Karen Pais stole the show for former champions Mary Immaculate Girls High School (Borivli) scoring four goals in their 5-0 win over Ryan International (Kandivli) in the Mumbai Schools Sports Association girls U-16 Division II inter-school football tournament at Azad Maidan yesterday. Naomi Fernandes scored the fifth goal for the Borivli side.
Mary Immaculate (Borivli) striker Karen Pais
This is the first season where the schools sports body has two divisions for the girls' tournament. The Borivli side won the MSSA girls' U-16 title in 2010, 2012 and 2013, but missed out on last year's edition of the tourney due to a shortage of players and so had to play in Division II.
Fifteen-year-old Karen said she missed representing her school last year, and wants to make up for it by winning the title and her school a promotion to Division I. "I missed playing for my school last season. It's not a great feeling to play in Division II.
This being my last year in school, I want to ensure I help the team earn a promotion to Division I," said the Class X student, who captained the India U-14 side that finished runners-up in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) girl's football tournament in Dhaka, Bangladesh last year.
Coach Luke Rozario however wasn't surprised that Karen stole the show yesterday. "She's a shy kid off the field, but when she takes the field she is an asset to any team. I am not surprised that we won today. We have a good team and as long as the girls give their best on the field, I'm not concerned whether they win or lose," Rozario said.