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ROYALS STING ISLANDERS IN SECOND HALF

The ND Royals were in serious need of some offense after playing through a scoreless first half against the JFK Islanders Wednesday evening in a girls soccer showdown. After a bit of tweaking on offensive and defensive sets, the Royals scored the only two goals of the game courtesy of Paris “Mames” Blas and Randi Paulino for a 2-0 victory.

By Robert Balajadia

The ND Royals were in serious need of some offense after playing through a scoreless first half against the JFK Islanders Wednesday evening in a girls soccer showdown. After a bit of tweaking on offensive and defensive sets, the Royals scored the only two goals of the game courtesy of Paris “Mames” Blas and Randi Paulino for a 2-0 victory.

“We were using a different formation in the first half, but we realized that it wasn’t working for us. We changed our formation from an offensive and defensive centre mid, but in the second half we played diagonally instead and we pushed our defense up,” said Mames (pronounced ma-mess).

The difference was clear in the first five minutes of the second half as the Royals attempted three strong shots at goal after only attempting five in the first half.

After a clearing from the ND defense, Royals Taylor Paulino used a one-tip pass to get the ball to a well defended Blas. The sweet footwork of Blas allowed her to dance around two defenders before rocketing a strong shot over the reach of the Islanders keeper for the games first score.

Michaela Sablan (left) and Irish Catibog battle for ball control.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Michaela Sablan (left) and Irish Catibog battle for ball control. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Though the Royals were in an offensive funk, Blas used her on-field leadership to keep the girls in the game mentally.

“Our girls needed motivation more than direction in the second half. I just helped encourage them and motivate them to do better without forcefully telling them or getting on them,” said Mames on her on-field communication.

Royals Randi Paulino had three promising shots that were just off the in first half, but she made an early exit after a collision and didn’t see action until the second half. Paulino had missed her two previous shots in the second before sinking the Islanders with a late goal off a one-on-one with the JFK defense.

“I just needed to work on being in better posotion,” admitted Paulino on her missed first half chances. “My coaches told me that I have the leg to shoot so I just needed to take the shot whenever I can, and stick to the last defender.”

Missed Opportunities

The JFK Islanders know that the 2-0 final score was not indicative of how close the game actually was after missing out on big opportunities to score in both halves. The Islanders didn’t get many shots at goal in the first half, four total, but their closest opportunity came midway through.

Islander Cianna Reyes and Marea Masnayon used fancy footwork to feed the ball ahead to forward Sheena Vista, who had a clean look at the goal. Instead, Vista tried to dump it off to teammate Gloria Nelson, who couldn’t put a leg on the ball of a wide open goal.

Cianna Reyes blasts in between two ND strikers to take control over the ball.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Cianna Reyes blasts in between two ND strikers to take control over the ball. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

The second half opened more opportunities for JFK, but the Royal defense played soundly to contest every shot. Masnayon came up strong from the right wing and put a through-ball right past the Royal defense to the right corner of the goal box, but teammate Aubrie Cabatic was late on the attack and the ball sailed out of bounds.

Vista also got a wide-open look late in the second half but her attempt was well too strong as it sailed over and past the goal.

JFK ended the second half with six shots at goal, two of which coming off well placed corner kicks from Masnayon.

The Royals improve to 2-1 while the Islanders fall to 1-2-1.

Other Scores

Okkodo 4, Tiyan 0 – (Keann Castro 2, Jestyne Sablan 1, Ariya Cruz 1)

PHOTO GALLERY:

Randi Paulino of ND powers down the field towards the goal.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Randi Paulino of ND powers down the field towards the goal. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Michaela Sablan of ND swoops in to take control of the ball over Aubrie Cabatic.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Michaela Sablan of ND swoops in to take control of the ball over Aubrie Cabatic. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Sheena Vista of JFK makes her way down the field trying to avoid defenders.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Sheena Vista of JFK makes her way down the field trying to avoid defenders. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

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DID U KNOW?

The ND Royals have only lost one soccer game in the past four years (2016-2019), which was an early season loss to the St. Paul Warriors in 2019. ND was coming into 2020 as the four-time defending champions.

The ND Royals on their victory lap after defeating the Academy Cougars 3-2 to become four-time IIAAG Girls High School Soccer Champions. (Photo by Michael Blas)

 

COMING SOON …

ALL SPORTING EVENTS HALTED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS ISSUE

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Fight announcement: Frank “The Crank” Camacho will take on Matt Frevola on June 20th!
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