American Samoan eyes are still smiling following their famous win over neighbours and rivals Samoa at the OFC U-19 Women’s Championship in Rarotonga.
After the final whistle blew, the unbridled joy on the face of the players showed just how much this win meant for the close-knit team built on a lot of hard work and dedication.
Not least to team captain Olivia Vaiomounga who couldn’t hide her delight after leading her side to a historic victory.
“I am very proud to lead the team to our first victory and especially against our rivals,” she enthused.
“This is really important for the people back home because they have been supporting us a lot in the past two months with never ending support,” she added.
Vaiomounga is adamant the win was a well deserved reward for the commitment and dedication that every member of her team had put into this campaign.
“We really worked hard for the position we are in today despite the many challenges we had during our training back home.
“It was rain or shine we never stopped our training as the girls never said no to training,” said the skipper.
And nobody could doubt Vaiomounga’s devotion to the cause with the captain putting her country first before her education.
“I was supposed to start my tertiary education, but I chose my country after consultation with the dean of the university.
“I had to withdraw and was given opportunity to join in the second session and when I heard that I was so proud and thank God for giving me a way forward,” she said.
And going forward, Vaiomounga believes she will always remember the win over Samoa.
“The victory against our rivals will be unforgettable moment for us because we played our heart out,”
Coach Stephen Settle echoed her team captain’s sentiments.
“For me it is special just to be part of this and to see all the work the girls have put in and coming together fighting through some challenges,” the American Samoa coach said.
“For us this victory against Samoa carries a lot of meanin as this was our first Under 19 team’s victory and also our first victory against Samoa and that was special for everybody that played for the Federation, and those who all have worked so hard for opportunities in the men’s and women’s teams,” Settle added.