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EAGLES HAND FRIARS FIRST LOSS IN WILD MID-SEASON CLASH

The Harvest Eagles got some big time performances in pivotal moments from forward Clayton Mitchell and keeper Kaito Atsuta as they defended home field against the FD Friars in a wild 4-3 win Saturday evening.

By Robert Balajadia

The Harvest Eagles got some big time performances in pivotal moments from forward Clayton Mitchell and keeper Kaito Atsuta as they defended home field against the FD Friars in a wild 4-3 win Saturday evening. Mitchell netted a hat-trick and Atsuta made a game-saving save in extra time.

The Eagles 4-2 lead quickly evaporated in the games closing minutes after Friar Kyle Halehale scored a header in the 80th minute to make things interesting. Due to a pair of injuries in the second half, the game stretched into extra time.

The Friars launched an all-out assault that payed off as Halehale got fouled inside the box on a last-minute attempt to set up a potential game-tying score. Eagles Atsuta knew exactly where the ball was going thanks to some early season scouting.

“I saw him take a penalty kick against Sanchez and normally people have a habit of shooting in the same place so I knew he was going to go one place. I’m also his teammate in the outside leagues so I just read it and thankfully I read it right,” said Atsuta.

Atsuta dove right and vacuum sealed the shot to keep the Eagles ahead. A red card was issued to Halehale as he attempted to slide in to Atsuta to pry the ball lose with the game ending on the next play after an Atsuta punt.

“They kept attacking us and our communication was off in the beginning. For our upcoming games, communication early on is going to have to get better,” added Atsuta.

Wendy’s POGs: Kaito Atsuta and Clayton Mitchell

Mitchell brings the offense

Clayton Mitchell scored two of his three goals off of penalty kicks. He expected a physical and aggressive game against the Friars which prompted his early attack. Within the first three minutes of the game, Mitchell was fouled inside the box where he scored his first PK.

“I knew they were going to be aggressive, but they were a little too aggressive and I wasn’t expecting that,” said Mitchell on the fouls. “But this is a rivalry and I play with most of these guys on the same outside teams so we’re all aware of how each others play.”

Mitchell then carved through the Friar defense and sent a shot straight down the middle for his second goal to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead at the 21st minute.

FD’s Xavier Naputi put FD on the board with a goal at the 32nd minute and immediately ran to the Friar Nation crowd to get them pumped up. The pro-FD crowd was given more reasons to cheer at the 39th minute as Joshua Calvo scored off a rebounded shot to knot the game at two goals each.

Mitchell wasted no time in breaking the tie as he raced down the other end after the goal where he was the beneficiary of a second Friar foul inside the box. His shot would dart into the net from the right side to give Harvest a 3-2 halftime lead.

The Eagles scored their final goal in the 58th minute from Eddie Huang which prompted Mitchell to silence the Friar Nation crowd, which was comprised of current FD students.

“I was just worried they were going to gang up on me later on,” laughed Mitchell on the exchange with the crowd. “But in all honesty, I have the utmost respect for that fanbase, the Friar Nation is a real.”

The Friars turned in a last ditch effort that nearly paid off in the closing minutes, but Atsuta closed the door on their comeback to propel the Eagles to a (6-1) record while giving FD their first loss (5-1-1).

Standings

School GP Won Lost Tied Pts
JFK 8 7 1 0 21
Harvest 7 6 1 0 18
Father Duenas 7 5 1 1 16
St. John’s 6 5 1 0 15
Tiyan 7 5 2 0 15
Southern 7 3 2 2 11
Okkodo 8 3 5 0 9
Guam High 9 2 6 1 7
Sanchez 6 1 4 1 4
GW 8 0 7 1 1
Notre Dame 7 0 7 0 0

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