CASTRO LIFTS ROYALS IN SEMIFINALS

CASTRO LIFTS ROYALS IN SEMIFINALS

📅24 May 2015
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By Jose Terlaje

Spectators filled all the bleachers at the Guam Football Association soccer field as the ND Royals and GW Geckos faced off in a much anticipated Girl’s High School Soccer semifinal match. It was a physical match right from the start. You could feel tension from both the players on the field and the spectators in the crowd with both teams really wanting to reach that ultimate goal of making it to the championship game.

With time dying down, the Geckos made many attempts to score but were unlucky and time eventually died down with the Royals picking up a 1-0 win over the Geckos.

Early in the first half, the Geckos were given a free kick at the top of the box. The shot taken by Erlissa Delfin looked good but was just a bit off target. Moments later, ND’s Destiny Castro had a 1-on-1 with the GW keeper but her shot was deflected out of bounds.

The rest of the first half was mostly traded possessions, ending with the two teams knotted up at 0-0. Although GW controlled the ball most of the half, ND took more shots on goal.

In the second half, the Royals’ offense stepped up to the plate and started to set the pace of the game. Right off the bat ND winger Elysia Perez found Castro open at the top of the Gecko goalie box but Castro’s shot went wide right. Moments later in the 51st minute, a free kick was given to the Royals at half field. Right after the kick was taken, the GW keeper rushed to the top of her box to save the ball but ND’s Castro chipped the ball over all the defenders, chasing her chip shot and then finishing it in the middle of traffic to put the Royals up 1-0.

The Geckos then tried to answer, picking up their offense and playing more aggressively but the aggressive play caused a number of yellow cards to be given to players on both teams. GW’s Colleen Quinata and Jalana Garcia had a number of good runs, nearly breaking away from the ND defense but they were unlucky in putting points on the board for their team.

The Royals didn’t stop running though, getting good runs from Randi Paulino who constantly tore through the GW defense. The Geckos made many attempts to strike back and equal the score but  they were stopped time and time again by ND’s defensive core of Hopemary Calip, Michaela Sablan, Kaemiha Muna, and Amara Gumataotao.

Later, the Royals’ Mames Blas was awarded a PK after teammate Elysia Perez was fouled inside the GW goalie box. Blas took a hard shot but it went straight to the keeper. The Royals continued to apply the pressure with Taylor Paulino constantly winning the ball back for her team.

“I’m really proud of the girls being able to play a high level of soccer against a very talented and physical GW team. As we head into the championship game we just plan on being prudent and not underestimating Sanchez. They didn’t have all of their players when we played them in the regular season so we are expecting a very different game this time around. All we can do is prepare to play a more complete Sanchez team,” said ND head coach Cara Walsh as her team prepares to play the Simon Sanchez Sharks in the championship game on Tuesday.

Sharks Stun Top Seeded Dolphins

The three-time defending champion Southern Dolphins were in line to add a fourth straight title after going through the entire 2015 season without a loss. It all changed Saturday morning after coming up short in a shootout after a scoreless 80 minutes of action.

The Sharks managed to net in three goals to the Dolphins one with Southern missing on their 4th attempt while trailing Sanchez 3-1.

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