PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands -- Sand and skill were the order of the weekend in the Turks and Caicos Islands, when the Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association (TCIFA) kicked off the third edition of its women's beach soccer league at the National Academy.
Four teams - the Purple Pirates, Pink Mermaids, Blue Marlins and the Great White Sharks - are competing in what is known as the Captain Marvin's Beach Soccer League.
A large and enthusiastic crowd was enthralled by the players' performances and passion. The league continues to grow in popularity and the standard of play has improved.
TCIFA General Secretary Sonia Bien-Aime was clearly delighted with the start of a new season.
"In keeping with the TCIFA's long-term development plan to enrich and make available more competitions for girls and women's football in the Turks & Caicos Islands, it was an absolute pleasure to see the TCIFA commence its Beach Soccer League," she said. "It is my hope that our new beach soccer facility will see regional and international competitions being hosted at our shores in the not too distant future."
In the opener, the Purple Pirates defeated the Great White Sharks, 11-2, thanks to an impressive eight-goal haul by Sarah Cenary. Christina Hinds and Manila Pierre scored a goal each in the setback.
The second game was a tight affair, as the Pink Mermaids managed a 6-4 win over the Blue Marlins. The Mermaids went ahead 4-1 lead early in the second period, before the Marlins leveled with three straight goals.
Both teams fought hard for a winner. but Kadine Delphin netted her fourth tally of the match, giving the Mermaids a lead that they would not relinquish. Yarileny De La Cruz sealed the victory with an insurance strike from distance.
TCIFA Technical Director Matthew Green told CONCACAF.com that he was pleased with the opening day: "The TCIFA is one of the leading associations in Women's Beach Soccer. The league continues to provide many of our young players with an opportunity to learn about the game and give them some experience before we prepare for international competition in the future. Clearly, we have many talented players who have adapted well to the sport and are dazzling the crowd with their skills and some great goals."
TCIFA Captain Marvin's Beach Soccer League
Purple Pirates 3 pts. (+9 GD)
Pink Mermaids 3 (+2)
Blue Marlins 0 (-2)
Great White Sharks 0 (-9)