By William Ysaguirre
The defending champions, the girls of the University of Belize won the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize National Football Championship. Sacred Heart Junior College hosted the event at the Norman Broaster Stadium auditorium in San Ignacio last Saturday and Sunday.
The UB girls won the championship finals 2-0 over their arch-rivals from the year before, the girls of Independence Junior College. Iris Galdamez and Emmerlyn Nunez led the UB offensive, supported by Delmi Cornelio and Leonella Chu on the wings and Anijay Quiroz and Zenda Avila at midfield. Avila scored the first winning goal on a free kick that sailed over the outstretched gloves of IJC goalkeeper Marian Trujillo to find the far corner of the net.
Iris Centeno and Brenda Alvarado led the furios IJC counterattacks with the help of Erica Vallecillo and Roxana Alvarado on the wings and Zulma Portillo and Sylvia Cabral at midfield, but they could not get past the staunch UB defense anchored by Esther Cal, with the help of Aaren Ritchie-Bonar, Tricia Coye and Albertha Garcia.
UB coach David Jones introduced Tracy Chi, Arlene Bennett and Chinyere Wade in the second half and Bennett, fresh off the bench soon made her presence felt by drilling a second goal past Trujillo into the right corner of the net for the 2-0 victory.
The UB girls had advanced to the finals by a 3-0 victory over Belize Adventist Junior College from Calcutta in the second game of the girls’ competition on Saturday evening. Jinelle Pott scored the first winning goal after nine minutes of play, and Aaren Ritchie-Bonar added a second goal nine minutes later to lead 2-0 at intermission. Delmi Cornelio iced the victory with a third goal three minutes into the second half.
The independence girls also qualified to the finals by a 6-0 victory over Centro Escolar Mexico from San Roman, Corozal in the opening game of the tournament. Brenda Alvarado scored IJC’s first winning goal after 11 minutes of action and Iris Centeno added a second goal five minutes later and Centeno returned to score a third goal two minutes after that. Erica Vallecillo followed suite with a fourth goal four minutes later to lead 4-0 at intermission. Vallecillo scored a fifth goal seven minutes after the break.CEM’s Janel Magana only compounded her team’s woes with a dreaded auto-goal two minutes later for the 6-0 final score.
A lone rally by Maira Acosta five minutes before intermission gave the Belize Adventist girls a 1-0 victory over the CJC girls in the consolation match for third place on Saturday morning.
The champions, second and third place winners received team trophies and individual medals at the close of the tournament.