COUGARS PROVE STRONG AGAINST SHARKS

COUGARS PROVE STRONG AGAINST SHARKS

📅07 May 2014
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By Robert Balajadia

The Academy Cougars used a hot start to hold on and beat the Sanchez Sharks 3-2 Wednesday evening at the Okkodo field where drama unfolded in the last few seconds of the game.

Trailing 3-1 in the final minutes of the game, Sharks’ forward Maria Abbey Iriarte broke through the defense and was in a race to the ball against Cougars goalie Mya Sanchez where Iriarte got to the ball a half second ahead of Sanchez who also stuck a leg out to try and stop the ball. The force of Sanchez caused an unintentional trip on a slide sending Iriarte flying where she landed on her side.

The foul granted Sanchez a red card for being the lone defender and she knew the play was bad as soon as it unfolded.

“I was telling my self to just get the ball away from the goal. I just went for it, but right when I did and [Abbey] tumbled I knew it was a really bad foul,” said Sanchez about how the end of the game unfolded.

Cougars' Mya Sanchez jumps up to make a save in the second half. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Cougars’ Mya Sanchez jumps up to make a save in the second half. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Iriarte and Sanchez are friends outside of the league as Sanchez apologized and made sure Iriarte was able to stand up right before making her way out of the game. Iriarte scored on the free kick cutting the Cougar lead 3-2, although time expired just seconds after the play ending the game.

The foul will cause Sanchez to miss the Cougars’ season finale against the Guam High Panthers where Sanchez was eager to go up against one of the best scorers in the league in Kayla Kinney.

“We just have to train our other goalie and cheer my team on and root for them,” said Sanchez on what she’s going to do from the sideline against the Panthers.

The Cougars got off to a quick start scoring their first goal just six minutes into the game. Academy’s Mia Santos took a ball from midfield to inside the goal area where she dished off a quick pass to teammate Morgan Quinley who tapped in the shot for the wide open score.

Six minutes later, the Cougars were once again on the attack as Andrea Odell stopped her dribble from 40 yards outside of the goal and slammed a left foot beauty right into the net putting the Cougars up 2-0 in the first 12 minutes.

“I’m just taking all the shots I can. You always have to take your shots to score,” said Odell on her 40-yard bomb.

Cougars' Andrea Odell sends the ball downfield. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Cougars’ Andrea Odell sends the ball downfield. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

The Sharks responded in the first half after Kiara Camacho challenged Sanchez by attacking a ball Sanchez was trying to save when Camacho managed to send the ball flying into the net before Sanchez could get a hand on it.

A back-and-forth second half had both teams appearing to share time of possession before Santos would suck the momentum away form the Sharks with a game sealing goal.

Santos found herself some wiggle room where she used her left foot to catch Sharks goalie Lowella DiRamos off guard netting the Cougars last goal of the game.

The Cougars improve to 8-1-1 with the win. Sanchez was coming off a big win against the ND Royals over the weekend, butt the loss now drops them to 6-2-1.

Academy is scheduled to end the regular season against the Guam High Panthers on Saturday. When asked how she feels her team will perform despite missing key players, Odell responded saying, “We’re just going to have to see how this weekend unfolds. We do have another keeper who plays very well in the goal so I think we’ll be alright.”

PHOTO GALLERY:

Sharks' Maria Abbey Iriarte prepares to take a shot at gaol. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Sharks’ Maria Abbey Iriarte prepares to take a shot at gaol. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Sharks' Kiara Camacho and Cougars' Raven Aguon battle for possession of the ball. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Sharks’ Kiara Camacho and Cougars’ Raven Aguon battle for possession of the ball. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Cougars' Morgan Quinley nearly scores off a corner kick, but Sharks goalie Lowella DiRamos was ready for it. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Cougars’ Morgan Quinley nearly scores off a corner kick, but Sharks goalie Lowella DiRamos was ready for it. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Sharks' Maria Abbey Iriarte attempts a free kick which was saved by Cougars' goalie Mya Sanchez. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Sharks’ Maria Abbey Iriarte attempts a free kick which was saved by Cougars’ goalie Mya Sanchez. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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