Kemesha Woodfine Playing For Jamaica In CONCACAF U-20 TournamentHAMDEN, Conn. - Quinnipiac University women's soccer freshman and Jamaica-native Kemesha Woodfine (Stamford, Conn.) is currently representing her home country in the Women's U-20 CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Tournament. Woodfine has appeared in three games for the National U-20 squad so far, and has scored a goal and tallied an assist during her time on the field.
"I believe when any player who has a passion for any sport are called to represent their country it will be a proud moment for them, just like it was for me," said Woodfine. "The greatest feeling for me is right before the games when the Jamaican national anthem is being played. It is a spectacular feeling to stand there knowing that I am fortunate enough to represent my country because I know it is something many people do not get the opportunity to do."
Woodfine joined the team in early November and put in two training sessions before heading to Trinidad and Tobago to take on Cuba on Nov. 18 in the first game of the Caribbean Final Stage. Woodfine saw 36 minutes of action against Cuba, where Jamaica prevailed, 1-0, and went on to play St. Kitts and Nevis on Nov. 20. Woodfine got the start against St. Kitts, and scored the game's opening goal just three minutes in to give her team the 1-0 lead. She went on to assist the game's second goal, giving Jamaica the 2-0 victory. On Nov. 22, Woodfine saw 27 minutes on the field against stage host, Trinidad and Tobago, where the two teams played to a 1-1 draw.
Jamaica's 2-0-1 performance in the second round earned the team a berth into the CONCACAF Women's U-20 Final Round to be played in Guatemala City. Woodfine and her teammates will open the tournament against the defending U-20 FIFA World Cup Champions, the United States, on Jan. 21. They will also play Mexico on Jan. 23, and will face off against Trinidad and Tobago again on Jan. 25. Eight teams will play in the Final Round and the team with the best final record after the five-day tournament will be dubbed the CONCACAF Women's U-20 Champion. Guatemala, Cuba, Costa Rica, and Canada will also be playing in the Final Round. The winner of the Final Round will represent CONCACAF at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
"We are always pretty confident going into the preliminary rounds where we only play against other Caribbean teams," said Woodfine. "My teammates and I were well-composed and ready for the competition in Trinidad. I am pleased with my team's efforts against the Caribbean teams, but we will definitely need to continue our improvement for the upcoming games against strong teams like the U.S. and Mexico."
This is not the first time Woodfine has represented her native country on the soccer field. Two summers ago, the forward played into the second round of the World Cup qualifiers with Jamaica. She has also played with several of her teammates in club soccer. Woodfine suffered an injury during the Quinnipiac mid-season and struggled to come back to play in the Caribbean Final Stage, but will continue to rehab and looks to play at full strength for the Final Stage in January.
"I was not completely satisfied with my performance (in Trinidad)," said Woodfine. "However, I am not too disappointed because I went into the tournament hurt. I am grateful to have contributed a goal and an assist, and I believe that I did fairly well given that it was my first time after a month of rehab playing at match pace again."
Woodfine was born in Portmore, Jamaica, but currently resides in Stamford, Conn. The freshman played her high school years at The Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tenn., and also suited up for the East Ridge Soccer Association before coming to Quinnipiac. In her rookie season for the Bobcats, Woodfine appeared in 11 games, starting four of them. She contributed two goals for four points on the year.