FRIARS BLANK PANTHERS IN QUARTERFINALS

FRIARS BLANK PANTHERS IN QUARTERFINALS

📅12 December 2014
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UOG-GSPN-Banner-300x300-2014By Jose Terlaje

The FD Friars started their run at a championship the right way, by blanking the Guam High Panthers 2-0 at the Guam Football Association soccer field in Harmon. Although the Friars’ goals came late in the second half, they dominated possession throughout the game and barely gave the Panthers the opportunity to take shots on goal.

The Friars will move on to face the Harvest Christian Academy Eagles in a semifinal match on December 16.

“We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing. We’re playing pretty good football right now. We just need to score a bit quicker and keep the other team under pressure. These last few games we’ve been really pushing and we won’t be changing much. We’re just going to stick to our game plan,” said FD Coach Keith Dickson when asked about his team’s plans as they move on to the next round of the playoffs.

Early in the second half, the Panthers were finally able to get a shot on goal when striker Trever Riney broke away from the Friar defense. Riney had a wide open shot but put too much lift on the ball and shot it way over the goal.

FD's Charles Paulino advaces the ball from midfield. (photo by Jose Perez)

FD’s Charles Paulino advaces the ball from midfield. (photo by Jose Perez)

The Friars continued to apply the pressure from the first half and were able to get within scoring range through the middle of the field with Justin Johnson weaving through the defense with his exceptional ball control, beating multiple defenders and leaving them frozen in place, but were constantly denied by GHS defenders Hunter Yatar and Zack Olmstead. FD then made attempts to break through the Panther defense by running the ball down the right side but would be stopped by GHS’ TJ Tisdale on every attempt.

The Friars were starting to look a bit tired from being denied time and time again, but after a number of shot rejections by the GHS defense, FD’s Johnson trapped the ball near half field. Johnson, who was left unguarded as he carried the ball through the middle of the field, took a strong shot 35 yards from the goal that soared past the GHS goalie, giving the Friars a 1-0 lead in the 64th minute.

Johnson’s goal gave his team new life, with every player playing with more energy than ever. The Friars worked together to get more points on the board, blasting the Panthers with a shooting barrage but  GHS keeper was unfazed by the pressure and picked up numerous saves to keep his team in the game.

The Panthers’ defense gave their offense some time try to score but GHS could not make use of any of their possessions. In the 74th minute of the game, the Friars got the ball and worked their way down the left side of the field with Tevin Pangelinan who sent a cross just inside the right side of the GHS goalie box where Jake Benito struck the ball with a header that bounced off a defender and went right over the goalie’s head. Now leading 2-0 and with very little time left, the Friars started to pass the ball around more, killing the clock. The Panthers fought hard till the end but the Friars’ pressure was too overwhelming and they could not get any points up in the final moments of the game, giving the win to FD.

Justin Johnson, who scored the goal that got the Friars into offensive rhythm, said he thinks his team will remain successful as long as they work on their shooting and continue to motivate each other. Johnson went on to credit his individual success to the fact that he grew up playing soccer in outside leagues and having his older brother Brandon as a mentor.

Guam High's goalie was able to deflect another shot attempt. (photo by Jose Perez)

Guam High’s goalie was able to deflect another shot attempt. (photo by Jose Perez)

In the first half of the game, the Friars completely dominated the possessions and kept the ball on the Panthers’ side of the field for a majority of the half. FD almost always won the ball in the air and then used its efficient passing to get the ball through the GHS defense. FD’s midfielders Joseph Quan and Tevin Pangelinan distributed the ball well to teammates Jestin Escobar and Phillip Au who took a number of shots early in the half but were unable to convert them into goals.

Guam High’s Leon Bamba held it down for his team throughout the half, sending some passes down the field on offense and always sprinting back to support his defense. His teammates Joseph Connely, Noah Basurto and Aleks Perez had a few opportunities to break through the Friar defense but FD’s Keita Yoshida and Shane Healy kept the ball out of their half of the field.

The Panthers had a hard time controlling the ball, only getting shot opportunities off of set pieces. They had some chances to score off a few corner kicks taken by Bamba but he could not connect with a teammate to put a nice finish on his passes.

FD’s Johnson and Charles Paulino controlled the tempo of the game in the midfield throughout the half, finding teammates open to take shots but a majority of the shots taken were off target. The Friars’ high pressure style of play kept the Panthers on their toes, unable to penetrate through the FD defense. FD kept the ball out of Panther possession and maintained control of the ball throughout the rest of the half. Neither team was lucky in getting some points on the board, ending the first half tied up at 0-0.

Other Scores

#1 Harvest 11, #8 Tiyan 0 – Eagles (Ricky Katsumata 5, James Jeong 2, Marlon Evans 2, Anthony Dungca, Andrew Baldwin 1)
#2 JFK 3, #7 St. Paul 0
#3 GW 3, #6 St. John’s 1

SEMIFINALS on Tuesday at GFA

#1 Harvest vs. #4 FD 5 pm

#2 JFK vs. #3 GW 7 pm

PHOTO GALLERY:

Both teams trying to gain control of the ball from an in bound pass. (photo by Jose Perez)

Both teams trying to gain control of the ball from an in bound pass. (photo by Jose Perez)

Guam High vs FD (2 of 9)

Guam High #2 deflects an inbound pass. (photo by Jose Perez)

Guam High #2 deflects an inbound pass. (photo by Jose Perez)

From midfiled FD's Justin Johnson lets lose a shot for a goal. (photo by Jose Perez)

From midfiled FD’s Justin Johnson lets lose a shot for a goal. (photo by Jose Perez)

FD's Keita Yoshida was able to deflect an inbound pass away from a Guam High defender. (photo by Jose Perez)

FD’s Keita Yoshida was able to deflect an inbound pass away from a Guam High defender. (photo by Jose Perez)

A battle for a lose ball. (photo by Jose Perez)

A battle for a lose ball. (photo by Jose Perez)

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