Photos: Jets claim women’s 7-A-side soccer tournament
The Tafuna Jets claimed the 2013 FFAS Women’s 7-A-Side Tournament’s title with a thrilling, 1-0 win over Utulei Youth at Pago Park Soccer Stadium on Monday, May 27.
It was a thrilling final with the Jets dominating the attack before finally scoring a lone goal when Heidi Trapp headed in a long pass from teammate Sina Luani with only two minutes to play in the last half.
“I am very proud of the girls for winning the championship,” exclaimed the coach of the tournament, Sei Faapale. “Utulei was very hard to beat this time in the final but the girls found a way to do it.”
“Utulei is a very good team that we beat in the regular round and when we met them in the final I was sure my team was going to win,” said the Jets’ club president, Naomi Oney. “The girls had the mentality and the potential to win, all they had to do was to play together as a team to win.”
In the game for third place, Kiwi Soccers shocked all by beating Black Roses 3-1.
FFAS executive committee member, Rev. Ioane Evagelia, closed the competition on behalf of Faiivae Alex Godinet who is traveling to the Republic of Mauritius with Vice-President Sandra Herrera and CEO Tavita Taumua for the FIFA Congress 2013.
“Congratulations to all the Tafuna Jets for winning and to all the teams for competing well,” Rev. Evagelia said. “This was a great tournament and I hope to see all the teams competing again when we have another competition like this.”
At the end of the 9th and final round of the tournament on May 25, Black Roses had emerged as the No. 1 seed after beating the former standings leader, Tafuna Jets, 1-0.
Utulei, who was at No. 6 after May 18 games, leapt to No. 4 and held on to that final playoff spot during the last three rounds played on May 25.
Utulei, as the No. 4 seed, went on to shock top-seeded Black Roses 1-0 while the Jets held true to form by beating No. 3 seed Kiwi Soccers, 2-0.
“It was a shock for us to have to play Utulei Youth because we were looking forward to re-matching against Black Roses because they had beat us during the round games,” Oney pointed out. “But Utulei did a good job and it was a great game against them in the final.”
Oney went on to say that she used the short halves, seven minutes per half, to challenge her players to score as much as they could.
“This tournament is a good wake up call for all the team clubs for women’s soccer in American Samoa,” explained Oney. “Small competitions like this can help to build up the women’s game here and the quality of it can only get better in the future.”
Awards given out included the Final’s MVP award to Trapp; MVP of the Tournament went to the Jets’ Beulah Oney; Golden Shoe went to Black Roses’ Meleane Ioapo and the Golden Glove award went to Black Roses’ Filiga Ioapo.