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ROYALS GET NARROW VICTORY OVER KNIGHTS

The ND Royals and St. John’s Knights faced off in a tough battle on Saturday in the IIAAG Girls Soccer League. The Royals were able to escape with the 2-1 victory after they saw an early lead almost disappear, thanks to a furious comeback by the Knights. Notre Dame got two early goals from Brianne Leon Guerrero and Shyann Roberto that helped them hold on for the win.

By Nolan Miles

The ND Royals and St. John’s Knights faced off in a tough battle on Saturday in the IIAAG Girls Soccer League. The Royals were able to escape with the 2-1 victory after they saw an early lead almost disappear, thanks to a furious comeback by the Knights. Notre Dame got two early goals from Brianne Leon Guerrero and Shyann Roberto that helped them hold on for the win.

Leon Guerrero got things going for the Royals early, finishing off a cross for a goal in only the 2nd minute of the game. The goal put ND up 1-0, but they were just getting started.

Notre Dame continued to attack and their offensive pressure led to another goal when Roberto controlled a Leon Guerrero cross and slotted it past the keeper for the quick 2-0 lead in only the 11th minute of the game.

When asked what was working for them offensively early in the game Roberto said: “ It was really just great passing and being able to move the ball really well. We were also able to finish our crosses which really helped.”

Cold Stone Players of the Game Shyann Roberto and Brianne Leon Guerrero

After the early fireworks both teams seemed to settle in and start to trade possession. The defensive lines of both the Royals and the Knights did a great job as neither team was able to push forward or maintain possession. The two teams finished the half with the Royals still leading 2-0.

St. John’s came out in the second half eagerly looking to get back in the game. They had a good chance early in the second half with Hallie Wigsten connecting on a header off a corner kick; unfortunately the ball couldn’t find the back of the net as it hit the crossbar.

After struggling for a bit, the Royals went back to attacking, with Leon Guerrero getting multiple shots off and keeping the St. John’s keeper on her toes.

The Knights responded, turning up the intensity and continuing to put pressure on the Royals defense. Their breakthrough came in the 66th minute, when a long-range effort by Jenna Han sailed over the Notre Dame keeper and found the back of the net.

Han’s goal cut the deficit to 2-1 and St. John’s gave everything they had as they looked for the equalizer. The Notre Dame keeper and defense came up big down the stretch as they ultimately prevailed to snag the victory.

The Royals were excited to get the close win but Leon Guerrero also talked about what the team learned from it. “ Like our coach said, we can’t get complacent. We need to stay focused.”
With the win the Royals stay undefeated on their quest for a three-peat in the IIAAG Girls Soccer League. The Royals improve to (record) and will look to continue their winning ways against the Tiyan Titans on Thursday at Leo Palace. Meanwhile the Knights now fall to (record) and will look to bounce back on Tuesday against Guam High.

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