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ROYALS BLANK BULLDOGS IN QUARTERFINALS

The ND Royals are determined to make the championship once more and they kicked off the girls soccer quarterfinals Tuesday with a shutout victory over the Okkodo Bulldogs.

By Mike Nauta Jr.

Playoff action kicked-off in the IIAAG Girls High School Soccer League Tuesday afternoon with four games scheduled.  Over at the Leo Palace soccer field, the Notre Dame Royals and Okkodo Bulldogs battled one another looking to advance into the next round.  When all was said and done, it was the Royals who blanked their opponents 2-0 and earned a spot in the semifinals.

Early in the match, it was the Lady Bulldogs that came out the more aggressive between the two.  Not finding early rhythm defensively nearly hurt Notre Dame as a breakdown gave room for Okkodo’s Ke’ann Castro to take the first shot on goal.  Castro’s shot just missed finding the back of the net by mere inches.

 

ND's Destiny Castro dribbles past Okkodo Defenders and was a able to get a goal later down field.(Photo by: Joey Blas)

ND’s Destiny Castro dribbles past Okkodo Defenders and was a able to get a goal later down field.(Photo by: Joey Blas)

It wasn’t until about the 11th minute mark when the Royals managed to take their first shot on goal.  After breaking free away from the Bulldogs back line, ND’s Destiny Castro got a good shot off only to be met by Okkodo goalie Chyna Ramirez.  Not willing to give up easily, Castro eventually responded on the very next possession change as a strong left-footed kick zipped the ball past Ramirez giving Notre Dame a 1-0 lead.

Momentum began to shift midway through the first half as the Royals turned up the heat on defense resulting in opportunities at the offensive side.  Led by Britney Blau and Hope Mary Calip, the Royals defense cleared a ball that was eventually handled by Paris “Mames” Blas.  Using her speed and agility, Blas booted a shot from atop the penalty box that found it’s way to the back of the net making it a 2-nil game.

 

Okkodo's Ke'ann Castro dribbles takes the inbound and dribbles towards midfield. (Photo by: Joey Blas)

Okkodo’s Ke’ann Castro dribbles takes the inbound and dribbles towards midfield. (Photo by: Joey Blas)

After returning from the halftime break, the Lady Bulldogs looked to end the dry spell with Ke’ann Castro and Melanie Rasmussen leading the offense. However, Notre Dame goalkeeper Kristie Stone proved to be too tough after denying several shot attempts.  As time continued to tick away, the Bulldogs hopes of a comeback began to slip away.

Despite being limited to lesser shots on goal in the second half, the Royals trusted their defense to finish out the game.  Attempts by Okkodo’s Shania Bulala and Ariya Cruz would eventually get turned away by Calip, Blau, and Cabrini Cruz.  When the final whistle blew signaling the end of the game, it was the Royals who celebrated victory and a slot into the semis.

IIAAG High School Girls Soccer action resumes Thursday with semifinal games being played at the GFA soccer field in Harmon.  Games are scheduled for 4:30  and 6:30pm respectively.

OTHER SCORES

GW 9, Guam High 8 – TRIPLE SHOOTOUT

Southern 4, Harvest 0

Sanchez 2, Academy 1

PHOTO GALLERY:

Okkodo's Juliena Taitano receives the pass and dribbles towards the goal. (Photo by: Joey Blas)

Okkodo’s Juliena Taitano receives the pass and dribbles towards the goal. (Photo by: Joey Blas)

Okkodo's Ke'ann Castro tries to advance to the goal but was well defended. (Photo by: Joey Blas)

Okkodo’s Ke’ann Castro tries to advance to the goal but was well defended. (Photo by: Joey Blas)

ND's Destiny Castro dribbles past Okkodo Defenders and was a able to get a goal later down field.(Photo by: Joey Blas)

ND’s Destiny Castro dribbles past Okkodo Defenders and was a able to get a goal later down field.(Photo by: Joey Blas)

ND's Britney Blau steals the ball from Okkodo player. (Photo by: Joey Blas)

ND’s Britney Blau steals the ball from Okkodo player. (Photo by: Joey Blas)

Okkodo's Melanie Rasmussen regains possession of the ball while being well defended by ND Destiny Castro. (Photo by: Joey Blas)

Okkodo’s Melanie Rasmussen regains possession of the ball while being well defended by ND Destiny Castro. (Photo by: Joey Blas)

ND's Goalie Kristi Stone makes a nice diving stop and denies Okkodo from scoring a goal in the second half. (Photo by: Joey Blas)

ND’s Goalie Kristi Stone makes a nice diving stop and denies Okkodo from scoring a goal in the second half. (Photo by: Joey Blas)

ND's Paris Blas passes the ball downfield to an open team mate (Photo by : Joey Blas)

ND’s Paris Blas passes the ball downfield to an open team mate (Photo by : Joey Blas)

ND's Demie Brennan dribbles the ball down the sideline. (Photo by: Joey Blas)

ND’s Demie Brennan dribbles the ball down the sideline. (Photo by: Joey Blas)

Okkodo's Melanie Rasmussen tries to get the ball past ND defenders. (Photo by: Joey Blas)

Okkodo’s Melanie Rasmussen tries to get the ball past ND defenders. (Photo by: Joey Blas)

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