ALEXCIA Ali scored a sizzling second half hat-trick over Signal Hill to seal the Shell/First Citizens Bank sponsored Girls Intercol title for Pleasantville Secondary, yesterday, at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva. In the first match of the double header, Ali announced herself on the highest stage of school football by putting on an MVP performance and left the the field to a standing ovation from the spectators.
After a stalemate first half, which ended 0-0, with both sides feeling out their opponents, Ali came out the dressing room determined to leave with the title. Scoring her first goal in the 46th minute, she got on the end of a cross delivered from the left flank by Kayla Maillard and the striker made no mistake in finding the back of the net. Ali added her second item of the game in the 58th minute when she took control of the ball between two defenders before neatly lobbing the goalkeeper. She then completed her hat-trick and secured the victory for P’ville in the 72nd minute by unleashing a powerful shot which stung the hands of Signal Hill’s goal-keeper, Aalyiah Alavrez, before the ball reached into the back of the net. Signal Hill got their opportunities late in the game but Pleasantville showed their resistant defending once more as they rounded off the season by only conceding in one game. Speaking after the game, the midfielder said, “Usually, when we face tough opponents, the coach uses my speed to penetrate their defence. It is an amazing achievement for the entire team to win this title for our school and community for the first time.” She continued, “It was an honour to score these goals and I hope this encourages other young girls to enjoy the beautiful game.” Pleasantville’s head coach, Joel Maloney, elaborated on the tactical switch he made during the half by detailing, “The team went out there and executed everything to perfection. We found it difficult to unlock Signal Hill in the first half so we made changes in the dressing room to counter what was happening on the field and it worked in our favour. Ali’s hat-trick was the icing on the cake.”