commenting on the win, Creece said: “Our goal in the first match was to get a big result and keep a clean sheet in the first match and I’m very satisfied that the ladies played to the game plan, got the result we wanted and will have a clean sheet going into the next match.”
A former T&T Olympic team midfielder, Creece added: “What was also a good sign for us was that none of our players picked up any injuries in the first match, because with the small squad we have and the next round of matches to follow very soon next week, it could have a setback on the team.”
Looking ahead today’s encounter, Creece said he wants his team to go out with the same intensity and come away with another impressive result.
“We have a 6-0 lead and for St Lucia to get to the next phase they will have to overturn that scoreline. That means they will have to come at us so we will need to observe their approach early on and play to plan,” ended Creece, who is in charge of the team in the absence of US-based coach Randy Waldrum.
The qualifying tournament was reduced to T&T and St Lucia after Antigua & Barbuda and Cayman Islands, the two others teams who were expected to compete withdrew from the group series.
The winner of the T&T/St Lucia tie will then qualify to the four-team CFU Final round semifinal playoff versus Jamaica with Puerto and Guyana to meet in the other, also at Couva on November 18, followed by the final and third matches two days later.
At the end of that four-team tournament, the top three teams will advance to the eight-team Concacaf final round event from February 10-21 in Houston, USA, next year, from which the top two will qualify for the 2016 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, August 3-20.
Women start Olympic quest
Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior Women’s footballers will return to qualifying competition for the first time in just under a year when they take on St Lucia in the opening leg of their Olympic qualifying playoff at the Ato Boldon Stadium from 6pm on Friday.
The last time the T&T ladies were on the pitch was during the Pan American Games in August and prior to that their previous qualifying assignment was a 1-0 loss to Ecuador at the Hasely Crawford Stadium last December.
But now the time is theirs again as they begin their quest for Rio 2016 Olympic qualification.
The team, finalized by interim head coach Anthony Creece has some familiar faces in it with the likes of Mariah Shade, Janine Francois, Ahkeela Mollon, Arin King and Lauryn Hutchinson in the mix.
Jo Marie Lewis is also in the squad with former national youth player Melissa Woo Ling and current national under 20 player Chevonne John.
Creece said he was pleased with the shape of the team and expects them to pull off the results to take them through to the next phase of the CFU competition.
“The spirits are high in the camp,” Creece told TTFA Media on Thursday.
“The ladies have been working very hard and have come together in a good frame of mind and they are focused at the job at hand. This is all inspite of some of the challenges we’ve faced. Our group is small but ready to play and I expect them to do well in these playoffs,” Creece added.
Creece’s staff includes former senior men’s team goalkeeper Clayton Ince as the goalkeeper coach, Benyam Astorga, the T&T beach soccer head coach, as the trainer and Sharon O’Brien as the manager.
The team is in camp at the Metro Hotel in Couva.
The second leg of the playoffs will take place on Sunday at Ato Boldon Stadium from 6pm. The winners will advance to the CFU semi-finals which already includes Jamaica, Guyana and Puerto Rico. That leg of the campaign will take place at the Couva venue on December 18th with the two winners meeting in the final and the losing semi-finalists playing for third place on December 20th.
The top three teams will advance to the CONCACAF Finals next year from February 10-21 in the United States from which two teams will qualify for the Rio Olympics. The teams already through to the eight-team CONCACAF Finals include the US, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica.
T&T Squad for playoff with St Lucia
Team Administrator – Sharon O’Brien
Coach – Anthony Creece
Trainer – Benyam Astorga
Goalkeeper Coach – Clayton Ince
Equipment Manager – Claire George
Physiotherapist – Michael Taylor
Friday 13th November, 2015
St. Lucia vs Trinidad and Tobago – 6:00 p.m. Ato Boldon Stadium
Sunday 15th November, 2015
Trinidad and Tobago vs St. Lucia – 6:00 p.m., Ato Boldon Stadium
The winner of this encounter qualifies for the Semi Finals and Finals
Wednesday 18th November 2015 – Ato Boldon Stadium
5:00 p.m. Puerto Rico vs Guyana
7:30 p.m. Winner vs Jamaica
Friday 20th November 2015 – Ato Boldon Stadium
5:00 p.m. Losers play for 3rd and 4th
7:30 p.m. Winners play for 1st and 2nd