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RIVAL TEAMS END SEASON ON A TIE

You wouldn’t think that Guam was on typhoon watch in preparation for tropical storm Dolphin if you saw how perfect the weather was for a soccer game at GFA Field where the ND Royals took on the AOLG Cougars in this Girl’s High School Soccer matchup. The longtime high school rivals battled down to the wire, eventually finishing the match all tied up at 1-1.

By Jose Terlaje

You wouldn’t think that Guam was on typhoon watch in preparation for tropical storm Dolphin if you saw how perfect the weather was for a soccer game at GFA Field where the ND Royals took on the AOLG Cougars in this Girl’s High School Soccer matchup.  The longtime high school rivals battled down to the wire, eventually finishing the match all tied up at 1-1.

Early in the match, the Royals looked to apply pressure on the Cougars quickly attacking the goal and being awarded a corner kick. The kick taken by Demie Brennan came close but was deflected out of bounds by AOLG keeper Mya Sanchez. The Cougars then attempted to counter attack with a long through ball sent by Serafina Paulino but no connection was made, stopping the attempt.

From that point on the Cougars changed the pace of the match, constantly attacking the ND goal. Throughout the remainder of the half the Cougars were able to keep control of the ball with Aubi Pangindian taking a number of shots on goal but ND keeper Johnalyn Santos was on point with her saves.

As the half came close to an end ND’s Destiny Castro found herself going 1 on 1 with the AOLG keeper but put too much left behind her shot, sending it right over the Cougar goal. Time in the half expired just moments later.

Kaeliana Taitano of the Cougars dodges Royals as she blasts towards the goal.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Kaeliana Taitano of the Cougars dodges Royals as she blasts towards the goal. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

The Royals looked to take over in the second half, going after the AOLG goal relentlessly in the early moments of the half. The Royals then got exactly what they wanted just eight minutes into the half. In the 48th minute, ND’s Castro was in the right position at the right time. After a failed clearance kick by the Cougar defense, Castro the loose ball right past the AOLG keeper to give her team a 1-0 lead early in the second half.

Moments later, the Royals had a chance to put more points on the board after being awarded a free kick at the top of the box but the kick was blocked the AOLG goalie.

The Royals continued to pressure the AOLG keeper, constantly attacking but coming up short. The Cougar defense’s hard work protecting the goal did not go unrewarded though.

On a counterattack, the Cougars were given a corner kick which was then taken by Kaeliana Taitano. Taitano sent a strong ball across the goal and through the ND defense, connecting with teammate Alithia Ayuyu who tapped it straight to the back of the net, getting the equalizer for the Cougars.

Destiny Castro of the Royals gains control of the ball off of a pass on her way down field.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Destiny Castro of the Royals gains control of the ball off of a pass on her way down field. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Neither team looked satisfied with finishing their final regular season game with a tie, playing even harder as time started to diminish. The Royals had some good chances after excellent ball distribution from Randi Paulino but were unlucky in scoring. The Cougars also had a few shots on goal from Pangindian and Taitano but nothing could connect with the back of the net. The teams traded possessions as time ran down, ending the match with a 1-1 tie.

“Playoffs are pretty much all mental. The girls have shown me in our other games that they are capable of being more efficient and dominant on the field, it all really depends on if they’re mentally prepared to do that while under the pressure of having to win or go home,” said AOLG Coach Shana Spindel when asked about her team’s plans for the playoffs as they finish the season as a middle seed. Spindel added that she is also proud of her team for being able to execute, especially against a very tough team like the Royals.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Players collide while moving towards the goal.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Players collide while moving towards the goal. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Michaela Sablan of the Royals gets her foot out in time to stop a Cougar from getting into scoring position.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Michaela Sablan of the Royals gets her foot out in time to stop a Cougar from getting into scoring position. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Kaeliana Taitano of the Cougars overpowers an attacking Royal to clear the ball.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Kaeliana Taitano of the Cougars overpowers an attacking Royal to clear the ball. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

A Cougar leaps up to head away a corner kick attempt.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

A Cougar leaps up to head away a corner kick attempt. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

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