“It’s something I’ll remember forever.”
That’s how Surbition high School student Coco Williams Everett summed up her Wembley experience after scoring twice to lead AFC Wimbledon, to victory in the Utilita Girls Cup Final.
In an action-packed contest against Trinity School, representing Carlisle United, Williams Everett netted in both halves to secure cup glory in front of a boisterous crowd ahead of the Papa Johns Trophy Final.
“It feels amazing,” she said. “Not many people get the chance to play at Wembley, so it’s been an incredible opportunity!”
🏆 Congratulations to Surbiton High School, representing @AFCWimbledon, who were crowned 2023 @UtilitaFootball Girls Cup winners after a 2-1 win over Trinity School (@officialcufc) at @wembleystadium. 👏#EFL pic.twitter.com/dSm0Rzu7iQ— EFL (@EFL) April 2, 2023
Wimbledon flew out of the blocks and quickly opened the scoring when Williams Everett drifted centrally from the left flank and struck a powerful effort into the back of the net from close range.
Carlisle responded well, however, and came close to restoring parity when Eden Varah played through Macy Edgar, but her attempt was thwarted by a brilliant sliding block from Lana Brewer.
After half-time, Trinity School continued to pose a threat and got themselves back on terms.
Influential skipper Varah’s shot from distance was parried away towards the path of Nicole Jeffrey, whose follow-up was excellently stopped by Emilia Hebert.
However, Varah was on hand to convert the rebound with a pinpoint strike into the bottom left corner to make it 1-1.
Surbiton weren’t pegged back for long, though, as Williams Everett headed home from a Sophie Leach corner to regain their lead.
And despite some late pressure, they held on for victory and a slice of redemption, having suffered defeat at this stage last season.
Surbiton pupil, Brewer, explained: “The journey to get here was incredible and I’ve learned so much. Playing in front of all the people cheering, the feeling was so good, and to win makes it even better.”
Zak Elbekri, Head of Football, added: “To get to this stage is an achievement in itself, but to win this time adds a bit extra to the experience.
“Playing at a venue like Wembley is incredible and an experience they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.”
The players were presented the Girls Cup trophy by former England international Fara Wiliams.
She said: “The competition is fantastic. The opportunity for any young player to play in a Cup Final at Wembley is unbelievable and this is a fantastic occasion for the girls to experience.”
Surbiton High School – AFC Wimbledon
Emilia Hebert (GK), Tilly Crone, Layla Edwards, Sophie Leach (C), Madeleine Hardy, Coco Williams Everett, Elana Tibbs, Lana Brewer.
Trinity School – Carlisle United
Scarlett Bowman (GK), Eden Varah (C), Maisie Palmer, Nicole Jeffrey, Martha Nicholson, Phoebe Anthony, Macy Edgar, Grace Graham.