GBTI GCC ladies shine at Big Apple Indoor Hockey Tournament


The GBTI GCC ladies recently visited Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to participate in the prestigious Big Apple Indoor Tournament 2024.

This was their third ever participation in the tournament, which is the most subscribed in the Americas.  The tournament features Open Men’s, Open Women’s and Female Collegiate divisions.

The GBTI GCC ladies were places in Pool B alongside the Chicago FHC, Thirsty Turtles (a team comprising of former USA nationals and current College coaches), Canada Nextgen and Old Dominion University White.

With the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall being under construction, the ladies were limited to training in confined spaces rather than a full pitch and knew that getting adjusted in their first match would be critical.

The opening match for the Guyanese ladies saw them enjoying greater chances than the opposition, but they still struggled a bit to get used to the floor and spacing.

GCC had a boost of confidence when midfielder Sarah Klautky put them up by one goal in the crucial minute before the halftime whistle.

The teams would trade goals in the second half, but it was the second goal for GCC by Aliyah Gordon, and the final of the match by Abosaide Cadogan that saw GCC edge Chicago to a 3-2 victory.

The GBTI ladies were scheduled to face the Pool favourites, Thirsty Turtles, the very next morning.  While the name appeared disarming, the Turtles pressured GCC from the opening whistle.

The Guyanese however, had a solid defensive plan which worked to perfection.

GCC would earn a penalty stroke through a brilliant counter-attacking run by Aliyah Gordon, but the resulting shot was wide leaving the match with a scoreless first half.

Eight minutes into the second half, Riley Donnely would punish GCC by converting a penalty stroke for the Turtles, giving them a one goal lead.

Strikers Abosaide Cadogan and Aliyah Gordon however, would come through to save their club, each using the superior pace against the hastily retreating Turtles to score a double in the second half. GCC emerged victorious 2-1.

Canada Nextgen, a team made up of junior Canadian players was next up for GCC. The Guyanese team started the match with a young selection as a result, with all five field starters being national Under-21 players.

After her opening goal in the ninth minute, Abosaide Cadogan would chalk up a hat-trick by the 26th minute through two field goals and a penalty corner.

Aliyah Gordon would get into the act next with a double in the second half while Sarah Klautky added a single to round out GCC’s six goals.

While Canada Nextgen fought bravely, they were outclassed by their Guaynese opponents and only managed a single goal against the run of play through Imke Arndt, leaving the final score at 6-1 for GCC.

GCC experienced a spate of bad luck in their final pool match as a defensive error in the circle led to an opening goal for ODU White in the 10th minute.

GCC would score shortly after through Aliyah Gordon, but the umpire indicated that the whistle had gone just prior to the ball crossing the line, to award a penalty stroke for GCC.

GCC captain Gabriella Xavier rocketed her penalty stroke off the right goalpost to fall short of evening the score. The prolific Abosaide Cadogan however, would draw the game even in the 15th minute taking the game to a 1-1 first half score.

With several chances wasted in the second half, ODU White would secure a penalty corner on the final buzzer and score their winning goal with no time remaining.

GCC received their first loss of the tournament, but earned their first semi-final berth. The team’s previous highest placing was seventh in the 2023 edition of the tournament.

GCC would play their final match in the semi-final against the National Under-21 team of Australia.  While the Guyanese had a few chances to score in the early minutes of the game, the Australians proved too much to handle.

GCC found themselves behind by two goals to nil at the half and made every effort to recover the deficit in the second half.

The team’s attacking efforts however, left them vulnerable in defense and they succumbed to the pressure of an Australian team that was too good to overcome.

GCC eventually lost the semi-final 10-1, with their lone goal once again by Abosaide Cadogan.

Cadogan ended the tournament as the sixth highest goalscorer. With the placement between third and fourth determined by goal difference, GBTI GCC finished in fourth place, their highest placement ever in the tournament.

Coach Philip Fernandes was high in praise for his charges, indicating that he was proud of their performance.

Fernandes said that the team had greater depth in quality this year than previous ones as he could freely substitute players without concern for the quality of play dropped off on the court.

The team had three less substitutes than their opposition and so most matches were very physically challenging, which meant it was even more important to have constant rotation of the players.

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