Solaun hoping for brighter days
Reggae Girlz play-maker Havana Solaun who netted Jamaica’s only goal at the Women’s World Cup in France earlier this year has admitted that her performance at the just concluded Concacaf Caribbean Group B first round Olympic qualifiers was underwhelming. The qualifiers were held at the National Stadium from September 30 to October 8. Jamaica defeated US Virgin Islands (USVI) 7-0 in their final game on Tuesday night to top the group with maximum 12 points and advance to the Concacaf final round which is scheduled for next year. But Solaun, who scored a brilliant goal against Australia at the Women’s World Cup, did not manage a goal in her four appearances at the Olympic qualifiers and that was a bit disappointing for the Klepp IL (Norwegian League) play-maker who wants to make goalscoring a more consistent part of her game.
“I was happy with the team’s performance but there are things individually that I know I can improve on and do better. Scoring goals and putting together a consistent game are important,” she said. “Ninety-minutes is a long time and you can have mental lapses, so, for me, it’s important to put 90 solid minutes together,” she added.
She says that now that they have past this first hurdle the focus for them is to keep gelling and improving as a team.
“We couldn’t be happier as we got the results. We really tried to focus on growing as a team and the World Cup was a great opportunity. But we still have a lot of room for improvement and I think these games allowed for that, for us to get together and practice and improve,” she continued.
“So any opportunity we get to train will be huge for us. We are coming from all over, from our club teams, university and colleges and any chance we can get to come together as a unit will be crucial. So for me, it’s important we get together one more time before we compete again,” she said.
Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw (6th, 14th, 20th, 28 and 74th) netted five goals in the Reggae Girlz’s win over USVI, with the other goals coming from Cheyna Matthews (eighth) and Trudi Carter (30th). Shaw also became the nation’s leading goalscorer across all genders with 40 goals, surpassing Luton Shelton’s 35 goals for the men’s team.
The Concacaf final round will be played in 2020 at a date and venue to be announced.