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FRIARS, EAGLES SET TO CLASH ONCE MORE

Top soccer teams cruise through semis; title up for grabs

By Paradis Fejerang

The 2023 IIAAG Boys Soccer League championship game will pit the two top ranked teams once again as the Father Duenas Friars and Harvest Eagles easily took care of their semifinal matches Monday evening.

The Friars romped past the Notre Dame Royals 8-0 while the Eagles controlled the St. John’s Knights 5-0.

FD def. ND

Despite the heat at the GFA field, both teams were strong in communication from kickoff.

The Friars had kept the Royals goalkeeper working to keep the shots from getting through him but Levi Berg became the first to break past ND’s final line of defense.

Once their opponents got that first shot on goal, the Royals seemed to lose their energy alongside the adept communication skills they had earlier possessed. 

With newfound confidence in taking the lead, the Friars’ offense seized the opportunities they were granted for shots on goal, the second of which came from Sam Stenson all the way on the right side of the field and crossing straight into the back left goalpost.

The third score of the day came from Malcom Ogo for a satisfying score for the Friars and a 3-0 lead.

FD wasted no time once they were back on the pitch with athletes hungry to attain a goal of their own. Three Friars in particular were successful in nabbing a goal in the latter half of the game: Beau Perez with a score of his own while Players of the Game Friar captain EJ Manibusan and fellow senior Gio DeVera were able to achieve two goals each.

The most impressive shot of the night coming from DeVera’s receiving shot on goal from a corner kick by Sean Halehale.

Team captain Manibusan speaks for his entire team who he says has been motivated the entire season due to their loss against Harvest for last year’s championship.

“The training has been intense…everybody is working so hard and they believe in our goal,” Manibusan reminisces about his final year with the team. “We’ve had the goal to win the championship from day one.”

The win avenges an earlier season tie with the Royals in an otherwise perfect season for the Friars.

Harvest def. St. John’s

Levi Buckwalter and Christian Shinohara scored two goals apiece to lead the way for Harvest. Both scored early to set the tone for the Eagles while Raito Atsuta punched one in at the 25th minutes.

Buckwalter and Shinohara struck again late in the game to seal the deal.

Thursday finals

The Friars are set to take on the Eagles this Thursday in a rematch for the IIAAG Boys Soccer League championship and Manibusan is looking forward to his final game through an optimistic lens. “On Thursday we’re just going to give it everything and hopefully win.”

5:30 pm 3rd place game

7 pm champion game

AT GW FIELD

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